You don't have to wear Invisalign trays 24/7. Your dentist will explain that you should remove them when you eat. This flexibility gives these braces an advantage over fixed models. Eating is easier and cleaning both your trays and teeth is less hassle.
You are still meant to keep your trays in most of the time. Typically, you shouldn't have them out for more than a hour or two each day. However, it's easy to get a bit lax here as your treatment progresses. You may start to leave your trays out for too long a time.
Why is this a bad idea?
1. Tooth Damage
Every Invisalign tray you wear shifts your teeth a little bit towards their final planned position. Once one tray has done its part of this job, you switch it for the next one, which then takes over.
If you wear your trays like you're supposed to, then things progress normally. However, if you leave a tray out more than you should, then your teeth don't have any movement restrictions. They'll start to move back into their original positions.
When you try to put in your next tray, it won't fit — you teeth won't match the tray's positioning. If you force the tray in when the teeth aren't ready for it, then you could affect their alignment or damage the teeth themselves.
2. Extended Treatment Times
When you sign up for Invisalign, your cosmetic dentist uses a computerised program to build a treatment plan. They tell you how many trays you will wear, how long each one should stay in and how long the treatment should take.
If you get too relaxed about wearing trays and your teeth don't move to schedule, then you may need to skip back to old trays if your teeth move out of position. You'll have to wear your aligners for longer as a result.
3. Extra Costs
Depending on how your dentist works, you might pay a flat fee for your Invisalign treatment or you may pay a monthly charge. If you extend or alter your treatment plan because you don't wear your trays enough, then things could get more expensive. For example, this could include the following costs:
- Charges for replacement trays to take your treatment back one or more steps.
- Extra monthly charges for extended treatment times or a new refinement plan if your treatment has to be reassessed.
If you're worried that you might have left your trays out for too long or if you're having problems getting a new tray in, then contact your cosmetic dentist for advice.