Patients who weren’t interested in traditional braces treatment have found a great alternative to straightening their teeth.
Invisalign clear aligners move teeth just as braces do, but they’re nearly invisible against the teeth and allow patients to show off their smiles even as they’re transforming them.
How do I know my teeth are moving with Invisalign? The changes may be subtle to the patient, but family and friends often notice the difference. But what if your Invisalign aligner trays have gaps between them and your teeth? How do you know they’re working correctly?
The term for your Invisalign trays fitting perfectly and moving your teeth as they should is “tracking.” Your treatment can be delayed if your Invisalign isn’t tracking correctly. What causes improper tracking, and how do you fix it?
At Smith & Davis Orthodontics, we know the usual causes of bad tracking, and we know how to fix it and get you back on track with your Invisalign treatment. Let’s explore how Invisalign works and how you can keep your Invisalign on track.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Unlike braces, which are bonded to the teeth, Invisalign clear aligners are removable and nearly invisible on the teeth. We start by taking detailed 3D images and x-rays of your teeth. Using our high-tech software, we create a detailed plan on how Invisalign will move each tooth.
From there, your first set of aligners is created. Each tray moves certain teeth in certain ways in a delicate balance to recreate your smile.
Once you start wearing your first trays, your teeth will begin to move into their proper positions. You may notice a little discomfort in the first few days. This is perfectly normal, as your teeth are suddenly told to start moving!
We recommend sticking to soft or liquid foods your first week. After that, the soreness will subside, and you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite foods again.
In fact, unlike with braces, you can eat whatever you like because your Invisalign trays are removable! Simply take them out before you eat, brush your teeth after you finish eating, rinse your trays, and put them back into your mouth. Make sure you clean your aligners daily.
You will wear each set of Invisalign trays for 1-2 weeks, then switch them out for the next set of trays, which will continue to move your teeth according to your treatment plan. Don’t throw away your old trays, though! You may need them if your Invisalign isn’t tracking correctly.
How To Tell If Invisalign Is Tracking
How should Invisalign fit? Your Invisalign trays are custom-designed to fit your teeth precisely. That means you shouldn’t see major air gaps in your Invisalign trays. Air gaps in Invisalign cause poor tracking. There could be several reasons why your Invisalign isn’t tracking correctly.
The easiest way to see whether your Invisalign is tracking correctly is to observe the fit. Are there gaps between your trays and your teeth? If there are a lot of gaps, your Invisalign may not be tracking correctly.
Why Isn’t My Invisalign Tracking Correctly?
There could be several reasons why your Invisalign isn’t tracking properly, but there is one main cause. It’s because you aren’t wearing your trays for the minimum 22 hours per day as prescribed. It is vital you wear your trays all the time except when you’re eating or brushing and flossing your teeth.
Once you finish eating, you need to put your trays back in as soon as possible, but you need to brush your teeth and rinse your trays well first before you put them back in.
This is why we say, “don’t throw out your old trays.” If you haven’t worn your old trays as prescribed, likely your next set of trays won’t track correctly. We may have to put you back in your old trays for another week or two until you’re back on track. Then we will have you move to the next set again.
Unfortunately, it will delay your treatment time, and we’ll do a treatment revision. That’s why it’s so important to wear your trays as prescribed. If you do wear your aligners for at least 22 hours a day, you should have good Invisalign tracking.
Why Else Would My Invisalign Not Be Working?
Though it’s rare, there are instances where the trays weren’t made correctly, so they don’t fit when you first put them in. If you didn’t notice any air gaps or problems with your previous trays but suddenly do with the new ones, this could be the cause.
Trays may have warped somehow, or a flaw occurred in the manufacturing, which caused them not to fit precisely. If that’s the case, give us a call. We’ll bring you in and check the trays, and we’ll get a replacement as soon as possible.
It is also possible for trays to warp in extreme heat. Never rinse your trays in very hot water, put them into the dishwasher, or leave them in hot locations, like a hot car. Heat can warp the trays and make them unusable in your mouth, which means they would have to be replaced.
You also want to keep them out of reach of small children or pets because they can damage them. Always keep your current trays in a storage box when they aren’t in your mouth, and keep future trays stored in a cool, safe place.
How Do I Fix My Invisalign Tracking?
You may notice a few air gaps when you start using your Invisalign. It may just be that your trays aren’t seated fully. The best way to remove these gaps is with Invisalign Chewies.
These small, cylindrical pieces of foam-like material look like earplugs. They are made to help seat your Invisalign properly by providing just enough pressure to remove the gaps. You place your trays, then bite on a Chewie with each tooth to close any gaps.
If your trays still do not fit properly, give us a call. Do not go back to your old trays without consulting us first! We’ll bring you in and figure out what’s going on, and we’ll offer the best solution to make your aligners fit again.
It may be we can fix the problem in our office, or it may be we have to request a replacement. Either way, Smith & Davis Orthodontics will take care of you if you have tracking issues.
Invisalign Treatment in Rogers, AR
Are you ready for treatment with Invisalign or Invisalign Teen clear aligners? Smith & Davis Orthodontics can get you started by scheduling a free consultation with us.
Keep in mind not everyone is an ideal candidate for Invisalign. The only way to tell is with a thorough examination, which we will provide during your free, in-house consultation. If you are a good candidate, we can get you in your Invisalign quickly and start you on the path to a beautiful new smile!