How Long Will My Child Need Invisalign?

Invisalign is a revolutionary way to quickly, comfortably, and nearly invisibly fix dental alignment problems, ranging from simple to complex. Using a series of clear, soft aligner trays made of patented SmartTrack® materials, the Invisalign system gradually nudges, pulls, and pushes your teeth into more perfect alignment. 

Dr. Hannah Baek is an expert, certified Invisalign provider at Healthy Smile Dental in Woodridge, Illinois. She uses Invisalign to fix alignment problems in children, teens, and adults. Although the average treatment time ranges from 12-18 months, each case varies. Following are a few guidelines to estimate how long Invisalign will take for you.

Do you use Invisalign as recommended?

If you have Invisalign, you need to leave your alignment trays in for at least 20-22 hours per day. Take them out to eat, but then rinse them off and re-insert them directly after meals. 

Before you go to bed, clean them for 15 minutes with the Invisalign cleaning system and cleaning crystals, which keep your aligners clear, bright, and sanitary. But be sure to re-insert them before sleeping.

During your consultation, Dr. Baek estimates how long you need to wear Invisalign alignment trays. She also tells you to switch to a new tray every week or two. If you don’t follow instructions — such as forgetting to wear Invisalign at night, skipping days, or forgetting to switch trays — you could extend your treatment time. If your teenager has trouble keeping track of time, consider the Invisalign Teen® system, which features compliance dots that turn blue when the alignment tray should be switched out.

Do you have a complicated case?

If your teeth are rotated, or aren’t fully descended, Dr. Baek may recommend SmartForce® attachments. She applies the tiny, tooth-colored attachments to your teeth before or during your Invisalign treatment. The SmartForce attachments give the alignment trays handles to push against, increasing the amount of force on your teeth. 

Complicated cases may take longer than average cases. However, Invisalign with SmartForce attachments still works faster than traditional braces.

Did your child already have Phase One treatment?

Although orthodontists used to wait to apply traditional braces until age 12 or 13, after the jaw bone has already set, Dr. Baek may recommend Invisalign for children as young as six. The comfy, clear aligner trays move baby teeth into a healthier alignment so that permanent teeth grow in straighter, too. 

Although your child may still need Invisalign after all their permanent teeth grow in, their treatment time should be shorter if they were treated with Phase One. When your child comes in for a biannual check-up, Dr. Baek lets you know if your child would benefit from Phase One. If you notice any problems your child has with chewing or speaking, or if your child grinds their teeth at night, please bring these issues to Dr. Baek’s attention.

You’ll see your new smile quickly

In the first step of Invisalign treatment, we take 3D images of your teeth that are used to create your treatment plan and also your custom-made alignment trays. You’re able to see digital images of what your new smile will look like even before your first trays arrive. And though Invisalign takes about a year before your new smile is finished, you might see a difference in the position of your teeth after just a few weeks.

Once you’ve reached your aesthetic and functional alignment goals, your dentist fits you for a retainer. The retainer is made of the same comfortable SmartTrack materials as your Invisalign trays. You wear the retainers only at night to keep your teeth in perfect alignment for life.

Find out how long you’ll need Invisalign by scheduling a consultation today. Contact us about Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, and Phase One today by phone or online message form. 

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