Avoid Common Mistakes with Clear Aligners

DON’T:  Leave Them Out in the Open


Leave Them Out in the Open

Storing clear aligners properly is crucial. When you leave them out, they can easily be lost, stolen, or stepped on.

They might also get misplaced, contaminated, or damaged. It's easy to think you won't make these mistakes. However, there are many situations where you might leave your aligners out and forget them.

To prevent clear aligner damage, always store them in their case. This simple habit can save you from unnecessary problems.

By keeping them in their case, you reduce the risk of damage. This practice ensures your aligners stay clean, safe, and in good condition. Remember, proper clear aligner storage is essential for their care.

  • Sports:  If you play high-contact sports, you should swap out your clear aligner for a robust, durable mouthguard. Be careful not to misplace one for the other though; both mouthguards and aligners serve their respective roles well, but not interchangeably. Don’t make that mistake, and don’t leave them behind in the locker room.
  • Restaurants:  If you’re out grabbing a meal and realize you left your aligner case at home, you might be tempted to wrap the aligner tray in a napkin, paper towel, or cloth tissue. Wrapping aligners like this is never an advisable idea. With the appliance out of sight, it’s far too easy for you or your server to leave it out of mind and accidentally throw it out with the tissue.
  • Regions:  Areas near high heat, humidity, and again, a pet’s reach, are NOT ideal storage locations for removable clear aligners. Humidity can warp the plastic of the aligners and containers, as can a dog’s powerful bite. Always do your due diligence to minimize the appliance’s proximity to these potential hazards.
  • Loose pockets:  If your case is stored in a loose pocket, then it’s possible that the container could tumbler from your pocket on public transit, or anywhere outside unbeknownst to you. Since you’re hustling to get from point A to B, it’s surprisingly easy to lose your aligners in the shuffle, which is why investing a little extra money and effort in a go-bag is so important. Even when not going anywhere, be mindful about not having your aligners fall out on a couch or chair, where they’re free to be unsuspectingly sat on.
DON’T:  Store Them in Humid or High Heat Areas


Store Them in Humid or High Heat Areas

When you start using a clear aligner, you might think the bathroom is a good place to keep it. This seems logical since you keep other cleaning items there. However, this is not a good idea.

Clear aligners can be damaged by high heat and humidity. This is often the case in bathrooms, especially if you take hot showers or baths. So, it's not the best spot for storing your aligner.

Also, avoid leaving your aligner in a hot car. The heat in the summer can warp the plastic. This is why you shouldn't put aligners or their containers in the dishwasher.

Dishwashers use water at temperatures between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This heat can change the shape of your aligners and won't clean them properly. Too much moisture can also cause bacteria to grow.

To take care of your aligner properly, follow the clear aligner care guidelines. This is important for maintaining aligners for treatment. Remember, these aligners are like braces.

They need to be looked after well. Even though they are not the same as traditional braces, they need similar care. Avoid storing them in places like bathrooms or hot cars. This will help keep your aligners in good shape for your treatment.

DON’T:  Leave Them Out for Over Two Hours


Leave Them Out for Over Two Hours

Orthodontic treatment, such as using Invisalign, requires careful adherence to your treatment plan. It's important to limit the time you remove your aligners. Ideally, they should stay in your mouth most of the day. Exceeding two hours per day without them can delay your progress in straightening your teeth.

For effective cleaning of your aligners, use lukewarm water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Gently brush them with soft bristles to keep them clean.

If you often snack, smoke, or drink liquids other than water, you might need to remove your aligners more frequently. This can interfere with your treatment plan. In such cases, your orthodontist might suggest that Invisalign isn't the best option for you. Consider reducing these habits before starting clear aligner treatment.

WHAT IF  All Else Fails

What If

All Else Fails?

If your clear aligners get lost or broken , don’t stress! It’s not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your treatment success.  Depending on the case and context, you may move to the next set in the aligner sequence, or use the previous set of aligners for the time being.  If the next set of aligners are not available and you do not have the last set of aligners, you need to let your orthodontist know ASAP. Ordering new sets may cost you somewhat extra, but if you hesitate,  the teeth will shift and the gain in alignment will be lost .

It's important to keep your last set of removable clear aligners safe. Store them in an extra container for backup. Losing an aligner can be annoying and costly, but it won't ruin your Invisalign treatment. To avoid these issues, clean your aligners well and store them carefully.

With Invisalign, tooth movement is gradual and less noticeable compared to traditional metal braces. Unlike braces with brackets and wires, clear aligners are tooth colored and discreet. Even compared to lingual braces, Invisalign is more convenient. Properly caring for your aligners reduces treatment time and keeps your smile on track.