Ladera Ranch, CA – Invisalign is a wonderful orthodontic treatment option that patients around the world love. But one of the things patients love about it can also be a hinderance to keeping orthodontic treatment on track. Invisalign aligners are removable, meaning patients can remove them to eat, drink, and care for their teeth. This can be tempting to remove them more often than they’re supposed to.
“To work properly, Invisalign aligners should be worn a minimum of 22 hours a day,” says Ladera Orthodontics’ orthodontists Dr. Reza Salmassian and Dr. Robert Gire .“You may be tempted to take the aligners out for a big event or date, but that makes it easier to start removing them more often. And when you come into our office, we can tell if you’ve been following the correct protocols or not.”
In the past, orthodontists simply relied on whether the teeth were moving or not, as well as the word of the patient, to be able to tell if patients were in fact wearing the aligners as directed. Invisalign Teen has compliance indicators to make it easier for orthodontists to tell if their patients are following directions.
Each aligner has a series of blue dots. These dots don’t affect treatment in any way, but do let your orthodontist know if you’ve been wearing your aligners as you should. As the aligners are worn, the blue dots will fade. So that means if you’ve failed to wear them as you should, the blue dots will still be visible to your orthodontist.
“These compliance indicators are a big help to us as orthodontists,” says Dr. Gire. “First, if a patient comes back for checkups and we can consistently see the blue dots, we know the patient may not be following our directions for aligner wear. We can talk to them, and their parents, about why wearing the aligners as recommended is so important. We can also discuss other treatment options if the patient doesn’t want to comply. But it can also tell us if the treatment is effective. If a patient comes back for a checkup and has diligently worn the aligners, yet we still aren’t seeing the tooth movement we had hoped for, we can make adjustments to the treatment plan.”
Every teen in orthodontic treatment wants to get through wearing their braces or Invisalign aligners as quickly as possible so they can enjoy their new smiles. The only way to ensure that happens as efficiently as possible is to wear the aligners as recommended by the orthodontist. The blue dots on the compliance indicator are designed to fade if the patient wears the aligners as directed for their prescribed wear. For patients who do not comply with proper wear, treatment will take much longer than anticipated.
“Quite simply, the aligners can only move your teeth if they are in your mouth,” says Dr. Salmassian. “We have carefully calibrated each aligner to achieve a certain tooth movement during each stage of wear. Switching to a new aligner before your mouth is ready can actually hinder your treatment. The compliance indicators let us know that you’ve worn the aligners as long as necessary, and therefore the tooth movement that should have been achieved has occurred.”
Invisalign Teen is a great option for many patients, especially those who may be more self-conscious about wearing braces. Not only are the aligners removable, but they are also virtually invisible. So that means even when you’re wearing them, most people won’t even notice.
To learn more about how Invisalign Teen can help you or your teen get the smile they deserve, call Dr. Gire and Dr. Salmassian at Ladera Orthodontics today, 949-272-8782.