Invisalign is one of the hottest cosmetic treatments available! These awesome aligners have helped millions of patients achieve straighter and healthier smiles in a discreet, convenient manner. That said, it isn’t always an easy process; not only must you wear your aligners for 22 hours every day, but you must also keep track of them when they aren’t in your mouth! However, if something causes you to unexpectedly lose an aligner, is your treatment in total jeopardy? Not at all if you act quickly! Here are four things you should do upon losing an Invisalign tray.
#1. Don’t Panic!
This advice holds true for almost any type of dental situation, but especially when you lose an aligner—it’s tough to think clearly and act calmly if you’re stressed or panicking! That said, you should take a deep breath and retrace your steps. Since your aligner is small and transparent, it might be difficult to detect, or it could’ve fallen into an unusual spot, so be thorough and careful in your search. If you’re able to find it and it isn’t damaged, be sure to clean it thoroughly before wearing it.
#2. Contact Your Dentist Promptly
Your dentist is the first person you should inform about a lost aligner; this is the best way to ensure that your treatment isn’t greatly delayed. Since you must wear your aligners virtually all-day-long (aside from when you’re eating), the clock starts ticking once an aligner becomes lost or damaged, and your teeth can begin shifting back into their original, incorrect positions. Informing your dentist quickly will allow them to begin replacing your aligner. It’s also worth noting that most Invisalign treatment plans include one or two included replacement trays!
#3. Don’t Advance Early
If you lose an aligner, you might feel tempted to replace it with one of the aligners from your next set of trays. But this is not a good idea! Your treatment process heavily depends on your willingness to wear your trays and advance to your next set of trays when it’s the appropriate time. Skipping ahead without letting your teeth shift at the correct pace can prolong and derail your progress. Always consult with your dentist about when to advance, and don’t do it upon losing a tray; have the tray replaced!
#4. Be Proactive
Your Invisalign aligners are a major investment, so protecting them as best you can and keeping track of them is in your best interest. You should always be mindful of where you set your trays down if you take them out; ideally, you should always store them in their carrying case if you aren’t cleaning or wearing them. That said, wearing them for the mandatory 22 hours daily won’t just increase the likelihood of your treatment’s success; it will drastically lower your chances of losing a tray!
Losing an Invisalign aligner is not the end of the world! If it happens to you, keeping a level head and following these tips will ensure that you can have it replaced quickly without ultimately interrupting your treatment.
About the Author
Dr. John H. Upton, Jr. has proudly served the dental needs of the Glendale, AZ community for over 30 years! Dr. Upton received his dental doctorate from the Baylor College of Dentistry and is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is pleased to offer a wide range of available services including Invisalign. If you have any questions about Invisalign or have lost one of your aligners, don’t hesitate to reach out online or over the phone for assistance: (623) 878-6333.