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

By Mike Meek, DDS on October 08, 2018

A woman removing an Invisalign aligner from her mouthInvisalign® is a popular orthodontic treatment that aligns teeth and corrects bite misalignment problems. Through its series of clear plastic trays, Invisalign treatment is designed to gradually shift your teeth and bite into proper alignment.

Many potential Invisalign patients wonder how long it takes to adjust to Invisalign aligners. Here, Drs. Mike Meek and David Tasch answer this question. Contact our Austin, TX practice to learn more.

What Are the Trays Like?

Each Invisalign tray is customized for you based on your impressions and computer-guided alignment technology. The trays are fabricated from a clear, smooth plastic that is designed to rest snuggly over your teeth.

You will receive a new tray about every two weeks. Every tray is designed to gently move your teeth further into the correct position.

Invisalign trays are considered to be more comfortable than the wires and brackets associated with traditional orthodontics. Wires and brackets can be abrasive and cause sores on the gums, sides of the mouth, and inside the lips. Thanks to the smooth texture of the Invisalign trays, patients need not worry about developing irritations inside the mouth.

How Will the First Aligner Feel?

It is possible that your first Invisalign tray will feel uncomfortable when you first put it in. You will not be accustomed to having a retainer resting over your teeth.

Since the tongue and gums are sensitive to small changes in tooth position, the tray may feel different in mouth as you adjust to wearing it over your teeth for 22 hours a day.

While some patients report feeling fine with the new aligner right away, others say it takes them about a week to get used to wearing the retainer.

What about Adjusting to Successive Aligners?

Usually the biggest adjustment to the retainer involves the first one. Successive retainers may feel tight at first, since they will be repositiong the teeth. Usually it takes a day or two for the retainer to feel more comfortable. The process can be likened to wearing in a new pair of shoes that are at first a little tight on the feet.

What If I Want to Take My Aligner Out?

The short answer is don’t do this. The entire Invisalign system is built upon the patient wearing the aligner for at least 22 hours a day. This means the aligner should only be removed for eating and hygiene routines.

Having the aligner out of your mouth for longer than a couple of hours a day means that treatment will take that much longer. In some cases, your treatment may not be effective at all. If you are having trouble wearing your aligner, please speak to your dentist about what you can do to make the process easier.

Learn More about Invisalign Today

Invisalign affords patients a number of unique advantages, such as discretion and comfort, over other orthodontic treatments. Learn more about the benefits of this system by reaching out to our office today. You can contact us online or speak to a staff member directly by calling (512) 458-6222.

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