How Many Hours a Day Do I Need to Wear My Aligners?

Eagan, MN – One of the greatest advantages to Invisalign treatment is also one of its drawbacks. The aligners are removable, making it a cinch to maintain your oral hygiene, and ensuring you don’t need to alter your diet during treatment. But because they are removable, that means there is also a chance patients may forget to wear them as prescribed.

“Your orthodontic treatment depends on a lot of factors, one of which is you,” says your doctor, a Minnesota orthodontist. “And you have to be committed to wearing your aligners the recommended number of hours a day by your orthodontist. If you don’t your treatment won’t be as effective and could take longer.”

Your ORTHODONTIST advises her patients to wear the aligners for a minimum of 22 hours a day. It may seem like a lot, but the more they are in your mouth, the more efficiently they can work to move your teeth.

Invisalign gently moves your teeth, so when the aligner is placed over the teeth, it works to slowly guide the teeth to the position the aligner creates. The constant movement, created by the shape of the aligners, is what guides your teeth to their desired locations. Every two weeks, you’ll swap one set of aligners out for a new set, customized for the next level of tooth movement.

If you don’t wear your aligners the recommended number of hours a day, your teeth won’t be ready for the next set of aligners. Each set works to move the teeth to a precise location, but that only happens when they are worn regularly. If you don’t wear them as you should, your treatment may need to be altered, and it can take longer to move your teeth to their new locations.

“In some cases, we do have to alter treatment because a patient has failed to comply with our recommendations,” says your doctor. “It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it can be a hassle. We will often need to re-fabricate aligners to take into account the lack of movement that has occurred. At the beginning of treatment, we take careful calculations based on the movement we believe will occur based on proper wear of the retainers. But when a patient doesn’t wear them as prescribed, it can throw a wrench into our carefully thought out treatment plan.”

Only remove your aligners when eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. If you play a musical instrument or contact sport and have questions about wearing your aligners then, speak with your doctor.

When removing your aligners, always keep them in a safe place. It can be helpful to carry a protective case with you to keep the aligners in. This way, you won’t accidentally misplace them or throw them away.

If you have questions about how your orthodontic treatment is progressing and her staff are always available to answer questions.

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