Invisalign teeth aren't tracking

Invisalign Tracking: Why Aren’t My Teeth Moving?

Invisalign tracking: Are your teeth not moving properly during your Invisalign treatment? Unlike braces, Invisalign uses removable trays that snap over your teeth to nudge them into the right position. When you wear them as directed, you expect to see your teeth move correctly. Unfortunately, there are times when people complain that their teeth aren’t accurately tracking the same path as what’s in their treatment plan.


By “tracking”, we’re referring to the teeth accurately following the digital tooth movement as prescribed by Invisalign software. When you change your aligners out every two weeks, the teeth simply follow the new, prescribed pattern. But sometimes there can be hang-ups, causing teeth not to move correctly. In other words, your teeth aren’t all keeping up with the aligner series as they’re supposed to.



What Causes Invisalign Tracking Delays in Teeth?


There are several different reasons why teeth don’t track during Invisalign. Many of them are preventable through good home care, following your treatment recommendations, and working with our highly experienced Invisalign dentist in Raleigh. If you have an extremely difficult case, try to rush through your treatment, or your Invisalign dentist is less familiar with aligners, there is a higher chance of something going wrong.



You’re Not Wearing Your Aligners Long Enough Each Day


For Invisalign to be effective, the trays need to be worn for at least 22 hours a day. That gives you 2 hours to remove them during meals, snacking, or brushing and flossing. Only wearing them 21, 20, or fewer hours doesn’t provide the consistent pressure your teeth need to move in a predictable manner. You cannot only wear Invisalign at night and expect your teeth to straighten themselves out. Nor can you only wear them in the day but choose not to sleep in them. Consistency is key.


You might be losing motivation to wear your Invisalign trays because your teeth aren’t tracking. In reality, the lack of tracking is probably coming from not being motivated to wear your trays as prescribed. This cycle compounds your dental issues by slowing your bite’s response to Invisalign, even if you suddenly begin wearing your trays properly again.


If you’re removing your aligners more than two hours a day, take some time to ask yourself why. Maybe you don’t even realize that you’re doing it. Are they coming out at the gym? During certain activities? Perhaps before business meetings? A bit of practice can get you used to speaking with and drinking water without your aligners getting in the way. With a little patience, you can almost forget that your trays are even there.



You’re Changing Your Aligners Out Too Quickly


You can see your teeth moving before your very eyes. So, why not go ahead and change your sets of trays out ahead of schedule? After all, your teeth have already moved…right?


Aggressive tooth movement can jeopardize both your results as well as the health of your teeth (and bone.) Accelerated tooth movement has been known to physically damage tooth roots and interfere with bone remodeling. Speeding up your Invisalign treatment can wind up backfiring on you, delaying results and causing teeth to not move properly at all. It might even damage the tissues holding your teeth in place, leading to tooth mobility.


Trying to jump-start your tooth movement will delay it altogether, causing you to have to backtrack and essentially have to start that process over again.


Set a reminder on your phone or calendar for when it’s time to change your aligners out. Make sure it’s two weeks to the day (unless directed otherwise.)



The Anatomy of Your Teeth


Some teeth just physically don’t have room to fit in alignment with their neighbors. They could be pressing up against one another, lodging themselves into place with no hope of movement. Even if they could be pushed into the correct position, it might tilt them out too much because of a smaller jaw size.


To prevent this complication, our Raleigh Invisalign dentist will perform something that’s called “interproximal reduction.” Interproximal reduction is where we remove an extremely thin layer of enamel between the teeth that are colliding. This step creates a small amount of space, giving those teeth room to rotate and fit alongside one another. Interproximal reduction is extremely safe, gentle, and common for a lot of Invisalign patients.


You Aren’t Doing Your Exercises


Invisalign trays work by gently tugging at the tiny ligaments and fibers that encircle the roots of your teeth. Applying the perfect amount of pressure triggers bone changes that allow the teeth to twist, tilt, or shift.


