How Long Does it Take to Straighten Your Teeth with Clear Braces?

Monday, August 2, 2021
How Long Does it Take to Straighten Your Teeth with Clear Braces?

How Long Is Invisible Braces Treatment? What You Need to Know

One of the most common questions from new patients considering braces is, “How long is invisible braces treatment?” Invisible braces, also called clear aligners, are a popular alternative to traditional braces. Not only are they virtually undetectable while worn, but they are also removable and more comfortable than other orthodontic treatment options.

Some patients are concerned about getting invisible braces to perfect their smiles because, though they understand the advantages, they worry that the tradeoff comes with a much longer treatment time.

We have good news: Invisible braces may take the same—or even less—time than traditional orthodontics while still giving you a straight, healthy smile.

So How Long Is Invisible Braces Treatment, Really?

Invisible braces, like any other orthodontic treatment plan, work by gently pushing your teeth into new, properly aligned, positions. Over time, the aligners straighten your teeth and close gaps between teeth. Unlike braces, which are always working on pushing and pulling your teeth into the correct position, invisible braces only actively work when your aligners are in.

With that in mind, orthodontists recommend wearing your aligners 20-22 hours per day, only taking them out to eat and drink or to clean them. If you follow this recommendation, you can expect noticeable change quickly and complete treatment in about 12 months. This is about half as long as traditional metal braces.

Other Invisible Braces FAQ

Young Asian woman smiles in the mirror while she holds a clear aligner used to straighten teeth.

“How long is invisible braces treatment?” might be one of the most common questions we get, but it certainly isn’t the only one!

  • How often are invisible braces adjusted? One factor that influences how long clear braces take is they are changed and adjusted more frequently. Instead of waiting several months between adjustments, you can expect to change your invisible aligners every two weeks. This repositions your teeth more quickly and reduces the treatment time to an average of one year. And, because your new aligners are shipped right to you, you only need to see the orthodontist every six weeks.
  • Are there food restrictions with invisible braces? The fact that invisible braces can be removed while you eat means you don’t need to avoid your favorite foods during treatment! Not wearing your aligners for the recommended amount of time each day, however, influences how long clear braces take. Aligners only work when they are on your teeth, so follow your orthodontist’s instructions and wear them for up to 22 hours every day for the fastest, best results.
  • Will invisible braces be comfortable? Overall, the smooth plastic of invisible braces is much more comfortable than metal braces! Of course, because invisible braces are actively shifting your teeth whenever you wear the aligners, some mild discomfort can be expected, just like with braces. But if you keep your aligners in more often, your teeth will become accustomed to the pressure and adjust more quickly and with less discomfort.

If you are interested in getting invisible braces but are worried about how long clear braces take, we would be happy to discuss your concerns. Learn more, and request an appointment for a consultation to see how we can help you get started on the road to your new smile today!