How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Invisalign® Aligners?


Oct 16, 2018 @ 03:29 PM — by Michael Bixby
Tagged with: Invisalign |

A woman removing an Invisalign retainer from her mouthIf you have turned, crooked or misaligned teeth, the popular orthodontic treatment Invisalign® may be right for you. This system uses a series of clear dental alignment trays to discreetly and comfortably shift your teeth into alignment.

Many patients who are interested in this treatment understandably have a number of questions. One question Dr. Michael Bixby receives from many patients at his Red Bank, NJ practice is how long it takes to adjust to Invisalign aligners? Read on to learn more.

Comfortable Aligners

Invisalign trays are fabricated from a smooth plastic based on impressions of your teeth. Because they are made just for you, they fit snuggly and comfortably in your mouth.

Patients wear a new tray about every two weeks. By wearing a new aligner, your teeth will move further into the proper position.

Because Invisalign trays are made from plastic, as opposed to wires and brackets associated with traditional orthodontics, they are considerably more comfortable. Wires and brackets can cause irritation on your soft tissues, such as the sides of the mouth, gums, and inside the lips; a problem Invisalign patients need not worry about.

Wearing Your First Retainer

Since you will not be accustomed to wearing a retainer over your teeth, your first retainer may take some getting used to.

The tongue and gums are sensitive to small changes in tooth position. As such, the aligner may feel new or different, especially when you speak or run your tongue over your retainer.

Some patients say they feel fine wearing the new aligner right away, while report it taking about a week to become accustomed to wearing the aligner.

Getting Used to Each Retainer

Typically, most patients report the greatest adjustment to wearing their first aligner. Each new tray you wear may also feel a little tight at first, since it is designed to gradually move the teeth.

It may take a day or two for the retainer to feel less tight. This process of getting used to a new aligner is a little like breaking in a new pair of shoes.

Refrain from Taking Your Retainer Out

Some patients may be tempted to remove a retainer that they are not used to wearing. Patients should not do this for two reasons. First, it will only take that much longer to get used to wearing the retainer. Second, the Invisalign system only works when a patient wears the aligner for at least 22 hours a day.

Aligners should only be taken out for eating and hygiene routines. If the retainer is not worn for longer than 22 hours a day, it will take that much longer for you to reach your treatment goals, or you may not reach them at all.

Patients who find it challenging to wear the retainer for the required time should speak to their dentist. Working together, you and your dentist can develop a plan to combat the temptation to remove the aligner and wear it as long as needed.

Learn More about Invisalign Today

Learn more about the benefits of Invisalign and if it is right for you by calling our office at (732) 224-1160. You can also fill out our online form and we will get back to you shortly.