For many patients, when braces are recommended, the thought of months of treatment, food restrictions, and a diligent cleaning routine can be daunting. It’s understandable – there is no escaping the wires and brackets on your teeth, even if you have a special event, a presentation to give, a job interview, or a first date. Invisalign, however, has changed how braces-wearers live their lives. In fact, Invisalign doesn’t change life much at all – other than giving you straight teeth, of course. But what’s the commitment to Invisalign? It’s a numbers game, and it’s easier than you might think.

How Long Will I Have to Wear Invisalign?

Most of the time, Invisalign treatment is completed in an average of 12 months. Some cases may take a little longer and others may be shorter, but this will depend on a few factors: the alignment of your teeth before Invisalign; the treatment plan your dentist has laid out in order to get your teeth and jaw where they need to be; and your diligence in following the customized treatment plan. While one year seems like a long time, know this: Invisalign can take about half the time of traditional metal braces to straighten your teeth.

Do I Have to Wear Invisalign Every Day?

Invisalign operates much of the time on the honor system – your dentist recommends a course of treatment and expects you to follow it on your own time. That means changing aligners when indicated and wearing your clear aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours every day. You only remove the aligners to clean your teeth and to eat meals, a total of about four to six times a day. Yes, that means wearing them to school all day, or to work all day, and while you’re sleeping, but it’s nice to know that you have the freedom to remove the aligners for a brief period of time should you be so inclined – perhaps you’re getting an important photo taken, for example. But know this – Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible so you needn’t feel self-conscious about the presence of them on your teeth. And your precise adherence to your dentist’s treatment plan will align your teeth much more speedily than if you slack off on wearing your aligners.

How Often Do I Have to See My Dentist?

You will have to see your dentist about every six weeks for Invisalign check-ups and to collect your new set of customized aligners. At these appointments, your dentist will determine whether your treatment is progressing as it should. Every six weeks isn’t all that often when you think about traditional braces-wearers who must visit their dentist every few weeks in order to have their brackets and wires checked, tightened, and, sometimes repaired. Your visits to the dentist as an Invisalign patient will be much less intensive – and much less uncomfortable.

How Many Invisalign Aligners Will I Have?

Over the entire course of treatment, you will wear approximately 18 to 30 Invisalign aligners that are prepared especially for your teeth. The aligners are designed to move certain teeth at certain times – they don’t move all of your teeth at once – so the position of your teeth now and where they need to get to will impact the number of aligners you will have to wear, and the length of time you will have to wear them. Each set of Invisalign trays are worn for about two weeks, give or take, which is when you switch to the next set.

No matter how you choose to straighten your teeth, having an aligned smile will make your teeth stronger and improve your oral health and overall well-being. Contact Dr. Shaista Najmi, a certified Invisalign provider, at Ivory Dental in Jacksonville, Florida, to schedule your consultation.

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