Why Compliance Matters: Following the Invisalign 22-Hour Rule
Invisalign® is an effective orthodontic option for patients with mild-to-moderate misalignment, but patients must be committed to their care. In addition to keeping up with your dental hygiene and storing your aligners in their case when not in use, did you know you should be wearing your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours a day?
Dr. Byron J. Nordhus of Nordhus Dentistry serving Wichita, KS, and West Wichita, KS, offers this revolutionary treatment and can guide you on its proper use. Let’s explore why compliance matters when following the Invisalign 22-hour rule.
Why 22 Hours a Day?
Dentists recommend you wear your aligners for 22 hours a day because they understand that wearing your aligners for 24 hours a day is unrealistic. This guideline allows you to take your aligners out during meals, dental hygiene, and special occasions, while still giving your aligners enough time to be effective.
How Invisalign Works
Invisalign aligners put constant pressure on your teeth to move them into better alignment. When you’re not wearing your aligners, they can’t carry out their intended function.
Failure to follow the 22-hour rule can result in problems:
You Could Relapse in Treatment
Your aligners slowly move your teeth into proper alignment, but when you don’t wear them for the recommended amount of time, your teeth can shift back into their old positions. This relapse can mean you have to start treatment over or you receive less-than-optimal results.
Treatment Could Take Longer
Wearing your aligners for less than 22 hours a day means your aligners are putting less force on your teeth. This means your teeth will move into position more slowly and you’ll have to wear each aligner for a longer amount of time.
Treatment Could Become More Expensive
When you don't wear your aligners for the recommended 22 hours each day, you'll have to spend more time with each set of aligners. This can delay your estimated treatment timeline.
Making the Most of Your 22 Hours
The 22-hour treatment time is achievable, but there are some things you can do to make the most of your 22 hours and help you remember to wear your aligners:
- Multi-task throughout treatment. While you’re eating, place your aligners in warm water and mild soap to clean them.
- Schedule your meals. By giving yourself 30 minutes for each meal, you can rest assured your aligners will have all the time they need to move your teeth.
- Set alarms. If you lose track of time easily, set alarms each time you remove your aligners so you remember to put them back in again.
Invisalign Treatment Is Effective—Get Started Today!
While it may seem like a lot of work to undergo Invisalign treatment, many patients find it easy and can successfully correct their misalignment in 12-18 months. We can determine if Invisalign is a good option for you or your child during a consultation at Nordhus Dentistry. Reach out to our Wichita, KS, office or call (316) 721-6730 to get started.