Being a parent is a challenging job! Just when you think you’ve made it through the tough, early years with little to no sleep, along come sleepless nights spent worrying if you’re making the right decision investing in your child’s teeth and addressing any dental concerns early on in their young adulthood.

‘How long do you have to wear Invisalign?’ is a question that we often get asked – not just by parents, but also adults who are thinking of correcting their crooked teeth.

The answer to that question depends on each person’s unique set of teeth and circumstances, though there is some general information we can offer before you seek the advice of a professional orthodontist.

How Long Do You Have to Wear Invisalign?

If you’ve already made the decision to straighten your own or your child’s teeth, you’ve probably transitioned into the next stage of weighing up braces versus Invisalign’s “invisible” aligners.

The short answer to the question ‘how long do you have to wear Invisalign’ is roughly 12 to 18 months for comprehensive care, and up to 22 hours a day. This is faster than traditional braces because with the clear aligners we can move each tooth in the specific desired direction, rather than braces that are glued to each tooth and tightened with different tension strains.

Teenagers are known to prefer Invisalign to braces as the clear, BPA-free medical grade plastic with smart track technology is strong and removable if need be. There’s less likelihood of nasty cuts on your gums and lips and less awkward smiles with food stuck in your braces.

You can eat what you like (except for drinking anything hot with the aligners in your mouth), and they’re considerably more comfortable than braces. Of course, just because they’re removable one shouldn’t take them out at every opportunity.

The time estimate of 12 to 18 months is based on the aligners being worn for 22 hours a day. You need to diligently follow the instructions of your orthodontist to achieve the desired optimal results.

Why Do Braces Take Longer Than Invisalign?

Orthodontics isn’t all about being able to flash a great smile. You’re wanting to establish healthy dental hygiene habits and end with a functional jaw without an overbite or underbite. The advantage of starting young with any kind of orthodontics is that you can influence jaw growth.

Teeth crowding, gaps between teeth, overbites and underbites can all be addressed early on, before the teeth and gums get more resistant to change. With Invisalign treatment, a nifty digital scan is taken of your teeth and gums. This is used as the blueprint for your orthodontic treatment.

When it comes to weighing up braces versus Invisalign, the treatment is based primarily on each person’s unique needs. Braces are often required if more serious orthodontic treatment is needed first.

Perhaps your child has the habit of sucking their thumb and their top and bottom teeth do not line up at all. In this instance, orthodontic surgery (teeth extraction) could be required before a maintenance plan involving Invisalign comes into effect.

People who opt for braces usually wear them for anywhere between 1 and 3 years. Uneven jaw growth is addressed, along with teeth straightening. Very often with children, their teeth are still emerging and this needs to be taken into account.

The positive way of seeing this chapter in your child’s life – or if you’re an adult considering Invisalign – is that you get to instill a value system around good general oral habits.

Healthy flossing, regular brushing and doing what you’re advised to do by a professional orthodontist is the best way to approach Invisalign treatment. Healthy habits and daily care lead to a healthy smile.

Invisalign treatment is a great alternative to traditional braces. The first step on your journey towards a bright smile is assessing whether you qualify for Invisalign treatment. Reach out to one of our orthodontists today! 

Contact an Orthodontist near you today to schedule an initial consultation.