When you swallow, it tightens your trays over your teeth, applying pressure at specific points. Regular swallowing exercises keep your alignment patterns active, always stimulating your bite. Usually, it’s best to do these swallowing exercises for a few minutes at a time, at least three times a day. To help remember, you can plan to do them after every meal. But for even better results, add in a morning and evening session right when you wake up or before you go to sleep.


Some people refer to Invisalign exercises as “chewing exercises” because of how they engage your teeth. But since you don’t want to chew any food with Invisalign in place, you’re more going through the motions than actually chewing anything. These exercises can help you keep your teeth tracking properly.


Your Trays Aren’t Clean


Poor oral hygiene can cause buildup inside of your Invisalign trays. Especially if you’re not brushing them, soaking them regularly, or drinking dark liquids with your aligners in place. As plaque and tartar build up on your teeth, bacteria can also accumulate inside your aligners. The dirtier they are, the less likely you’ll want to wear them. And if tartar is too heavy on your teeth, it will physically prevent your aligners from fitting properly.


Whatever you do, don’t try to clean your aligners with hot water or harsh abrasives and liquids. Any of the above could permanently warp your Invisalign trays, changing the way they fit around your teeth. Instead, clean them twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. If needed, you can soak them in an effervescent denture cleanser and lukewarm water to loosen debris, then brush and rinse them clean after. Bottom line, make sure you’re brushing and flossing around your teeth too.


Do Your Trays Need to be Reprogrammed for Invisalign Tracking?


Occasionally if there is a treatment delay, aligners melt, or you aren’t wearing your trays as prescribed, it may be necessary to re-scan your bite into the Invisalign treatment software. From there, your system can be adjusted to your current tooth positioning as opposed to where it was supposed to already be. This reset gets your bite back on track and continues your tooth movement without having to add on brackets and wires.


If necessary, our Raleigh dentist can also make additional adjustments to your interproximal areas (spaces between teeth) to create more room for tooth movement.


Why Work With an Experienced Team?


Your Invisalign treatment is digitally mapped. But the experience of your provider plays a huge role in the success of your tooth movement and how well the outcome plays out. At Raleigh Dental Arts, we have certified Invisalign providers on staff, allowing you to work closely with a trained dentist to manage your clear braces treatment.


Our team of Invisalign providers makes it simple to access high-quality care from a team you already know and trust. Adults and teens alike can receive comprehensive treatment under one roof.


Proven, Effective Results (Improved Invisalign Tracking)


As long as you’re following your treatment instructions properly and working with an experienced provider, the chances of your teeth not tracking during Invisalign are extremely low. For best results, you always want to wear your aligners as long as possible each day, change them out as directed, and keep your follow-up appointments. During your visit, we’ll evaluate your tooth movement to make sure everything stays on track.


Invisalign is extremely successful for a wide range of tooth misalignment needs. In fact, it’s the leader of the clear braces industry and was the original developer of invisible aligners. Their treatment software and mapping tools are among some of the most highly advanced resources in modern dentistry.


If you’re hesitant about steps such as interproximal reduction, remember that these measures are safe, gentle, and required for certain teeth. When areas are too crowded or teeth are too wide, it is physically impossible to bring those teeth into alignment. Although a dentist might recommend trying without enamel reduction, there is a high risk it can delay your treatment. When that’s the case, slight reductions to the width of your enamel will help you get your tooth movement back on the right track.



Best Invisalign in Raleigh


Get the most out of your smile investment. If you’re considering Invisalign and want the best results possible, contact Raleigh Dental Arts to reserve a one-on-one exam.




Tarun Agarwal

Dr. Tarun Agarwal, DDS is considered one of the top dentists in the country. He is a recognized speaker, author, and dental leader. He has been featured on CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and News 14 Carolina. Dr. Agarwal has been awarded '40 under 40' Business Leaders by the Triangle Business Journal. He is regularly invited to teach other dentists around the world and recently built a training center within the practice dedicated to sharing his expertise. Most importantly he is a loving husband and dedicated father of three wonderful children. His biggest accolade was being voted 'Best Dad in the World' by 2 of his 3 kids.