Top 6 things to know before starting Invisalign® treatment



Young man keeping his Invisalign aligners in their case

What would straighter teeth mean for you? Your dream smile? Certainty in your oral health? Or maybe an entirely new confidence when you walk into any room. Whatever your reason for straightening your teeth, we can tell you from experience, you deserve it! 

Wherever you are on your journey to finding your preferred method to getting a straighter smile, Invisalign treatment has no doubt popped up on your smile shopping list. And if you’re like most people, you probably have a lot of questions. 

Thankfully, we've been asked just about every teeth-straightening question you can think of, so you’ve come to the right place! Here are the 7 top things to know before starting Invisalign treatment. 

1. Invisalign clear aligner wear time  

Young man smiling to the mirror while putting in his aligners

When we speak about wear time, we mean how long you will have to wear your Invisalign clear aligners each day. Generally speaking, you will need to wear your Invisalign clear aligners for 22 hours a day. 

While having to wear clear aligners 22 hours a day, remember that you can remove them whenever needed, as opposed to fixed wires. Additionally, there are a few important (and comforting) things to consider. 

Firstly, Invisalign clear aligners are made of a patented material called SmartTrack™ that is specifically designed to be as comfortable as possible, all while having the strength to straighten your teeth little by little.1  

Secondly, because Invisalign clear aligners are clear and virtually invisible, you can wear them to work, out with friends, and even on special occasions without anyone knowing.  

Lastly, with Invisalign clear aligners, unlike braces, you don’t need to worry about any braces wires breaking when playing contact sports. Invisalign clear aligners are made to be durable and comfortable - goodbye emergency dentist visits to fix loose or broken wires! 

2. With Invisalign treatment you’ll see results in just a few months 

Invisalign doctor and his female patient checking her smile on iTero scanner

Actually, you'll see your result simulations before you even start your Invisalign treatment — at least virtually! When you have your first consultation with your Invisalign dentist or orthodontist,2 they can use the iTero™ scanner to create a "3D" image of your mouth and teeth. 

From there, the Invisalign Outcome Simulator Pro3 tool can show you what your potential smile could look like at the end of your Invisalign treatment journey, along with simulated in-face visualisations. It's a super-cool way to get a sneak peek of what's to come!  

But in terms of real-life results, you can expect to see a noticeable difference in your teeth within just a few short months. And because you'll get a fresh set of clear aligners about every few weeks, you'll be reassured that  your smile is getting straighter by the day. 

Of course, the overall timeline for your individual Invisalign treatment will depend on how complex your case is. But in general, patients can achieve their desired results within 12 to 18 months, and mild cases can be treated in as little as 6 months. 

3. You’ll need to floss and brush as normal during your Invisalign treatment 

Shot of a hand holding aligners while washing them

Because you want to give your teeth the best possible conditions for a straighter smile, you will want to floss and brush regularly. This means brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, so good thing your clear aligners can be removed easily huh! 

Ideally, you'll want to brush and floss after eating or at least rinse your mouth with water. So when it's time to eat you can simply remove your Invisalign clear aligners, enjoy your meal, and then brush and floss afterwards. 

If you're at work or out and about when it's time to eat, that's no problem either — just pop your Invisalign clear aligners into their handy case and carry on with your meal. 

4. Remove your Invisalign clear aligners for every drink except water 

Open Invisalign case on a table

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case: you might want to remove your Invisalign clear aligners for every drink except water.  

The sugars and acids in sugary drinks can get trapped under your clear aligners and increase the likelihood of tooth decay4. So once you've had your drink, it's best to brush your teeth or at least rinse your mouth with water before you pop your clear aligners back in. 

But if you're drinking water, drink it without having to worry about taking out your clear aligners. 

Feel free to find out more about drinking your favourite beverage during Invisalign treatment in our article ​​What Can You Drink During Invisalign Treatment?

5. Remove your Invisalign clear aligners whenever you eat 

Open Invisalign case with aligners inside

Whenever you're eating, it's best to remove your Invisalign clear aligners and pop them into their handy case. The reason for this is similar to the reason you need to take out your clear aligners for sugary drinks — we don't want any food or drink getting stuck under your clear aligners and increasing the risk of tooth decay. 

This is especially true for sugary snacks and sweets, which are full of sugar and acid, which can cause tooth decay5. Because Invisalign aligners fit snugly against your teeth, this means that the sweets and confectionery will be in direct contact with your teeth for longer, increasing the risk of damage. 

So whenever you're ready to eat, simply take out your Invisalign clear aligners and enjoy your meal. When you're finished, brush y6our teeth (or at least rinse your mouth with water) before putting your clear aligners back in. 

6 You will need to wear a retainer after your Invisalign treatment

Open orange Vivera retainers' case with retainers inside

After your Invisalign treatment is complete, you should wear a retainer to make sure that your teeth stay in their new position. Vivera retainers are manufactured from the makers of Invisalign clear aligners using the same advanced technology. They are high quality & durable6, meaning you’ll keep your newly transformed smile for years to come.  

If you’d like to learn more about retainers, feel free to check out our article ​Retainers for Teeth Straightening: What Are They and Are They Essential?

We certainly hope we've been able to bring some clarity to the Invisalign treatment process. The best way to see if Invisalign treatment is right for you is to book a consultation through our Find a Doctor page. It's super easy, and you'll get all the answers from an Invisalign-trained dentist or orthodontist. 


1   Compared to Invisalign aligners previously made from single-layer (EX30) material. 
2   The availability of the iTero scanner is dependent on your Invisalign provider.
3   Invisalign Outcome Simulator Pro is only available on the iTero Element Plus Series.
4   https://dentistry.uic.edu/news-stories/thinking-about-another-sweet-gulp-think-again/ 
5   https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sugars-and-dental-caries
6   Durability is defined as the ability to withstand cracking and breakage of the retainer. Strength is verified by retention force, the ability of the retainer to provide sufficient corrective mechanical loads to retain teeth in their defined positions. Based on the verification testing conducted on upper and lower typodont arches, force system is evaluated upon tooth movements: buccal/lingual, inclination, and rotation. Vivera retainers are not cleared for the treatment of bruxism. Data on File at Align Technology, as of May 08, 2023.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this website are for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek the advice of your health care provider with any questions you may have regarding any dental or medical-related condition and never disregard or delay seeking such advice because of something you have read on this website.