Do I Really Have to Wear Invisalign Aligner Trays 22 Hours a Day?

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Do I Really Have to Wear Invisalign Aligner Trays 22 Hours a Day?

Invisalign treatments have revolutionized orthodontics by offering patients a convenient and comfortable cosmetic treatment for misaligned teeth. The custom aligner trays are virtually invisible, unlike traditional metal braces. Dr. Abbey Lee offers the inconspicuous cosmetic solution at our Atlanta, GA dental practice.

If you are ready to correct misaligned teeth, contact Dr. Lee and our Grant Park dental team at 404.328.7177. Dr. Lee can explain the treatment process in depth before ordering your first set of trays. Once patients undergo treatment, they must abide by the 20- to 22-hour compliance rule. Read on for more details.

Why the 22 Hour Compliance Rule Matters

Invisalign trays gently nudge teeth into better alignment through micro-movements. The small shifts are spread out over several months or longer so patients feel minimal discomfort throughout the treatment. The process works because each new tray is straighter than the preceding tray. The aligner trays are only effective during the time they are in physical contact with teeth. This is why Invisalign recommends that the trays are worn for at least 20 to 22 hours per day.

The trays are designed with the assumption that patients will comply with this rule. Failure to follow this rule can result in complications, discomfort, or even timeline treatment delays.

What Could Happen if I Don’t Follow the Compliance Rule?

Failure to wear the trays for 20 to 22 hours per day can result in complications that may be difficult for Dr. Lee to correct. These complications include:

  • Delayed results: In the short run, failure to wear the trays can result in discomfort. If you fail to comply with the 20-rule for too long, you may not be able to enjoy the cosmetic results you have worked for by the target date. When you receive your first set of trays at our Atlanta office, Dr. Lee will tell you what your treatment timeline will be (usually 12 to 18 months). You will have regular checkups scheduled so Dr. Lee can monitor your progress. If your teeth are not moving sufficiently due to failure to comply with the 20-22 hour rule, you may be asked to wear your current trays for longer. If your teeth have fallen too far behind, you may need to have an entirely new set of trays made.
  • Discomfort: The first few days after placing a new tray are the most critical. You will feel pressure against certain teeth. While this pressure can result in mild discomfort, it is critical to keep your trays in for at least 20 hours per day. You can remove your clear aligners to eat, drink, or to take photos. When you remove the trays for a longer period of time, your teeth may slightly revert back to their original position. This is usually not observable, but you will feel moderate levels of discomfort or even pain when you put your new tray back on after a long break. To avoid this situation, follow the 20-22 hour compliance rule.

Compliance Rule Tips

Throughout your treatment, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Place new aligners before going to bed to “sleep off” soreness and discomfort
  • Do not try to repair damaged aligners
  • Report damaged or missing aligners immediately to Dr. Lee
  • Understand that there will be periods of mile soreness and discomfort
  • Buy a mouthguard tray to hold your aligners when you are not using them

Transform Your Smile With Invisalign Today

If you are looking for a straighter smile in Grant Park, Dr. Lee offers orthodontic solutions like Six Month Smiles® and Invisalign to provide faster results. By following the 20-22 hour compliance rule, you can enjoy the cosmetic results you desire on time and with minimal discomfort. To learn more and to begin your orthodontic treatment, contact Smiles 4 Grant Park today!

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