How to Ensure Your Invisalign® Aligners Track Correctly: Comprehensive Tips and Solutions

June 18, 2024

Are you experiencing discomfort or noticing that your Invisalign® aligners don’t fit perfectly? You're not alone. Invisalign® is a popular orthodontic treatment known for its aesthetics and convenience compared to traditional braces. However, like any dental treatment, challenges can arise, including aligners that don't track correctly.

Understanding Invisalign® Tracking Issues

"Tracking" refers to how well the aligners fit over your teeth, which is crucial for the success of your treatment. If your aligners aren’t fitting snugly against your teeth, you might notice gaps between the aligner and your teeth, or the aligner might feel loose. Proper tracking ensures that your teeth move according to plan, leading to efficient and effective treatment.

Misalignment can result in extended treatment times or less effective outcomes, which is why identifying and addressing tracking issues early is essential. Let's dive into why your Invisalign® might not be aligning with your teeth as expected and explore practical solutions to get your smile journey back on track.

Common Reasons Why Your Invisalign® Isn't Tracking

There are several reasons why your Invisalign® aligners might not be tracking properly:

  1. Improper Fit: Aligners are created based on precise dental impressions or digital scans. Any inaccuracies in these initial steps or errors in the manufacturing process can lead to a poor fit. This is a primary cause of non-tracking since the aligners depend on a precise fit to move teeth effectively.
  2. Non-compliance with Wear Schedule: Invisalign® treatment requires a commitment to wearing the aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Skipping days or not wearing the aligners for the recommended hours can prevent the aligners from fitting properly and disrupt the movement of your teeth.
  3. Complicated Tooth Movements: Some teeth or bite issues are more complex to correct and may not respond as expected to the aligners. In such cases, additional interventions like attachments or adjustments in the aligners might be necessary to ensure proper tracking.
  4. Damaged Aligners: Aligners can become damaged due to rough handling, eating with them on, or cleaning them improperly. Even minor damage can affect how well the aligner fits, leading to tracking issues.
  5. Changes in Dental Structure: Your teeth can shift in unexpected ways due to various factors, including natural movement, which can affect how your current set of aligners fits.
  6. Not Using Invisalign® Chewies: These small, soft cushioning devices help push the aligners onto your teeth, improving the fit and aiding in correct tracking. Not using them can lead to a poor fit.

Signs That Your Invisalign® Aligners Are Not Tracking

Identifying tracking issues early can prevent more significant problems later in your treatment. Here are some signs that your aligners may not be tracking correctly:

  • Visible Gaps: Noticeable gaps between the aligners and your teeth.
  • Loose Aligners: Aligners that feel loose or don't click into place.
  • Increased Discomfort: More discomfort or pressure in areas where the aligner isn't making adequate contact with the teeth.
  • Prolonged Wear Time: Needing to wear a set of aligners for longer than the prescribed time.
  • Unexpected Tooth Movement: Teeth not moving according to the planned course.

What to Do If Your Invisalign® Is Not Tracking

If you find that your Invisalign® is not tracking correctly, addressing the issue promptly is crucial for maintaining the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. Here are comprehensive steps to follow:

