How Long Do People Wear Clear Aligners on Average?

Clear aligners are an excellent treatment alternative to braces. Where traditional braces are painful and often make dental hygiene more difficult, clear aligners are a relatively pain-free method of aligning your teeth and resolving orthodontic concerns.

Whether you use braces or clear aligners, however, one of the most commonly asked questions at the start of treatment is how long a patient will need to wear their aligners.

Looking for ‘clear aligners near me‘?

How Long Do People Wear Clear Aligners on Average?

Depending on your treatment plan, you may need to wear your clear aligners for a shorter or longer amount of time. It all depends on what your orthodontist advises, what your treatment plan entails, and what your end goals are. 

On average, patients will wear clear aligners for anywhere from 6 to 12 months, although it isn’t underheard of for patients to wear their aligners for 18 months.

You can’t just assume that a shorter treatment time will work for your dental goals, even if you think the goals are simple or easy to achieve. There are several different factors that come into play when determining how long someone will need to wear their clear aligners, and only your orthodontist will be able to provide you with the most accurate estimate.

What Determines How Long Someone Wears Clear Aligners?

It all depends on your treatment plan and how your teeth respond.

Some people’s teeth will move slower than others, affecting the length of time you’ll need to wear your aligners. Most of the time, teenagers’’ teeth will move quicker than adults’ teeth, resulting in a shorter amount of time with the aligners. However, this isn’t always true. Some teens have teeth that move slowly, while some adults may have teeth that move quickly.

Another factor that determines how long someone wears clear aligners is their orthodontic goals. If you are trying to correct multiple problems, you’ll likely need a longer time. 

Many people may not realize that discipline plays a key role in how long their treatment lasts. Clear aligners must be worn at least 22 hours per day and should only be taken out when you eat or drink something other than water. Unfortunately, some people lack discipline and have a hard time remembering to wear their aligners. This can make the treatment take longer than planned.

How Can Someone Shorten the Treatment Period?

Don’t expect to be able to take months off your scheduled treatment plan. While there are a few ways to possibly make the treatment go quicker, you won’t be able to reduce the treatment period in half.

To ensure you stay on track with treatment and maybe even cut it down a few weeks, be sure to follow your orthodontist’s instructions. This includes wearing your aligners for the specified amount of time, taking care of them as instructed, and attending all appointments.

You’ll need to switch out aligners over the course of treatment. Make sure you stay up to date with this and always pick up the new set of aligners on time so that you aren’t set back a week or two. If you’ll be traveling during the pickup date, organize to pick them up early, so you have them with you when the time comes to switch them out.

Depending on how your teeth move, your treatment plan may be advanced ahead of schedule.


Clear aligners are a great way to undergo orthodontic treatment without worrying about the pain and discomfort of wires in your mouth or the impact on your appearance. However, in order to stay on track, you need to have a certain level of discipline and carefully follow all treatment instructions. Call us today if you have any other questions about clear aligners, and we’ll be glad to help!

Author: Dr. Alan Wong
Dr. Alan Wong is a dedicated orthodontist who loves helping his patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. He is committed to providing gentle, effective care in a patient-centered environment. Dr. Wong is also a strong believer in continuing education, so he can provide his patients with the latest and greatest treatment options.