Invisalign has taken the world by storm—and if you’ve just hopped on the bandwagon yourself, congratulations! A straighter and healthier smile is on the horizon, assuming your treatment is successful; because when it comes to Invisalign, frequently wearing your aligners is crucial. That said, some patients run into difficulties concerning the mandatory 22-hour wear time. Keep reading to learn more about why this rule is so necessary, along with some tips to help you follow it.
Why Do I Need to Wear My Aligners For 22 Hours Every Day?
The 22-hour rule isn’t arbitrary by any means; there’s a very important reason for it! Invisalign works by gradually shifting your teeth into a more natural and correct position. These micro-movements are spread out over the course of a few months to minimize the amount of discomfort that you’ll feel. Each set of trays is worn for a predetermined amount of time (typically around two weeks) before you swap to a new set.
As you progress through different sets of trays, the newer ones will be straighter than the previous ones to match your teeth’s progress. The only way to ensure that your teeth are making proper progress is by wearing your aligners for 22 hours every day. Missing a few days or even hours can seriously set back your treatment!
Tips For Meeting The 22-Hour Wear Time
Wearing your aligners for 22 hours every day is totally doable; however, some patients still encounter difficulties. To avoid complications and ensure your treatment’s success, consider the following:
- Remove your aligners for a set amount of time each day – Try to take your aligners out for around 15 minutes to eat breakfast, about 30 minutes at lunch, and for about an hour at dinnertime. This should give you plenty of time to eat and clean your aligners without compromising the 22-hour rule.
- Advance to your next set of trays before bedtime – This will allow you to sleep through the initial discomfort of wearing new trays.
- Try to multi-task when wearing your aligners – If your trays aren’t in your mouth, consider washing them while you eat to save yourself some time.
- Maintain an oral hygiene routine – Brushing and flossing after every meal is extra important throughout your treatment, so make sure to practice daily oral care.
- Use technology to your advantage – Apps like Tray Minder can be used to help you monitor your wear time throughout the day. Even setting a timer can help you to remember to pop your trays back in after eating.
Wearing your aligners for 22 hours a day might seem challenging at first, but with time it becomes quite manageable. Knowing what’s at stake and establishing good habits can go a long way towards ensuring that your Invisalign does its job and provides you with a beautiful new smile.
About the Practice
Winning Smile Dental Group serves patients and families in the Evanston area under the leadership of Dr. Polly Reese, Dr. Maura Parker, and Dr. Robert Baima! Together they bring a tremendous amount of experience and expertise to their practice and are proud to offer a wide range of services, including Invisalign! To schedule a visit, feel free to contact the practice online or give them a call at (847) 350-1697.