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How Long Do I Need To Wear My Invisalign?

February 14th, 2024 | 4 min read

By NYC Smile Design

Invisalign, a modern approach to orthodontic treatment, offers a clear and convenient alternative to traditional braces. 

At NYC Smile Design, we frequently encounter patients curious about the duration of their Invisalign journey. It’s a common and important question that plays a vital role in treatment planning and decision-making. 

This article aims to provide clarity on the typical duration of Invisalign treatment, drawing from our extensive experience with these aligners. We’re here to help you manage your expectations and empower you to make well-informed decisions regarding your orthodontic care.

What Is Invisalign?

First, let’s briefly discuss what Invisalign is. Invisalign, a cutting-edge solution in orthodontic care, involves using a series of custom-fabricated, clear aligners designed to incrementally adjust your teeth to their ideal position. These aligners represent a significant evolution from traditional braces, offering a virtually invisible method of teeth straightening. Unlike metal braces, Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing for easier eating and cleaning. 

This feature significantly enhances oral hygiene during treatment, as there are no brackets or wires to navigate around. Furthermore, Invisalign aligners are custom-made for each patient using 3D computer imaging technology, ensuring a precise and comfortable fit. This personalized approach not only makes them more aesthetically pleasing but also offers a more tailored, efficient, and comfortable orthodontic treatment experience.

3D Printer

Factors Influencing Treatment Duration

The duration of Invisalign treatment varies for each individual, influenced by a range of factors. These include the complexity of your dental condition, your age, how consistently you wear your aligners, and your individual response to treatment. Each of these elements plays a crucial role in how long you’ll need to wear your Invisalign aligners to achieve the desired results. Understanding these factors helps in setting realistic expectations for your orthodontic journey.

Complexity of Your Case

The specific orthodontic issues you’re facing have a significant impact on treatment length. Simple dental problems, like slight crowding or small gaps, generally need less time to correct compared to more complex conditions such as severe misalignments or pronounced bite issues. The nature of the dental issue dictates the intricacy and length of the treatment process.


Your age can play a role in how quickly you see results from Invisalign. Younger individuals often benefit from quicker adjustments due to the more pliable nature of their jawbones and teeth. However, everyone’s biological response to orthodontic treatment is unique, with some people experiencing faster movements than others, regardless of age.

Compliance with the Treatment Plan

The success and timeline of Invisalign treatment hinge significantly on wearing the aligners consistently for 20-22 hours a day. Deviating from this schedule can lead to extended treatment times. Additionally, your daily habits, such as the frequency of removing the aligners and your commitment to maintaining them properly, are crucial in keeping your treatment on track.


Response to Treatment

Every patient’s teeth respond differently to Invisalign, influenced by factors like genetics and overall dental health. During the course of treatment, your dentist may need to adjust your plan based on how your teeth are moving, which can alter the expected duration of the treatment.

Understanding these diverse factors helps in setting realistic expectations and underscores the importance of a tailor-made treatment plan, emphasizing the role of both patient and orthodontist in the journey towards achieving the desired orthodontic outcomes.

Average Duration of Treatment

Invisalign treatment typically ranges from 12 to 18 months on average, but individual factors can significantly influence this duration. On the other hand, VPro 5 cuts wear time in half from 14 days to 5-7 days and is an option for some Invisalign users. The VPro 5 is an orthodontic device used in dental care to accelerate tooth movement and reduce discomfort during orthodontic treatments like Invisalign. It employs high-frequency vibrations to help properly seat aligners and potentially shorten overall treatment time.

One key aspect of the Invisalign process is the regular updating of aligners. Generally, patients switch out their aligners every 1-2 weeks. Patients receive a new set of aligners anywhere from 2-8 aligners to take home depending on their particular schedule. These frequent updates are essential for gradually moving the teeth into the desired position. 

The specific timeline for aligner changes and dental visits can vary based on the complexity of your dental alignment needs and how well your teeth respond to the treatment.

Invisalign treatment

Managing Expectations

It’s essential to have realistic expectations regarding the duration of your Invisalign treatment. Regular follow-ups with your dentist will provide updates on your progress and any adjustments to your treatment plan.

Additionally, regular check-ups with your dentist or orthodontist, usually every 4-8 weeks, are crucial. These appointments allow your dental professional to monitor your progress, make adjustments to the treatment plan if necessary, and provide the next series of aligners.

Tips for Keeping Your Aligners Clean

Maintaining the cleanliness of your Invisalign aligners is essential for oral hygiene and the effectiveness of your treatment. To clean your aligners, gently brush them every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water as it can warp the plastic. It’s also advisable to use a clear, gentle soap instead of toothpaste, which can be abrasive. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of bacteria and plaque, keeping your aligners and mouth fresh and hygienic throughout your treatment.

Tips for Keeping Your Aligners Clean

Your Role in Treatment Success

Your active participation in wearing your Invisalign aligners as prescribed is crucial for the success of your treatment. Consistently wearing your aligners for the recommended 20-22 hours a day directly influences the length of your treatment. If you do not wear your aligners for the recommended hours each day, your teeth may not move as planned. This can lead to an extended treatment duration, as your teeth may take longer to align properly.

In some cases, inconsistent wear can lead to your teeth moving back towards their original position or not moving as intended. This might necessitate the creation of new aligners, further extending the treatment time and potentially increasing costs. It’s important to understand that your commitment to the treatment plan is fundamental to achieving the desired results within the estimated timeline.

Conclusion: A Personalized Journey

Every Invisalign journey is unique. Understanding the factors that influence the duration of treatment will help you have a clearer picture of what to expect. If you’re considering Invisalign or currently undergoing treatment and have questions about your timeline, we encourage you to discuss them with your orthodontic provider. At NYC Smile Design, we’re committed to guiding our patients through their Invisalign journey, providing personalized care and detailed information to ensure a successful and satisfying orthodontic experience. For personalized care and detailed information to ensure a successful orthodontic experience, consider scheduling a consultation with NYC Smile Design.