These days, many people are abandoning conventional metal braces and choosing Invisalign, and with good reason! Just as the name suggests, Invisalign works in the same way as metal brackets and wires but is nearly invisible.
When eating, it can be removed and put back in place after properly brushing your teeth and flossing. Although this is considered a major benefit and makes mealtime much more comfortable, it also raises the possibility of losing your clear aligners.
Many wearers forget their Invisalign case when they leave the house and decide to wrap their trays in a napkin, only later to throw them away. So what should you do if you accidentally lose or throw away your Invisalign aligner tray?
Don’t Dilly Dally
Oh no! You’ve lost your current pair of Invisalign aligners! What should you do?
First things first, don’t delay. Your trays need to be in for 20 to 22 hours a day, and if you leave them out for several hours or days, your teeth may begin to drift. This can set you back and cause your trays to fit tightly when you finally have a replacement pair.
Worse yet, you’ll have to make up for that time and won’t be able to move onto the next tray as scheduled. So don’t wait to find a solution. Take action and avoid altering your treatment plan.
Don’t Jump to the Next Tray
You may be tempted to simply skip the current tray and move on to the next set, but avoid doing this unless your orthodontist specifically requested that you do so. It is more likely that you will be recommended to advance aligners if you were nearing the end of the treatment phase with the trays you lost.
Each tray is designed to be used in a sequence and going out of order can alter the progression of your treatment. So always check with your orthodontist before altering the sequence of your plan.
Save Your Most Recent Invisalign Aligner Tray
It’s a good idea to always save your previous trays in case you accidentally lose the current ones. It may be a good idea to keep them in the resealable plastic bag they came in, with the date marked on it. After you switch to your next tray, throw them out, and keep only the set previous to your current aligners.
If you do have your previous trays, go ahead and use them until you replace your current pair. Although they won’t make up for the trays you’ve lost, they will help you to stay on track. Remember, you should be wearing your current trays most of the day and if you’ve lost them, your previous trays are the closest things you have to them at the moment!
Call Your Orthodontist
The most important thing to do if you’ve lost your Invisalign aligner trays is to call your orthodontist right away. They will guide you and let you know what the best solution would be for you personally since each patient has a different treatment plan.
Remember, there’s no need to be embarrassed about losing your aligners. Surely your orthodontist has many other Invisalign patients, and it won’t be their first time solving this little problem. Many times, your orthodontist can get you a replacement tray at minimal or no cost.
When patients lose their aligners, they fear that their treatment will no longer work or that it will be set back months. While your treatment may be altered a bit, acting quickly can reduce the delay significantly. Of course, if you need to receive a new set of aligners from Invisalign, you may be set back a week or two.
The best way to avoid losing your trays is by planning ahead and creating good habits. Here are some tips that will help you avoid losing your trays in the future.
- Always carry your Invisalign case with you.
- If you have trouble remembering to put your case in your bag, buy another one and always leave it in the bag you use for school or work.
- Buy an Invisalign case for home use that is a different color than the one you take with you when you leave the house. This will help you to make sure that you keep track of which one you should have in your bag and which one should stay on the bathroom counter.
- In addition to carrying an extra case with you, make an emergency dental kit. Include floss, soft picks, a toothbrush, and a miniature tube of toothpaste.
- If you do forget your case, never wrap your aligners in a napkin or tissue. Keeping them out of sight will make it more likely that you forget them and accidentally throw them out.
- At home, always remove your aligners and leave them in the same spot. For example, you might remove them in the bathroom and leave them in their case next to the sink until you can brush your teeth.
- Always save your previous trays in case you happen to lose them. This will give you a temporary tray to use until you can get a replacement.
Learn From Your Mistakes
While losing your Invisalign aligner trays can be stressful, it’s nothing to be overly worried about. With the support of your dentist, you can stay relatively on track with your treatment.
Mistakes are often the best teachers. So learn from your experience and create good habits and a routine that will help you to avoid losing your Invisalign trays again. It will all be worth it once you have the smile you always dreamed of!
What tips have helped you to avoid losing an Invisalign aligner tray? Let us know in the comments!