woman putting invisalign retainer on her teeth

How Long Do You Have To Wear Invisalign?


Almost everyone has heard about Invisalign these days, either through friends or family members who have had it, from their dentist, or in commercials. While you may have a general idea of how Invisalign works, what you might not know is how long it takes Invisalign to straighten your teeth and give you the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Wondering how long you’ll have to wear Invisalign to get results? Read on to learn more.

Average Invisalign Treatment Time

The average Invisalign treatment time is 12 to 18 months for most patients, according to the Invisalign website. Of course, because this is an average, there will naturally be some outliers—some patients need to wear aligners for less than a year, while others may need more than 18 months. Despite these exceptions, the vast majority of Invisalign patients complete their treatment in the 12 to 18 month timeframe.

When compared to traditional orthodontic braces, Invisalign's predictability is a significant benefit. Because we plan the precise movements of each tooth, we know exactly how many sets of aligners you'll need during your treatment. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks, so we can come up with an approximate treatment time by multiplying the number of aligners you need by two.

Understanding Your Orthodontic Needs

The number of aligners you require for your treatment is determined by the severity of your orthodontic issues. Invisalign therapy, like traditional metal braces, will take longer if you have a more complicated orthodontic case.

You'll probably only need a year of treatment if you're an adult who wants to use Invisalign to correct minor orthodontic relapse caused by not using a retainer after getting your braces off. If you've never had orthodontic treatment and need to repair major bite problems or teeth misalignments, you may need to wear aligners for up to 18 months, or perhaps even longer.

Compliance With Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is predictable when compared to other orthodontic treatments, but one thing we can't foresee is your compliance with the system. Because braces are bonded directly to your teeth, they work all of the time, whereas Invisalign aligners only work while you are wearing them. Wearing your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day is recommended by Invisalign, but we encourage you to only take them out to eat, drink anything other than water, brush, and floss. Every two weeks, or as directed, you'll switch to a new pair of aligners; each set brings you a little bit closer to your final results.

You’ll increase the length of your Invisalign treatment if you take your aligners out regularly and keep them out for hours or even days at a time. Even if you still switch to a new set of aligners every two weeks, it won’t help keep your treatment on track if you’re not actually wearing your aligners as directed—instead, this can cause complications and impact your long-term dental health. 

Luckily, most patients have no problem complying with their Invisalign treatment instructions because aligners are clear, comfortable, and much more convenient than metal braces!

Learn More About Invisalign

Are you wondering how long you’ll need to wear Invisalign? Contact us today at 949-916-7800 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.