How Long Should I Wear my Invisalign Aligners Every Day?

How Long to Wear Your Aligners

If you are using the Invisalign system or if you’re thinking of using them, you know that they’re not only customized and clear—they’re removable. Your aligners must be worn at least 22 hours a day to work properly and to straighten your teeth. That’s a long time—but it’s important to wear them that long every day.

Why Do You Wear Them So Much?
Invisalign and Invisalign Teen gently move your teeth. When the aligner is placed around your teeth, they slowly move into the position that is created through the aligners. Then, after about two weeks, you replace them with new aligners that will move your teeth just a little more. After of series of aligners have been used for the entire length of your treatment time, your teeth will now be straight. The constant movement, created by the shape of the aligners, is what guides your teeth into position. Since they are customized for your mouth and your mouth only, you must keep them in for as much of the day as possible: while awake and while asleep.

Consequences for Not Wearing Your Invisalign Aligners
If they aren’t worn enough each day, then your teeth won’t be in the proper position for the next set of aligners. You’ll need to visit Dr. Gutierrez to be evaluated and to make sure Invisalign is working as it should. He may also have to alter your treatment, and it will take longer to position your teeth properly, so you’ll be wearing them for a longer period of time.

Reasons to Remove Invisalign for a Short Period
Of course, they are several important and acceptable reasons to remove your aligners:

  • Eating and Drinking. You can’t eat with Invisalign on, since it acts as a barrier between your teeth and the food you have to chew. And while you could drink with your aligners on, many drinks, including sodas, coffee, and tea will stain your aligners—and then they won’t be nearly invisible any more.
  • Brushing and Flossing. One of the great advantages of removable aligners is that you can properly care for your teeth, even while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
  • Playing a Musical Instrument. Some teenagers have told us that they remove their Invisalign aligners when playing a reed instrument.
  • Contact Sports. Football players, lacrosse players, soccer players, and wrestlers all take off their aligners during practice and/or during their games. Many replace their aligners with mouthguards, which is an excellent way to protect your teeth. Then, they put them back on again after their game is over.

Just remember to keep a protective case at school, in your backpack or purse, or at home so that you can always place your Invisalign or Invisalign Teen aligners in a safe place. Invisalign Teen also comes with six extra aligners in case they are lost—so don’t worry about taking them out when eating or drinking.

If you have any questions about using Invisalign or Invisalign Teen, or you live in the Tampa area and would like to set up a consultation appointment to talk to Dr. Gutierrez about using Invisalign, give his office a call.

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