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How Long Before I Start to See Results With Invisalign?
April 15, 2012

calendar pages showing months passing until Hinsdale Invisalign results are visible

How many months until you’ve got a gorgeously straight smile?

After you start Invisalign, you’re eager to see noticeable results. After all, one of the major advantages of clear aligners is that you can see your teeth straightening along the way. But how many months until your efforts pay off? Of course, the answer is a little different for everyone, but there are some average treatment milestones that can help guide you.

We’ve put together some tips on average treatment times below, as well as ways to make sure your Invisalign proceeds as quickly as possible. If you’re not yet an Invisalign patient and interested in trying it, get in touch to learn more from our staff. We offer free consultations so that you can gain information without making any commitment.

How Soon Until I See Invisalign Results?

If you have Invisalign trays on your upper and lower teeth, treatment may progress at slightly different rates. The lower teeth tend to move more quickly because they are smaller. Some teeth will move more quickly than others depending on the length of the root or the space they have available to move.

You will feel a change with every tray, as the aligners change subtly to move your teeth in a gradual fashion. But most patients don’t notice their teeth looking different until they’re on tray number 2 to 5. This is anywhere from four to ten weeks into treatment. It’s tough to notice the change when you’re carefully examining your teeth every day. But when you look at your teeth after a longer period, the subtle difference will be much clearer.

One way to try this is to take pictures of your teeth each time you switch to a new aligner. If you check the last photo when you make the next switch, you’ll probably see the difference. This will help motivate you to stay on track and keep switching to new trays as instructed.

There are also types of tooth movement that need to be accomplished to fine-tune your bite that won’t necessarily be noticeable in the mirror. This new alignment will be felt when you bite and notice your teeth fitting together more easily.

Making Sure Invisalign Works as Quickly as Possible

  • Wear your trays between 20-22 hours (or more) per day – This might not seem like a tough feat, but 20-22 hours is a significant portion of each day. If you’re in the habit of leisurely lunches, it might be time to speed things up. Wearing your aligners for 22 hours means you have 30 minutes each for breakfast, lunch, dinner and oral hygiene, which really isn’t all that long. But your aligners need to stay on your teeth in order to work, so make sure to get them back in ASAP. Put together a little travel brushing and flossing kit so that you can clean your teeth on the go and put aligners back where they belong. This will also help you avoid losing aligners in a thrown-out napkin or misplacing them.
  • Switch to new aligners on schedule – There will be some soreness each time you switch to a new set of trays. But this means that Invisalign is working! Don’t put off the switch because you’re hoping to avoid tender teeth. Follow the instructions your dentist provides and put your tray switch dates into your calendar after trays are dispensed. Phone alerts are a great way to make sure you don’t forget about new trays.
  • Keep your regular appointments – Don’t skip your Invisalign check-ups. These appointments are extremely important to your overall treatment schedule. We check to make sure your teeth are moving properly and dispense new sets of trays. If you realize that you can’t make an appointment, reschedule it right away so that you don’t lose time waiting for the next availability.
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