Invisalign trays should be worn based on your provider’s recommendations. Their treatment schedule is based on their examination of your mouth and their predictions for how your oral structures will change over time. The schedule may be accelerated or slowed down based on your progress at your routine checkups, but you should stick to the schedule they give you.
Despite this, some patients feel anxious to complete their treatment early and switch out their Invisalign trays as soon as they start to feel loose. Continue reading to learn why your treatment schedule has been set the way it has and why you shouldn’t switch the trays earlier than your provider recommends.
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How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign trays have been molded or printed based on scans taken of your teeth, gums, and jaw. As you change them out, usually at a rate of one per 1-2 weeks, they will become closer to the shape your provider hopes will be permanent at the end of your treatment.
This means each subsequent aligner will be slightly tighter than the previous one. As it applies gradual pressure to your teeth, the ligaments that hold your teeth in place will loosen, allowing them to gradually shift to healthier positions.
After wearing your Invisalign trays for the allotted time, you will switch to a temporary or permanent retainer, which if worn as prescribed, will maintain your teeth in their new positions for the rest of your life.
How Long Do I Have to Wear Each Aligner?
Invisalign aligners should be worn for at least 20 hours per day. If not, your treatment will be prolonged or even reversed since too little time prevents your teeth from adjusting to their new positions. This means that you should wear your aligners while you sleep and during the day as much as possible, only removing them to eat and drink, play contact sports, or take a short break.
Each new aligner feels tight when you first wear it and gradually loosens during the 1-2 weeks prescribed. Many patients notice that the aligner feels loose on their teeth before this time is up, usually around the 7-10-day mark.
To accelerate their treatment, many patients are tempted to switch to their next retainer at this point, or even sooner.
Why You Should Not Replace Aligners too Early
In some cases, you can move to your next retainer a few days early with the permission of your orthodontist, who will advise you on your progress. After all, the treatment schedule cannot account for everything, such as the fact that the teeth of certain people (particularly younger patients) are more receptive to changes. Additionally, some patients are more consistent with their aligner schedule than others.
However, changing out the trays too early (such as at five days or sooner) and without the permission of your orthodontist can have serious consequences for your treatment. The new aligner will likely fit tighter than intended, which could damage your teeth, injure your gums, or warp your appliance.
The tray may feel loose sooner than the scheduled change, but that doesn’t mean it has finished that part of your treatment. Remember that Invisalign corrects not only the straightness of your teeth but also their alignment with your bite, which requires many subtle adjustments.
Patients commonly no longer feel the pressure of the appliance after a few days, but in nearly all cases, they should still stick to the prescribed treatment schedule. Contact your orthodontist if your appliance still hurts after a few days or feels very loose much sooner than expected. They may re-examine your progress and change your schedule.
The important thing is to consult them before making changes on your own. Altering your alignment and bite is a complicated process that can become dangerous to your health without the proper guidance. In most cases, your schedule has been set for a reason and provides the best guideline for your treatment progress.
Choose Reese Orthodontics
If you’re an adult who is considering braces, you need professional advice on your treatment and payment options. For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you.
Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.