Invisalign is a great orthodontic system that consists of clear aligner trays that must be worn for 22 hours a day. While they’re incredibly convenient and transparent, using them improperly, wearing them too little, or practicing poor oral hygiene can cause issues with proper tracking.
When you run into tracking issues, this reduces the effectiveness of the treatment because not enough pressure is being applied to the teeth to shift them into proper alignment. In this blog from Rio Vista Family Dentistry, we’re giving you a comprehensive overview of the causes and treatment for improper Invisalign tracking and how you can know if they’re tracking properly.
Potential Causes of Poor Tracking
Did you know that the number one reason that Invisalign doesn't work for patients is due to improper tracking? There are various potential causes but the biggest source is usually wearing them for an inadequate duration of time.
Your Invisalign trays need to be worn for a minimum of 22 hours per day. This prescribed wear-time is not arbitrary. The only time you should remove your Invisalign trays are to eat, drink hot liquids, or brush and floss.
When you keep your Invisalign out for too long, your teeth will start to shift back into their original place. It takes consistency over a long period to encourage a change in alignment. If you're wearing your aligners for the prescribed amount of time every day, tracking issues could be due to colliding teeth or having certain teeth that shift at a slower pace than others.
How to Make Sure Your Aligners Are Tracking Properly
To check that your aligners are fitting properly, they should be snugly fit around your teeth and not be loose or rocking in any areas. There should be any gaps in the aligners within the teeth and they should fit securely to the edge of your teeth.
If the aligner trays seem like they are not fitting around any of the teeth, they won’t be tracking properly and you will need to alert your dentist about this. For proper tracking, the trays should feel tightly secured around all of the teeth, with no gaps.
Invisalign works by applying gentle pressure on the teeth so you can also expect to experience some slight pain or discomfort if they are tracking properly.
How to Fix Tracking Issues
Chewing Exercises - You should use Invisalign chewies and perform chewing exercises to help properly seat your aligners. The chewiest are made of a soft and flexible material that is similar to a cotton roll. Just chew them for a few minutes after putting your trays back on and they can help force the aligners down into proper position.
This is a particularly important step if you have just switched to a new set of aligners. When you switch to new trays during your treatment, they will be tighter and may be more difficult to track onto your teeth. Chewing on the Invisalign chewies will help to apply the right amount of pressure to seat them snugly onto your teeth.
Wearing the Aligners for 22 Hours a Day - There's no getting around it, you need to wear your Invisalign trays for a minimum of 22 hours a day to see results. If you’re avoiding wearing your aligners because they have gotten dirty, try soaking them in a cleaning solution such as Invisalign cleaning crystals or a denture/retainer cleaner that is suitable for Invisalign once a day.
Try Backtracking - “Backtracking” is when you switch back to an old pair of aligners because of persistent tracking issues. You will need to speak with your dentist or orthodontist before doing this.
With permission, you can go back to an old pair of aligners and keep them on for a longer time to ensure your teeth are properly shifting into alignment. This can help get your teeth alignment back on track if your teeth don’t seem to have shifted enough to be ready for the next set of aligners.
Fix Teeth Alignment Problems with Invisalign
Say goodbye to the old days of clunky metal wires and brackets. The Invisalign orthodontic system utilizes clear aligners that apply gentle pressure onto the teeth for a more comfortable and convenient orthodontic treatment. The removable aligners give you more freedom to do all the activities you love and eat your favorite foods.
If you’re interested in Invisalign and would like to find out more, contact us at Rio Vista Family Dentistry today. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Joy Bonifacio Lockwood, Dr. Raquel Reyes, or Dr. Patricia Campillo to find out if Invisalign is right for you.