If you’ve been wearing Invisalign for some time or have been researching it, you must have come across the word “tracking”. In this article, you will find out what tracking is, how to tell if your teeth are doing it correctly and how to get your teeth tracking if they aren’t already.
But first, let us understand what tracking means.
- 1 What Do You Mean By Tracking?
- 2 How Do I Know If My Invisalign Is Tracking Correctly?
- 3 Is It Normal For Your Teeth Not To Be Tracking Well?
- 4 Reasons Why Your Invisalign Isn’t Tracking?
- 5 How Do I Get My Invisalign Back On Track?
- 6 Revision In Treatment
- 7 Conclusion
What Do You Mean By Tracking?
Tracking is when your teeth shift slowly from their original positions to the final ones, leading to the desired result. Upon reviewing Invisalign’s iTero scan results, your orthodontist will chalk out a strategy for how the individual tooth will move throughout your entire treatment. They then create a series of clear plastic aligners that slowly move your teeth into their ideal final positions.
How Do I Know If My Invisalign Is Tracking Correctly?
The most obvious way to know if your Invisalign is tracking accurately is to notice how they fit with your teeth. Invisalign’s function is to exert enough pressure on your teeth to create movement. So, if your aligner appliance is on track, you will notice slight discomfort and pain.
If your teeth and the aligners fit snugly and move in tandem with the new trays, then your teeth are on track. On the other hand, if you notice small gaps or air bubbles between your teeth and the aligner, you experience little to no pain, or there is an imbalance in the fit (it fits nicely on one side of your dental arch but doesn’t on the other), then your teeth may not be tracking well.
Is It Normal For Your Teeth Not To Be Tracking Well?
Yes. Invisalign may not be 100% foolproof, as with most treatments. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of orthodontic treatment using clear aligner appliances and showed that about 40% of individuals using them faced tracking issues during tooth movements.
These facts could make you give up on clear aligners. But the good news is that tracking issues can be fixed easily. Let’s find out what leads to this problem.
Reasons Why Your Invisalign Isn’t Tracking?
Not wearing them long enough
There could be several reasons why your clear aligners are not tracking well. First and foremost, it is essential, to be honest with yourself. Are you wearing your trays for 20 to 22 hours a day or slacking?
Remember, this process will only work if you keep track and wear your trays for the prescribed duration. If you are wearing your trays long enough, your teeth will have enough time to move or settle into their desired positions for that tray before you move into the next one. Not wearing them for the duration is the main reason people have problems tracking.
Complexity in tooth movement
Another reason your teeth might not be tracking correctly is that some teeth are just inherently difficult to move. Some teeth may follow different paces during treatment which may be hard to predict.
The lateral incisors, which are the teeth on either side of your two front teeth, are the most resistant to tracking. It can impact the movement of other teeth leading to improper tracking. It means that some of your teeth will require longer to track.
Your teeth will not move properly if your trays are damaged. Damage can occur due to improper usage or exposure to heat. So, if you grind your teeth at night, are in the habit of cleaning your trays in hot water, or even leave them loosely in the bottom of your bag or purse, they may end up warped or cracked.
In this case, the trays won’t be able to sit against your teeth properly or move them
the way they are supposed to. It leads to poor tracking and ultimately impedes your progress.
- Losing the aligner
- Not cleaning them periodically
- Eating or drinking (water is fine) while wearing the aligners
- Missing your orthodontic appointments
- Smoking – this can come as a surprise, but the nicotine in the cigarettes can wreak havoc on the plastic that makes up your aligners.
How Do I Get My Invisalign Back On Track?
Here are some actionable tips that you can use to ensure that your Invisalign stays on track and your treatment proceeds on schedule.
Use an app to track your wear time, ensuring you wear the trays for 20-22 hours. You could use the official Invisalign app or any third-party app like TrayMinder.
Also, avoiding constant snacking allows you to keep your trays on longer, ensuring you meet your daily wear-time goal.
Go for your scheduled appointments and discuss anything that doesn’t seem right to your orthodontist.
Handling with care
Practicing delicate around your clear aligners is very important to maintain their integrity. Wash them in cold water and store them away from the heat in the aligner case when not in use.
Invisalign Chewies are small cylindrical-shaped devices made of flexible plastic. Their purpose is to ensure that the aligners sit suitably on your teeth and that there are no gaps between them and your teeth. Using them is relatively easy.
- Once you confirm the position of your braces
- And fix them in place, place the chewies in your mouth and bite it.
- Move them side to side as your chew.
- Once done, wash them in water, dry and replace them in their container.
Revision In Treatment
There might be a problem with the Invisalign treatment plan itself. Although Invisalign uses superior technology, there are some situations where the software might not accurately predict the movement of each tooth every single time.
If one tooth is off by just a millimeter, it can drastically impact how your trays fit that tooth and the rest of your teeth. In this case, your orthodontist will probably take updated scans to revise the rest of your treatment.
Backtracking: This means wearing your previous trays for longer than initially scheduled, which might negate the ill effects caused by patient non-compliance or aligner fit issues. So, it is best to save your aligners. You never know when you may need them!
Changing the provider: If your aligners fail to track adequately repeatedly, you should consider a different provider for the remainder of your treatment. It is rare but possible.
It may be due to inexperience or lack of training. Seek out orthodontists with exceptional credentials, like the Diamond Plus certification. You can find an orthodontist’s expertise level through a logo on the site.
All the excitement of wearing clear aligners can turn into frustration due to improper tracking. Fortunately, you can recover from it. Stay on schedule and seek help when necessary.
Invisalign Not Tracking – (Why and Tips)
Dr. Bill Redmond is a native of Southern California, the son of an orthodontist and the husband of a general dentist. That makes family gatherings pretty interesting…if you like teeth!