While an emergency situation is unlikely, it’s always good to be prepared. Sometimes you’ll run into small issues at home at a time where we can’t see you to correct the problem right away. We don’t want you to feel like you’re on your own, or to panic if something comes up with your clear aligners. Here are some of the most common issues our patients face with Invisalign, and what you can do to solve the problem at home until we can book an appointment for you to resolve it.
What to Do With Cracked or Chipped Aligners
While it is uncommon due to the durable material of your Invisalign trays, they can sometimes become cracked or chipped if they aren’t handled properly. Cracking or chipping can be a result of mishandling, dropping them, or forgetting to remove them before eating.
In most cases, having cracks in your Invisalign isn’t a huge cause for concern. If you do notice some damage on the surface, you should take extra care in how you handle them, particularly when you’re putting them in or removing them. A good rule of thumb is to remove the aligners using the side that’s opposite to the crack.
Continue wearing your aligners as directed if you’re able to. If the crack becomes worse, please contact us immediately so we can assess where you’re at and get your treatment plan back on track. In some cases, we may order you a replacement aligner, or decide you’ve progressed enough and have you move on to the next set.
In order to avoid causing damage, make sure to always remove your Invisalign before eating or drinking.
How to Fix Sharp Edges
When you switch to a new set of aligners, you may notice a sharp edge or two along the border of your Invisalign. These sharp edges can be uncomfortable, and irritate your cheeks, gums, and tongue.
There is a quick and easy fix to taming these edges and making your treatment just a little more comfortable for you. Carefully use a new, clean nail file to shave down these edges just a little bit at a time. Put your aligners back in to check your progress, and shave down more as needed if you still feel irritation.
Make sure to use caution when filing down these spots. Shaving down too much has the potential to distort or warp the shape of your aligners and affect the accuracy of your treatment plan. If you don’t feel comfortable going ahead with this step, you can always call us to have these areas shaved down for you to give you a more comfortable fit and peace of mind that it’s being done properly.
If you’ve developed a sore in your mouth due to the sharp edges rubbing against your gums, you can rinse with salt water to minimize pain and risk of infection. If any pain or discomfort persists, please give us a call so we can book you an appointment.
Staining and Discoloration
While having stained or discoloured Invisalign doesn’t necessarily constitute an emergency, it can make you self-conscious and uncomfortable. The discolouration is also a sign that your clear aligners aren’t being cleaned properly or often enough, which can create oral health issues for you if the problem persists. When bacteria and food particles get trapped and pressed against your teeth and gums, you’re risking developing cavities and halitosis.
To avoid staining, remember to clean your aligners daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush, lukewarm water, and soap. Toothpaste is abrasive and can scratch your aligners, and water that’s too hot can melt your Invisalign and cause warping.
Remember to take care of your oral health, too, by brushing your teeth twice per day. Don’t forget to floss!
What to Do When You Lose a Tray
Misplacing an Invisalign tray is much more common than you think. If you forget to store your clear aligners in their case, they’re easy to lose track of, accidentally throw out, or leave behind at a restaurant.
If you do lose one of your trays, you can act quickly to keep yourself and your treatment plan on track. Find your most recent set and wear those until you’re able to book an appointment with us to discuss your options. We’ll handle it much like the way we would if your aligner was cracked; we’ll see how far along you are in your treatment, and may even recommend you switch to your next set. If you aren’t far along enough, however, we will have to order you replacements.
If you misplace an aligner and don’t have access to your older set, please call us to let us know as soon as possible.