How Quickly Do Teeth Move with Clear Aligners?

If you don’t have any family or friends that are currently wearing or talking about clear aligners, you may be the exception rather than the rule. Today, millions of Americans are improving their oral hygiene and boosting their confidence by correcting their crooked teeth with clear aligners. Adults (and adolescents) love aligner therapy because of how quickly and efficiently they can straighten teeth without the uncomfortable, traditional type of braces. 

Why do people love clear aligners?

Besides the obvious features that aligners are removable and virtually invisible, aligners are able to improve teeth alignment in rapid time when worn correctly. Clear aligners are typically worn for 12-18 months depending on the type of malocclusion you have. A new set of aligners is provided every week or two, and they should be worn for about 22 hours per day.

How quickly do teeth move with clear aligners?

Aligners are not a new type of treatment. In fact, they have been around for over twenty years, during which they have improved their technology and materials to give patients higher quality of care. Aligners can move teeth up to .25 mm with each tray. This means every time a tray is changed, whether it is every week or every other week, teeth can shift into the proper position. Sometimes dentists request that aligners slow down treatment to allow for less discomfort and slow, gentle forces to avoid any root problems like resorption. 

While it seems like a miniscule amount to move only 0.25 mm each tray, it actually helps transform the tooth position drastically even within a single month. If you are looking to speed up the process of tooth movement, you should follow your dentist’s instructions and wear the aligners as needed. Wearing them any less than indicated will only increase treatment time and decrease the amount of permanent tooth movement.

What is the process for teeth to move?

Teeth move with braces or aligners when there are gentle forces that cause the bone to remodel and allow teeth to shift into their correct place. It takes a few days before this process can occur once aligners are worn. 

How fast teeth move is largely based on a person’s individual biology, but dentists always recommend light, gentle, and continuous forces to safely move teeth. If teeth are moved too quickly, it can cause permanent damage to the tooth and bone. Therefore, gradually moving teeth is the best option. 

What is your role in the process?

In order for your teeth to move with clear aligners, you need to follow your customized treatment plan. Each patient has a different malocclusion and requires different trays to properly move the teeth. Your treatment requires you to commit to wearing your aligners for about 22 hours per day. You can remove clear aligners for short periods to eat and drink, and brush and floss, but you should be wearing them full-time otherwise. Compromising the amount of time you wear your aligners can negatively impact tooth movement. 

Can you shorten your treatment period?

Your personalized treatment plan will show how many aligners you need to get to your final result. When you wear your aligners as directed, you will be on track to finish on time. 

Take care of your clear aligners by keeping them clean and changing them as instructed. You can use a monitoring app and consult with your dentist to scan your teeth to ensure your aligners are making proper progress. 

Are there ways to speed up your teeth aligner treatment? 

Many people choose clear aligners because it is convenient, but patients are always looking for effective ways to get quicker results. The number one way to speed up treatment is to wear your aligners long enough so that the teeth have time to shift. 

You can speak to your dentist about using aligner chewies to help ensure the gap between your teeth and aligners closes, making them tight enough to shift your teeth into the proper position. Chewing on these special objects helps remove any air bubbles at the top of the aligners so they fit properly and are more comfortable.

Try not to change aligners early, because it can cause damage to the aligner, pain, and move your teeth incorrectly if they are not in the position to shift. 

Remember that each case is unique when it comes to teeth aligners. Some people have minor issues like a small gap or crowding that can be corrected with aligners. Other people have bite or jaw discrepancies that may require more aligners. You should know that each person’s unique situation will determine the type of treatment and how long it will take to move teeth with aligners. Many patients prefer to schedule teeth whitening after their alignment is complete. 

If you are looking to make a transformation to your teeth, you should certainly consider clear aligners to help achieve a healthy, straight smile. Our team at Warrier Family Dentistry is ready to help you choose the right treatment plan and get your smile on track today! Contact us to find out more!

head shot of Dr. Warrier

This article is

Medically Reviewed by 

Dr. Smita Warrier

Dr. Smita Warrier graduated dental school in 2004 from Tufts University in Boston. She relocated to Charlotte shortly after and started her practice in Ballantyne in 2007. She is very passionate about dentistry and providing top-notch care to her patients. 

She is a member of the American Dental Association as well as local and state dental organizations. She feels very strongly about staying abreast of the latest technologies and treatment care modalities and dedicates many hours in continuing education. 

She has been an Invisalign certified provider since 2006.

16143 Lancaster Highway,
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC – 28277

704 544 5500

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Friday: By Appointment
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