Invisalign aligners are easy for patients to remove when they eat, drink, and care for their teeth. This can make it tempting for some people to remove them more often that prescribed, particularly teens…that’s where compliance indicators come in.
In order to keep your orthodontic treatment on track, you must wear your Invisalign aligners for a minimum of 22 hours a day.
The more frequently you remove your aligners, and the longer you keep them out, the more setbacks to your treatment there will be. Treatment will take much longer than expected for patients who do not comply with proper wear.
Invisalign Teen compliance indicators are designed to help with this problem, and to 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. The great thing is that the compliance indicators aren't visible when the aligners are being worn. Over the two week period when the aligners are worn, the blue dots slowly fade away. The blue dots will only be visible to the orthodontist if the patient fails to wear the aligners as they should.
If the orthodontist consistently sees the blue dots, they’ll be able to tell 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 important. If the patient can’t or won’t comply with the treatment schedule then the orthodontist may discuss other treatment options such as traditional metal braces.
Compliance indicators also tell the orthodontist if the treatment is effective. For example, if a patient has been diligent in wearing the aligners as prescribed, yet the anticipated tooth movement is not taking place, adjustments can be made to the treatment plan.
The compliance indicators also help the patient to stay on track with treatment. The aligners have been carefully calibrated to achieve a certain tooth movement during each stage of wear. Moving on to a new aligner before your mouth is ready, or even leaving a given set in for too long, can hinder the treatment process.
If a patient takes their aligners out more often than they should, or leaves them out for long periods of time, they could easily lose track of how much longer they need to wear that particular set of aligners.
Since the compliance indicators only fade after the aligners have been worn for a full two weeks, it makes it easier for the patient to keep their treatment on track.