How Long Do You Have to Wear Invisalign?

All good things take time — but just how much time? That’s the question you’re probably asking yourself if you’re an Invisalign patient, and while there is a general estimate of how long most people have to wear their invisible braces, the answer isn’t definite. That’s why so many people wonder, “How long do you have to wear Invisalign clear aligners?”

Picture of Invisalign clear aligners in an aligner case for the blog How Long Does Invisalign Take?

How Long Do You Have to Wear Invisalign? 

Most patients who wear Invisalign will wear them somewhere between six and 18 months. How does your dentist or orthodontist determine exactly how long your treatment will take? Your Invisalign treatment length depends on a few factors including your dental health and how Invisalign works with your teeth. 

How Many Hours a Day Do You Wear Your Aligners

One of the most important factors in determining how long your Invisalign treatment will take is how often you wear your aligners. 

Ideally, you should wear your invisible aligners no less than 22 hours a day, only taking them out to brush your teeth and eat. 

If you don’t keep yours in for the recommended amount of time, your teeth will likely not move according to the schedule of your initial plan. This could add extra time to your treatment, resulting in you having to wear your Invisalign trays for a few months longer than originally planned. 

How Your Teeth Need to Move

Everyone’s needs are unique, which means that everyone’s treatment plan will be as well. The total amount of time that you will need to use Invisalign depends on how your teeth need to move. 

If you have a lot of space between your teeth and gaps that the aligners are working to close, you should expect a longer treatment time. The larger the space, the longer the time it will take to bring them together. Large gaps could extend your treatment time to two years. 

In the case of crowded teeth, you may only need to wear aligners for six months for mild cases. More severe cases may require a longer treatment time or may be best treated with traditional braces. 

The general rule of thumb is: the more complex the issue, the longer it will take to fix. 

The Pace of Your Teeth Movement 

This may sound obvious, but the speed of your treatment plan will also depend on the movement of your teeth and gums. 

This is different for everyone; some people’s bone structure will only allow for slower, more incremental movement. Your dentist or orthodontist will monitor your progress and can let you know if you may need to wear your aligners for less or more time than originally projected.

Your Age

While it isn’t always the case, adults often require a longer treatment plan than teenagers. This is because adolescents’ jaws are still growing and teeth are still shifting, so it is easier to guide the teeth to their new alignment. 

How Long Do You Have to Wear Retainers After Invisalign

Once you have finished your treatment plan, you will still need to wear retainers to be sure your teeth stay in their new places. 

While there may be some variation, many patients follow the same guidelines when it comes to wearing their retainers. Immediately following your treatment, you will need to wear your them for 12 to 22 hours each day, for up to six months. After this, you can usually stop wearing it during the day and only wear it at night, typically for around 12 months. 

Is Invisalign Quicker Than Braces

When deciding whether or not to choose Invisialign over traditional braces, many patients wonder: which is quicker? 

The answer isn’t clear cut. In many cases, the treatment time will be around the same for both methods, though for more severe issues metal braces may be slightly quicker. 

Many people find that the biggest deciding factor in the length of their treatment plan is how often they wear their aligners. While braces cannot be removed, and so patients must keep them in 24 hours a day, Invisalign aligners can be taken out which may result in patients forgetting to wear them for the recommended 22 hours a day. This can slow down the progress. 

Mint Leaf Dentistry Invisalign Options 

No matter what method you use, straightening your smile will take time. In many cases, even a longer Invisalign treatment plan is still the fastest and most convenient way to get the job done. 

If you’re looking for an Invisalign dentist in Morrisville, North Carolina, contact us at Mint Leaf Dentistry, call us at  919-330-1710, or book with us online! Our Gold Plus Invisalign dentists near Raleigh and Morrisville are ready to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted!