Invisalign are thermoplastic braces that are virtually invisible to the naked eye. They work by placing pressure on teeth, which in turn helps the bone holding your teeth in place respond to this pressure and recede in the proper direction. As the tooth moves into this recession, bone fills in from the other side. Over time, this causes a re-alignment of the teeth.
This works best with near-constant pressure. As a result, not only can you wear Invisalign braces while you sleep, but you should!
Invisalign’s manufacturer recommends that you wear your braces 20 to 22 hours a day. Ideally, you should only remove your braces to eat meals or to brush your teeth.
What Happens if You Take Invisalign Out at Night?
Taking your braces out while you sleep is a bad idea.
Without constant pressure, your braces will not work nearly as quickly. If you go too many nights without wearing Invisalign, your teeth may revert back out of alignment, and you may need to start the process all over again.
How to Know Your Teeth Are Out of Alignment
If you forget your Invisalign braces at night for a few days, for example while you are on vacation, you will notice some discomfort when wearing them again. This is a normal result of your teeth exiting alignment.
The discomfort should subside within a few days. If it doesn’t, then your teeth may have shifted so much that you will need to adjust your Invisalign. Most likely, you will need to return to an older configuration of Invisalign and work your way back up to more advanced braces.
Other Restrictions on Wearing Invisalign
Although you can sleep with Invisalign, there are some steps you need to take in order to keep your braces, and your teeth, in good shape.
If you wear Invisalign, there will be restrictions on how you eat and drink. Items that are high in sugar, alcohol, and starch can cause tooth decay if they get into your braces. When eating or drinking these items, be sure to follow up by brushing your teeth immediately.
More significantly, Invisalign can become a lot more visible if you smoke. The chemicals used to cure tobacco can permanently stain the braces, giving them a yellow tint. Try to control nicotine cravings using patches, and only smoke after meals without your braces, if possible.