  1. Consult Your Orthodontist: If you notice your aligners are not fitting well, contact your orthodontist immediately. They are equipped to assess the fit and function of your aligners and can quickly determine whether adjustments or a completely new treatment approach is needed. This step ensures that any deviations from the treatment plan are corrected before they become more significant issues.
  2. Get a New Set of Aligners if Necessary: Your orthodontist might find that your current aligners have become warped or that your teeth have shifted in an unexpected manner. In such cases, a new set of aligners may be necessary to realign your treatment plan with your current dental structure. This ensures the continued effectiveness of your treatment, keeping your progress on track towards your desired outcome.
  3. Use Invisalign® Chewies: Chewies are a helpful tool in ensuring your aligners fit snugly and are seated properly. These small, soft cushioning devices are bitten down on to help push the aligners onto your teeth, improving the fit and aiding in correct tracking. By using them several times a day, especially after putting your aligners back in, you can help eliminate air gaps between your teeth and the aligners, which improves the effectiveness of each aligner phase. This action can be particularly beneficial after meals and before bed, ensuring maximum contact and pressure distribution.
  4. Stick to Proper Wearing Schedule: Adhering strictly to the prescribed wearing schedule of 22 hours a day can prevent the need for prolonged treatment or additional adjustments. This discipline involves not only the number of hours each day but also the sequence and duration for which each set of aligners is worn. It is essential for the aligners to exert the right amount of pressure during the right stages of your treatment. If compliance is an issue, consider setting reminders or alarms as a prompt to wear and remove aligners at the correct times.
  5. Consider 'Backtracking': Sometimes, returning to a previous set of aligners can help realign your treatment progression. This method, known as 'backtracking,' can be useful if the current aligners seem less effective. Your orthodontist can guide you on how long to wear the previous set before attempting to advance again, ensuring that each step maximizes its intended effect.
  6. Monitor Changes and Progress: Regular monitoring of your treatment not only helps in catching issues early but also in documenting your progress. Share any concerns with your orthodontist during your check-ups, and don’t hesitate to report any discomfort or unexpected changes immediately. This proactive communication helps adjust your treatment plan dynamically, adapting to your needs and ensuring optimal results.

Additional Tips for Successful Invisalign® Treatment

To enhance the success of your Invisalign® treatment, consider these additional tips:

  • Maintain Oral Hygiene: Keeping your teeth and aligners clean is crucial. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and clean your aligners as instructed by your orthodontist.
  • Avoid Eating with Aligners On: Eating with your aligners can damage them and affect their fit. Always remove them before meals and rinse them before putting them back in.
  • Handle Aligners with Care: Properly store your aligners in their case when not in use to prevent damage and loss.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking water helps keep your mouth clean and can prevent aligners from becoming dry and brittle.
  • Follow Orthodontist’s Instructions: Always follow the specific guidelines provided by your orthodontist for the best results.

The Role of Technology in Invisalign® Treatment

Advancements in orthodontic technology have significantly enhanced the Invisalign® treatment process. Digital scans and 3D imaging allow for precise planning and customization of aligners, ensuring a better fit and more effective treatment. These technologies also enable orthodontists to make adjustments more efficiently and accurately, improving the overall treatment experience.

Understanding the Commitment

Invisalign® treatment requires a significant commitment to wearing the aligners as prescribed. While the aligners are removable, it’s important to wear them consistently to achieve the desired results. Understanding this commitment and being prepared to adhere to the treatment plan is essential for success.

Addressing Common Concerns

  • Discomfort: Some discomfort is normal, especially when starting a new set of aligners. This indicates that the aligners are working to move your teeth. However, if the discomfort is severe or persists, consult your orthodontist.
  • Speech Adjustments: Initially, you may notice slight changes in your speech. This is temporary and usually resolves as you get used to wearing the aligners.
  • Aligner Maintenance: Properly cleaning and caring for your aligners is crucial. Use only recommended cleaning methods to avoid damaging the aligners.

Final Word:

Ensuring your aligners track correctly is vital for the success of your Invisalign® treatment. By understanding common issues and following these practical solutions, you can keep your smile journey on track and achieve the best possible results. Remember to stay in close contact with your orthodontist and follow their guidance to ensure smooth and effective treatment.

Invisalign® offers a clear, convenient, and effective way to achieve the smile you've always wanted. With proper care, adherence to your treatment plan, and timely communication with your orthodontist, you can overcome tracking issues and enjoy the transformative results of this innovative orthodontic solution. Stay diligent, stay informed, and watch your smile improve day by day.

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1524 E Bradford Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65804

(417) 337-8020

203-C Buccaneer Blvd. Branson, MO 65616

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