Invisalign Not Working? Here Are Three Reasons Why

Three Reasons Why Invisalign Is Not Working

If you are unhappy with how your teeth look, starting your teeth straightening treatment can be nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. But when things don’t seem to be working as planned, it’s easy to panic. 

Before you read on, we want to clarify this post is about why Invisalign is not working. If you have aligners from another company such as Smile Direct Club, they could be ineffective for many other reasons.

When it comes to Invisalign treatment at Smile Stories, there is little cause for concern about Invisalign not working. Our experienced cosmetic dentists know how to ensure successful treatments, and we always look forward to smile-transforming results.

Invisalign’s effectiveness is rarely called into question. Yet occasionally, your Invisalign aligner treatment doesn’t give you the quick teeth straightening results you want. If this happens, getting in touch with your cosmetic dentist is crucial. The chances are that if your Invisalign treatment is not working, there is a simple reason. Let’s take a look.

1. Munchies! Munchies! Munchies!

Nope, nothing to do with hunger or craving tasty treats that are terrible for your teeth! If your dentist is up-to-date and in the know, they’ll have recommended you do some chewing exercises. Or they might have recommended Movemints, chewable mints that you can eat while wearing your Invisalign. 

What you may not realise is that wearing your Invisalign aligners for 22 hours per day, seven days a week, isn’t enough. You see, you need perfect pressure at all times, which means no “air gaps”, “air halos”, or “voids” between your teeth and the Invisalign aligner.

  • Firstly, every time you push the trays in with your clean fingers and thumbs, they seat 95% of the way.
  • Then every time you swallow, your teeth touch, and your aligners grip the teeth.
  • Same again every time you clench your teeth due to stress.

To get the ideal amount of seating pressure to all of your teeth, extra “oomph” is needed. That’s why we recommend chewing exercises (and so do all Invisalign experts around the world) for 10 to15 minutes per day, every day (ideally split into three to five separate stints).

Chewing exercises will help deliver more predictable results and keep your treatment on track by making your teeth individually “wake up” and move. Check out “Munchies” we recently imported from the nerds at the University of Sydney, Australia —  we love them. These devices are designed to maximise the accuracy of fit and effectiveness of Invisalign aligner treatment while also providing pain relief. They’re also hygienic, easy to use, and beautifully designed.

2. Handle Your Invisalign Aligners with Care

invisalign case

Keeping your Invisalign aligners safe and clean should be a top priority. From a hygiene perspective, clean trays reduce the potential for cavities and will keep them (and your breath) from smelling funky! Also, let’s be honest about the cost of Invisalign (you’re investing in barely noticeable aligners after all!), and the cleaner they are, the more invisible they will be.

Follow these three tips and always keep your Invisalign aligners safe:

  • Never clean your trays with hot water as it weakens and warps your aligners. Even if they still look ok, the precision of your 3D-printed invisible braces is so vital to your treatment that even minor alterations can throw everything off track.
  • Never let saliva dry inside your aligners. Whenever you pick up your electric toothbrush, clean the inside and outside of your aligners too. Not too vigorously that they scratch, and not with a manual toothbrush — just a thorough but gentle clean.
  • Always store them in your mouth (obviously!) or in the protective Invisalign case. Never wrap them in tissue/napkins; they will not protect your aligners from external pressure and are an almost guaranteed way to lose them. 

3. A Sequence Properly Planned by Invisalign Experts

clincheck screenshot

A little secret from the dental industry for you. Not all cosmetic dentists offering tooth straightening (or other cosmetic dental treatments) are created or trained equally. When it comes to Invisalign treatment, experience is the key to success, and when Invisalign is not working, this could be down to:

  • Dentists using Invisalign technicians to plan your 3D sequence for them, making zero changes to the aligner to fit your teeth perfectly.
  • Outsourcing your Invisalign treatment planning to a third-party company overseas.

So finding a cosmetic dentist in Bournemouth who does not just use the “first plan recommended by Invisalign technicians” or promise quick teeth straightening is essential. 

Over nine million people have had successful tooth straightening with Invisalign clear aligners. It’s mainstream now and can give you straighter teeth in six months. Invisalign has an impressive history of research and development and straightens teeth with predictable long-term results. Some pesky teeth struggle to get a grip within their aligners and need to be spotted before you embark on your journey. Other teeth may need a little extra help with Invisalign attachments to make sure your treatment flows seamlessly, and this is where an experienced Invisalign specialist comes in.

Experienced cosmetic dentists that are confident with Invisalign have a number of ways to make the treatment more effective, which include:

  • Planning your Invisalign treatment.
  • “Round Tripping” (that means some complex tooth movements are separated into the twisting part, then the pushing inwards part).
  • Making adjustments during the treatment as needed.

Every smile journey is a process, and even with powerful technology, 3D-printed trays, and the best possible care, sometimes glitches do happen. A skilled cosmetic dentist knows when to make a few adjustments or refinements along the way. Yes, this might add some time to your treatment, but it’ll be totally worth it for a lifetime result, right? 

There is nowhere better to start this treatment than at Smile Stories, where you will find a team of skilled and experienced smile architects who love creating head-turning smiles.

Looking for the best place to start your Invisalign treatment? Don’t look any further than Smile Stories. Book your free video consultation, and let’s discover your lifetime smile confidence.


Zak Kara is part of Smile Stories Cosmetic Dentists in Bournemouth, providing teeth straightening during convenient evening and weekend hours.

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