How to Tell When It’s Time to Change Your Aligners

Invisalign aligners need to fit correctly or else they won't work. Here’s how to tell whether or not your teeth are tracking and when it’s time to change your aligners.

How to Tell When It’s Time to Change Your Aligners

If you’re interested in straightening your teeth, you’re probably already familiar with how Invisalign works. A dentist takes 3-D scans of your mouth to develop a treatment plan and create a series of custom-fit clear aligners that gradually adjust the positions of your teeth. You need to wear the aligners or “trays” for 22 hours a day, and change them at regular intervals. 

Typically, you’ll need to swap your trays out every two weeks. But for mild cases of misalignment, you may be able to switch them out every seven days. The bottom line is: you should change your aligners whenever your dentist says it’s okay. But if it feels like your current set doesn’t fit right, you might need an adjustment to your Invisalign schedule.  

Here’s how to tell when it’s time to change your aligners, and whether or not your teeth are tracking.

How Often Do I Need to Change My Aligners?

Every mouth is different, and every Invisalign treatment is different, too. Your dentist will probably design a plan for you that involves changing your trays every one or two weeks. But that arrangement doesn’t work for everyone. Depending how well your teeth adjust to each set of aligners and how quickly your mouth heals, the length of time for each tray can vary.

If your trays don’t fit anymore, your dentist might recommend switching to the next set, or they might ask you to come in for an evaluation. The key to a successful Invisalign treatment is a perfect fit, so they might need to make some adjustments to your plan. If your teeth are not aligning as predicted, they might alter your next set of aligners to account for those changes, or adjust the length of time you wear each set.

How to Tell If Your Teeth Aren’t Tracking

Invisalign aligners need to fit snugly in order to work. If they feel loose or if there are noticeable gaps, that means your teeth aren’t tracking and you might be due for a new set of trays. However, gaps can also happen if you aren’t wearing your aligners for the recommended 22 hours each day, or if you aren’t using your chewies to help them fit properly. 

Another reason that your teeth aren’t tracking could be that your current set of trays is warped or cracked. Clear aligners can get damaged easily if they’re mistreated. Carrying them in your backpack or pocket because you forgot your case, or accidentally running them through the washer and dryer with your laundry could be the reason they don’t fit. 

But no matter why, if your aligners aren’t fitting, tell your dentist. Wearing aligners that don’t fit or changing them too soon could interfere with the success of your treatment. Each tray needs to fit correctly in order to work, so if one of them starts to feel loose or crooked, let your dentist know right away.

Invisalign Treatment in Prescott, Arizona

At Prescott Dentistry, we’re known for our award-winning smiles. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure your aligners fit properly and that your treatment results in a perfect smile. If you’re interested in straightening your teeth with Invisalign, schedule a consultation today.


Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 1/30/2024.