How Invisalign Works: An Overview of the Invisalign Timeline

If you’ve always dreamed about having perfect teeth, you’re not alone.

According to the National Library of Medicine, roughly 65% of American adults have misaligned teeth.

If you or one of your children has misaligned teeth, it has never been easier to get them straightened than now, thanks to Invisalign. It’s never too late to finally get that perfect set of straight pearly whites.

If you’re thinking about correcting your misaligned teeth, sit tight! We’re breaking down how Invisalign works.

What Is Invisalign?

Invisalign does what the name suggests, invisibly aligns your teeth with clear retainers. Invisalign is a company that creates invisible aligner trays for your mouth through 3D imaging or putty impressions.

How Invisalign Works

If you’ve been considering getting your teeth straightened, you’re considering the option of using a clear aligner. You may be wondering, how does Invisalign work?

The clear aligners gradually move your teeth in straight formation through applied force. Each tray is different.

Typically, people will wear each tray for one to two weeks before moving onto a new tray; however, this is dependent on your orthodontic treatment plan.

The amount of trays you’ll need depends on your orthodontists’ recommendation based on your specific needs.

What Is Invisalign Made of?

Invisalign is made from a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack. This patented formula is exclusive to Invisalign, which provides a more comfortable fit that makes them easier to take on and off.

The material is FDA approved, is BPA free, BPS free, and latex and gluten-free.

How Long Does Invisalign Take to Work?

If your teeth are misaligned, you usually fall into two different camps:

  • You had braces as a child, but your teeth shifted
  • You never had braces

Whatever is the case, Invisalign can help straighten your teeth. You may be wondering, though, how long does it take for Invisalign to correct my teeth?

The short answer to the question is that it depends. Several factors go into treatment and length of Invisalign use. Nonetheless, many people notice a difference in their teeth in a few weeks.

Every case is different and depends on your unique set of challenges and circumstances. The typical length of time that it takes to correct someone’s teeth using Invisalign is 12 months.

However, for extreme cases, it may take up to 18 months. Here are a few factors that may increase the amount of time you need to wear Invisalign.

Teeth Crowding

Depending on how close your teeth are set together, it may take more time to correct this issue with Invisalign. Minor cases of crowding may take up to 6 months, while moderate cases could take up to a year.

For severe cases of crowding, it could take more than a year.

Gaps in Teeth

If you have minor to moderate gaps in your teeth, you can expect that Invisalign can adjust your teeth in 6-12 months. For more severe cases, it may take longer or require additional services after Invisalign.

In some instances, it may be necessary to use bonding or veneers to correct the gap.

Patient Age

Invisalign works well for teens and adults. Teens may see a more noticeable change quicker than adults, given that teens are still growing. This allows the teeth to shift more quickly.

Nonetheless, different people have different times of correction. How quickly Invisalign works for various ages depends on their unique needs, adherence to the treatment plan, and other factors.

Inconsistent Use

When it comes to using aligners, consistency is vital. It is always advised that you follow your treatment plan. Wearing your aligners inconsistently can increase the amount of time required to wear your Invisalign trays.

Additionally, if you’re not wearing your aligners to the specified amount of time, you may notice some regression in your treatment. The best course of action is to follow your treatment plan to the best of your ability.

Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces

Besides the obvious fact that Invisalign is clear, there are other reasons why Invisalign trays may be a better option than traditional braces.

You may also be weighing the options of clear braces. If so, you may want to consider your options between Invisalign vs. clear braces.

Food Restrictions

If you’re choosing to wear traditional braces, you may have some food restrictions. This is because some foods make it easy to snap the metal wires, making your treatment less effective, and expensive.

Some food restrictions that come along with traditional braces are:

  • Crunchy foods – popcorn
  • Hard foods – hard candy or nuts
  • Chewy foods – bagels or licorice
  • Sticky foods – gum or caramel

Because Invisalign trays are removed while you eat, there are no food restrictions when it comes to Invisalign. This is a definite plus!


Many people can probably remember a childhood friend who complained about their braces feeling too tight, their rubber bands coming out, or their wires snapping. It all boiled down to one understanding. Traditional braces are uncomfortable.

While Invisalign doesn’t have any rubber bands or metal wires, they use force to move your teeth into alignment. So while they may have some discomfort, you won’t have to worry about rubber bands and wires poking your gums.


Let’s face it, traditional braces aren’t very convenient. Just ask any teenager with braces to smile for a picture.

Traditional braces can stick out like a sore thumb on our face causing us to feel self-conscious. Even clear braces still have metal, which can stand out at times.

However, Invisalign is invisible and just more user-friendly. They make life more convenient when we eat when we take a picture or any other time where you wouldn’t be able to remove your braces for a second.

The Choice Is Clear

We hope this helps you understand how Invisalign works. If you’re looking to straighten your teeth or have your child’s teeth straightened, the choice is clear. Invisalign can help you get the straight teeth you’ve always dreamed of, and in some instances, faster than braces.

If you’re looking to set up a consultation, please contact us. We’ll answer any questions that you have. You can also feel free to check our blog for answers.