How Long Do Clear Braces Take to Work: From Consultation to Reveal

Here at Orthodontics For You, when we use the term ‘’clear braces’’ we refer to Invisalign clear aligners.  Clear, removable and loved by celebrities all over the world, Invisalign is the most advanced clear and invisible brace system available that gradually moves your teeth to create the smile you’ve always wanted.

Clear braces are suitable for treating slight overcrowding to more complex teeth straightening issues.  Once your orthodontist has confirmed you are eligible for treatment, it is a very straightforward process creating 3D treatment plans of your teeth.  Invisalign clear aligners are made from a strong material to withstand any bending or cracking, and are trimmed to fit your exact gum line.  They’re easy to put in and take out, and are virtually invisible so your life can carry on as normal.  In fact, many of our patients have found Invisalign braces more comfortable than traditional fixed braces.  And, as the aligners are removable, you can continue to enjoy all the foods you love without restrictions.  That said, in order for your Invisalign clear brace treatment to be successful, your aligners must be worn for a minimum of 22 hours a day.

But the main question our patients want answering, and one that we get asked every day, is ‘‘How long do clear braces take to work?’’  So, let’s find out…


First Things First… Booking a Consultation

We all know what it feels like to want a straighter smile – it builds confidence and makes us feel happier in ourselves.  The first step on a patient’s journey to a new smile with Orthodontics For You is booking a consultation (they’re free and there’s no obligation to go with our recommendations).  Upon registering for your consultation you can expect to have an appointment booked within a few weeks.  The appointment itself will take around 1 hour and will give our specialist orthodontists an opportunity to assess your dental structure before recommending which brace types would work well for you – metal, ceramic, Invisalign, Incognito or QuikSmile.


Creating your Bespoke Treatment Plan

Once you have chosen your brace type, in this case Invisalign clear aligners, your orthodontist will start working on your bespoke treatment plan.  We don’t require anything from you at this stage as we’ll have your 3D scans, impressions and x-rays from your consultation appointment as part of our dental assessment.  Using this information, our orthodontists will design a series of clear aligners that, once fitted, will work together over a period of time to gently push your teeth into their new positions.

We’ll send our designs to our lab manufacturer to develop and create the clear braces.  The actual manufacture of Invisalign clear braces usually only takes a few hours, however patients must allow time for their orthodontist to review their scans and design a bespoke treatment plan, before sending and receiving the completed Invisalign aligners.  In most cases this process takes approximately 4 – 6 weeks.


Wearing your Clear Braces

Once we receive the completed set of Invisalign clear braces from the lab, we’ll book an appointment to issue them to our patient within our dental practice.  Our patients then wear their Invisalign clear brace home and are instructed to keep this in for 22 hours a day.  There are a number of aligners per treatment plan (this number varies depending on the complexity of the dental misalignment).  Each aligner will need to be worn for approximately 1 to 2 weeks before moving onto the next aligner in the series (which will be shaped slightly differently to the one before).  Patients will change their aligners at home over the course of several months meaning there is no need to frequently visit their Orthodontist – another reason why clear braces are so popular!

On average, you can expect to wear your Invisalign aligners between 12 – 18 months.  That said, for mild misalignments patients may only need to wear their aligners for 6 months.  And on the flip side for more complex teeth straightening issues, Invisalign treatment could take longer at around 24 months.  Your Orthodontist will confirm at your initial consultation the duration you can expect to wear your Invisalign brace.


Completing your Clear Brace Treatment

Almost immediately after you finish wearing your set of aligners you’ll be invited to return to the practice for another dental assessment.  At this appointment your orthodontist will re-assess your dental structure to ensure your teeth have now moved into the corrected position.

Assuming patients have worn each aligner as instructed by the dentist then there won’t be any further dental treatment required.  In some cases however, your Orthodontist may issue a retainer to ensure your teeth stay in their new position; Patients may need to wear their retainer for 2 weeks day and night, or just at night for the foreseeable future (this varies between patients depending on their specific dental alignment and complexity of treatment).


How Long Do Clear Braces Take to Work?

Unfortunately there isn’t one simple answer to this popular question.  It varies per patient as no two smiles are the same and the type and severity of dental alignments always differ.  As a guide, patients will wear their Invisalign clear braces between 12 – 18 months (with an additional 6 weeks or so spent at the start of the journey booking their consultation and having their clear brace designed).  For more complex teeth straightening issues, some patients may need to wear their Invisalign brace for longer.  And likewise for mild misalignments, patients may only need to wear their aligners for around 6 months.  

From consultation to reveal, you can expect your Invisalign journey to take between 1 – 2 years, but remember it could be shorter, or it could be longer depending on the complexity of your teeth misalignment.  

The best way to get a definitive answer to the question, ‘’how long do clear braces take to work?’’ is to book a consultation with Orthodontics For You.  Upon assessing your teeth and reviewing your dental misalignment, we’ll confirm the expected duration of your Invisalign treatment.


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