Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Teeth-straightening specialist Align Technology (Nasdaq: ALGN) saw its shares plunge as low as 15% in early trading today, after issuing a disappointing fourth-quarter outlook.

So what: Align managed to top analyst expectations for the third quarter, but a softening dental market doesn't bode well for next quarter's results. Align's North American dentists are continuing to report lower visits and weak demand for expensive procedures, explaining the lower-than-expected submissions for its Invisalign system, as well.

Now what: While Align's unique invisible braces have had some success over the past few years, I'd urge Fools not to pounce on today's price plunge. A less than ideal operating environment, coupled with increasing bracket-free competition from the likes of Orthocare, DENTSPLY (Nasdaq: XRAY), and even 3M (NYSE: MMM), makes the stock's still lofty price ratios just too risky for my tastes. Of course, with a current stranglehold on the market, Align is at least worth following.

Interested in more info on Align? Add it to your watchlist here by clicking here.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. 3M is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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