Invisalign is an excellent way to straighten out a smile without the dietary restrictions or conspicuous appearance of braces, and this exciting treatment can also usually finish the job in a shorter amount of time. Many patients considering the treatment ask, “How long would Invisalign take to realign my teeth?” The answer depends on many factors such as the severity of the case and one’s compliance with the treatment. Here’s what you should know about how long the Invisalign process can take and how to keep yours as brief as possible.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign is a virtually invisible orthodontic treatment that generally takes less time than braces. It uses a sequence of removable dental trays custom-fitted to the patient’s teeth. Each aligner is to be worn for twenty-two hours a day for about two weeks before the patient moves on to the next while each one shifts the teeth into slightly better alignment. The aligners must be removed for cleaning or when the patient eats or practices oral hygiene.
How Long Does Invisalign Take?
Everyone’s teeth move at a different pace, but Invisalign treatments average about twelve months and may take as few as six or as many as eighteen months. Treatment may take longer due to more severe alignment issues such as gaps or overcrowding—and in certain cases, refinements might also be necessary toward the end of treatment, which can tack on a few more extra months. Some teeth will take longer to treat because they might be more stubborn than anticipated. An orthodontist will monitor a patient’s treatment during frequent regular examinations to ensure that it is progressing as it needs to.
How Can I Achieve the Results I Want Sooner?
Following your orthodontist’s instructions is the best way to attain the best results as quickly as possible. This includes wearing your clear aligners for the prescribed twenty-two hours a day and taking them out for eating, drinking, and cleaning. They must be rinsed off whenever they are removed and cleaned with an approved product every day. It is equally important to move from one aligner to the next as scheduled in the treatment plan, and lost or damaged aligners can also cause setbacks.
Just as the aligners should be kept clean to prevent exposing the teeth to decay-causing bacteria, the patient should do the same for their mouth. A good daily oral hygiene regimen with Invisalign includes brushing teeth at least thirty minutes after eating, flossing once, and using antibacterial mouthwash. This will provide a multilayered defense to keep your teeth healthy during treatment.
Taking proper care of your aligner trays will easily become a habit with a little time, setting you up for smooth sailing to a straighter smile. While Invisalign can take some effort, it is a long-term investment with benefits that can last a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Betaharon earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 2009. He is a member of the American Dental Association and has been an Invisalign-certified provider since 2011. His office in La Plata, MD, offers preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry in addition to Invisalign treatments. If you’re interested in straightening your smile the virtually invisible way, contact his office online or dial (240) 349-2439.