Invisalign aligners are removable, which means that patients can remove them to eat, drink, and care for their teeth. However, this can make it tempting to remove them more often that prescribed… and that’s where compliance indicators come in.
In order to keep your orthodontic treatment on track, you must wear your Invisalign aligners at least 22 hours a day.
The more frequently you take your aligners out and the longer you leave them out, the more significant the setbacks to your treatment will be. Treatment will take much longer than anticipated for patients who do not comply with proper wear.
To help remedy this problem, Invisalign Teen aligners have compliance indicators on them. Compliance indicators make it easier for 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 aligners, where they’re not visible when the aligner is being worn. Over the two week period that the aligners are worn, the blue dots will slowly fade away. If you have failed to wear the aligners as directed, the blue dots will still be visible to your orthodontist.
When a patient returns for checkups and the orthodontist consistently sees the blue dots, they’ll know that the patient is not following the directions for aligner wear. This gives the orthodontist the opportunity to remind the patient, and their parents, about why wearing the aligners as recommended is so important. If the patient can’t or won’t comply the orthodontist could discuss other treatment options such as traditional metal braces.
The compliance indicators also tell the orthodontist if the treatment is effective and on schedule. For instance, 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 treatment plan.
Invisalign Teen compliance indicators can also help the patient stay on track with treatment. The aligners have been carefully calibrated to achieve a certain degree of 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 slow the treatment process.
When a patient has been taking their aligners out more often than they should, or leaving them out for long periods of time, it will be easy for them to lose track of how much longer they need to wear that set of aligners.
Since the compliance indicators only fade after a given set of aligners has been worn for a full two weeks, it will make it easier for the patient to pick up where they left off.