Timing is Key with Invisalign: Why You Must Wear Your Invisalign Aligner for 22 Hours a Day
Invisalign aligners are a popular choice for teens and adults alike due to the fact that they are almost invisible. They are also popular because patients are able to remove them at their own convenience. However, unlike braces, which are attached to your teeth, Invisalign require you to be extra disciplined and responsible whilst wearing them. Dentists recommend that you wear your aligners for a minimum of 22 hours a day for good reason.
If you have just started a course of Invisalign or plan to in the near future, be prepared to wear each aligner day and night, otherwise, you may severely hinder the progress of your treatment.
Invisalign Moves Your Teeth Through Bone
Orthodontic treatment straightens your teeth by gradually easing them through the bone of your jaw. If enough force is present on a consistent basis, then your bone will slowly give way to allow your teeth to move in the desired direction. This is why it is important that the force remains consistent.
Your bone reacts to both the force and lack of force. This is why each aligner is designed to move your teeth a maximum of 0.5mm over a 2 week period. During the first week, your Invisalign aligner pushes the teeth through your jawbone and into the predetermined position. Once into position, more time is then needed for the bone to reform around the tooth in its new position.
This is why consistency is so imperative to the success of your treatment.
The More You Interrupt the Process, the Longer it Takes
On average, Invisalign takes approximately 12 months to straighten teeth. However, if you continually interrupt the movement of your teeth by constantly taking your aligner out or by not wearing it for hours on end, you could be inadvertently doubling or tripling the time it takes to achieve the results you want.
Imagine trekking through a swamp and becoming lodged in the muck. In order to release yourself from the grip of the swamp, you would need to exert a strong and continuous pressure, otherwise the mud and sand would simply reset around your boots. The same principle applies to Invisalign. Each aligner guides your teeth a predetermined distance before allowing the bone to reset. Constant interruptions, especially in the early days of the first week, will result in your teeth barely moving at all.
If you wish to undergo Invisalign treatment but don't think you can wear aligners for 22 hours a day, talk with a cosmetic dentist about all your options.