Invisalign aligners are designed to be worn for 20-22 hours each day, but you may find yourself needing to take them out for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s for an important meeting, a first date, or just to give your mouth a break, it’s important to know how long you can safely keep your aligners out before it will impact your treatment plan.
If you’re a parent trying to get your teen to wear their aligners, you might also be interested in learning more about the limitations of this treatment plan. In this guide, we’ll explore why it’s important to wear your Invisalign aligners for the correct amount of time every day.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that uses clear, plastic aligners to gradually straighten teeth. Treatment with Invisalign typically takes between 12-18 months, and patients will wear a new set of aligners every two weeks as their teeth slowly shift into place.
While Invisalign is much less noticeable than metal braces, without proper care the aligners can become discoloured which will make them more noticeable. And one of the disadvantages of having removable braces is that it’s far too easy to forget to wear them.
When can you take out your Invisalign aligners?
There are a few things to keep in mind when taking out your Invisalign aligners:
- You should only remove your aligners for eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. If you need to take them out for any other reason, be sure to consult with your orthodontist first. For example, if you find the treatment too painful, it’s important to check in to make sure nothing is amiss.
- You need to keep them in a safe place when you remove them. This means not putting them in your pocket or leaving them out where they could easily get lost.
- You should only remove them for a short period of time. We recommend taking them out for no longer than 30 minutes at a time.
- You should brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in. This helps to remove any food particles or bacteria from your teeth which would be held in place by your aligners.
How long do you have to wear them each day?
In order to achieve the best results, your Invisalign aligners should be worn for 20-22 hours each day. This leaves a small window of time for eating and drinking and taking care of your oral hygiene.
It’s important to note that you should not go longer than two hours without wearing your aligners as this could cause your teeth to start to shift back into the former position. This can slow down the treatment or derail it entirely. The next aligner in your case might not fit if you haven’t worn each one up to that point as often as you are supposed to.
What happens if you don’t follow the instructions?
A few things can happen if you do not wear your aligners often enough:
- Your treatment could be lengthened as your teeth slowly shift back into their original position.
- The next aligner in the series might not fit correctly, which can cause discomfort.
- You might have to wear a retainer for a longer period of time after your treatment is completed in order to keep your teeth in their new position.
- You may need to visit the dentist more frequently for checkups.
Can you eat and drink while wearing them?
No, the only thing you can drink when wearing your Invisalign aligners is cold water. You cannot have any hot drinks while wearing your aligners, as this can cause them to warp.
You should also avoid eating while wearing your aligners, as this can cause them to dislodge or become misshapen. You also cannot chew gum for the same reason.
What if my teen isn’t wearing their aligners?
If your teen isn’t wearing their aligners as often as they should be, there are a few things you can do:
- Talk to them about the importance of wearing their aligners and why it’s necessary to follow the treatment plan.
- Encourage them by explaining how much straighter their teeth will be at the end of treatment.
- Remind them of why they are wearing them and encourage them to focus on the goal.
- Return to the dentist for some professional advice.
Invisalign aligners have wear indicators that will let your dentist know if they have been worn frequently enough. If they haven’t this can prolong the treatment plan and also make it more uncomfortable.
If you’re considering Invisalign aligners to straighten your teeth, speak to our Glasgow Invisalign team today!