What to Do When Invisalign Aligners Are Not Tracking as Expected

September 11, 2023

The Invisalign journey is a path paved with the promise of straighter teeth and a picture-perfect smile. But what happens when you hit a speed bump along the way? 

What if your Invisalign aligners are not tracking as expected, throwing a wrench into your smooth-sailing treatment plan?

First off, don't panic. While it's crucial to address any hiccups in your Invisalign journey promptly, know that you're not alone, and solutions are available. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into what aligner tracking means, why it's essential, and the signs that indicate your aligners may not be tracking correctly. 

Most importantly, we'll arm you with immediate and long-term strategies to get your treatment back on track.

So, if you've been fretting about why your aligners aren't fitting quite right, or why you're not seeing the progress you anticipated, you're in the right place. 

Read on to navigate this minor detour and continue on your road to a flawless smile.

Common Signs Your Aligners Are Not Tracking

You know that feeling when something's just a bit... off? Maybe your coffee tastes different, or your favorite playlist doesn't hit the same. 

Well, you can have that "something's off" moment with your Invisalign aligners too. But how do you know it's not just your imagination? 

Let's talk signs—red flags that your aligners might not be tracking as they should.


First on the list is the obvious one: your aligners just don't fit right. If it feels like you're trying to put a square peg into a round hole, then there's a problem. 

Your aligners should snap in place smoothly, hugging each tooth like a second skin. Anything less, and you've got a tracking issue.


Notice any gaps between the edge of your aligners and your teeth? That's like your aligners telling you they need space—in a bad way. 

Gaps indicate that the aligners are not making proper contact with your teeth, and that's a tracking red flag.

Uneven Bite

Pay attention to your bite. If you notice that your bite feels uneven when you have your aligners in, it could be another sign that they're not tracking correctly. 

It's like wearing uneven heels; you can walk, but it's awkward and uncomfortable.

Stalled Tooth Movement 

Last but not least, if you're not seeing the progress you expected—even after following all the guidelines and wearing your aligners religiously—it's time for a reality check. 

Stalled tooth movement is a big red flag that your treatment might be off track.

So, if you've noticed any of these signs, don't sweep them under the rug. Tracking issues can derail your treatment and extend your timeline, turning your quick sprint to a perfect smile into a never-ending marathon.

Reasons Why Aligners May Not Track Properly

Alright, we've played detective and spotted the signs. Now, let's dive into the 'why.' It's like knowing your car isn't running well but not knowing what's under the hood causing the hiccup. 

Unearthing the reasons can help you fix the problem, or better yet, avoid it in the first place. So, buckle up; we're going on a troubleshooting adventure!

Okay, let's start with the elephant in the room—non-compliance. Your aligners are like gym memberships; they're useless if you don't use them. 

Not wearing your aligners for the recommended 20-22 hours a day is like skipping the gym and wondering why you're not in shape. Yep, it's that simple.

Next, incorrect fitting and removal. Believe it or not, there's a right and wrong way to put on and take off your aligners. 

Doing it incorrectly can cause them to lose their shape, leading to—you guessed it—tracking issues. It's like jamming your foot into a shoe without untying the laces; it's not going to work well.

Also, not cleaning your Insalign can cause non tracking issues. Dirty aligners are more than just gross; they can actually interfere with tracking. 

Buildup of plaque or food particles can prevent the aligners from fitting snugly. Think of it as trying to zip up a jacket with something stuck in the zipper. Not happening, right?

Last but not least, any unexpected dental work or changes can throw a wrench in your treatment plan. Got a filling, crown, or even a tooth extraction recently? These changes can affect how your aligners fit and, in turn, their ability to track properly.

Immediate Steps to Take

So you've cracked the case and know why your aligners might be throwing you curveballs. The next question is, what do you do now? 

It's time to switch from detective mode to action hero. No cape required, just a proactive approach to get your Invisalign journey back on track. 

Here's your action plan:

Step 1: The Pause Button

First things first, if your aligners are not fitting well, don't force the issue. It's like forcing a puzzle piece where it doesn't belong; you're not helping the bigger picture. Put your previous set of aligners back in if you have them and hit the pause button on progressing to the next set.

Step 2: Call Your Orthodontist

Your orthodontist is your go-to guru for all things Invisalign. So give them a ring, explain the situation, and schedule an urgent appointment. The sooner you address the issue, the easier it will be to course-correct.

Step 3: Document the Issues

While waiting for your appointment, become a mini-documentarian. Take photos or even short videos showing the fit issues, gaps, or any other signs you've observed. This will help your orthodontist understand the problem better.

Step 4: Mind the Care Instructions

Go back to basics. Revisit the care instructions for your aligners and make sure you're following them to the letter. Sometimes a simple refresh on the basics can solve minor issues.

Step 5: Prepare for Plan B

Be open to adjustments in your treatment plan. Whether it's getting new aligners or modifying the existing ones, be prepared for a slight detour on your road to a perfect smile.

Prevention Tips

Prevention is better than cure, so let's talk about how to prevent these tracking misadventures from happening in the first place. 

Consider this your Invisalign survival guide—a playbook to keep your treatment on the straight and narrow.

Tip 1: Adhere to the Time Rule

Let's start with the golden rule: wear your aligners for the prescribed 20-22 hours a day. Think of it like charging your phone; you need to put in the time to get the full benefit. No shortcuts allowed!

Tip 2: Insert and Remove Carefully

Remember, these aligners are precision-engineered. So when you're putting them on or taking them off, treat them like the high-tech gadget they are. Use gentle, even pressure to avoid warping them.

Tip 3: Keep it Clean

Maintaining good oral hygiene isn't just good for your teeth; it's essential for your aligners too. Make cleaning your aligners a non-negotiable part of your daily routine, as if it's as crucial as brushing your teeth—because it is!

Tip 4: Stick to the Plan

Your orthodontist didn't just hand you a treatment plan for the fun of it. Stick to it like glue. If any unexpected dental issues arise—like the need for a filling or a crown—consult your orthodontist before proceeding.

Tip 5: Regular Check-ins

Last but not least, keep those appointments with your orthodontist. These are like your report card days; they help assess how well your treatment is progressing and catch any potential tracking issues early on.


Well, folks, we've taken quite the journey today—from decoding the mysterious signs of tracking issues to understanding the possible culprits behind them, and from immediate action steps to foolproof prevention tips. 

We hope this guide serves as your roadmap to a smoother Invisalign journey.

But remember, no guide can replace the expertise of an experienced orthodontist. That's where we come in. 

At Lupi Ortho, we're committed to ensuring your Invisalign treatment is as smooth and effective as possible. 

Whether you're just starting your Invisalign journey or need professional help to get back on track, we've got you covered.

Ready to make your dream smile a reality without any hiccups along the way? Schedule your consultation at Lupi Ortho today. 

Because when it comes to your smile, why settle for anything less than the best?

Book Your Consultation at Lupi Ortho Now!

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