Invisalign® aligners are removable, that means patients can take them out to eat, drink, and care for their teeth. However this can make it tempting to remove them more often than prescribed… and that’s where Invisalign® Teen compliance indicators come in.
In order to keep your orthodontic treatment on track, you must wear your Invisalign® aligners for at least 22 hours a day.
The more frequently you remove your aligners and the longer you keep them out, the more significant the setbacks to your treatment will be. Patients who do not comply with proper wear will cause their treatment to take much longer than anticipated.
Invisalign® Teen aligners have compliance indicators on them to help the orthodontist to tell if their patients are following directions.
What are compliance indicators?
Compliance indicators are a series of blue dots on the backs of the clear aligners. The dots aren't visible when the aligners are in place. Over the two week period the aligners are worn, the blue dots will slowly fade. If you’ve failed to wear the aligners as you should, the blue dots will still be visible to your orthodontist.
If during regular appointments the orthodontist consistently sees the blue dots, they’ll know that the patient isn't following directions for aligner wear. This gives the orthodontist the opportunity to remind the patient, and their parents, why wearing the aligners as recommended is so important. The orthodontist may even discuss alternative treatment options, such as traditional metal braces, if the patient can’t or won’t comply.
The compliance indicators also tell the orthodontist if the treatment is effective. If a patient has been diligent in wearing the aligners as prescribed, yet the hoped-for tooth movement is not taking place, adjustments can be made to the overall treatment plan.
Your aligners have been carefully calibrated to achieve a certain tooth movement during each stage of wear. Switching to a new aligner before your mouth is ready, or leaving a given set in for too long, can actually hinder the treatment process. So the compliance indicators can also help the patient stay on track with treatment as well.
When a patient has been taking their aligners out more often than they should be, or leaving them out for long periods of time, it can be easy for them to lose track of how much longer they need to wear each set of aligners. Since the compliance indicators will only fade after a full two weeks of prescribed wear, they will make it easier for the patient to pick up where they left off.