Imagine you’re on your journey to a flawless smile with Invisalign, the virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth. But then, the unexpected happens: a crack or break in your aligner. Despite the sturdy material used to craft these clear aligners, accidents can occur. But don’t fret! We’re about to explore the steps you should take if you find yourself in this predicament so you can continue your path to straight teeth with minimal interruption.
Understanding Invisalign Durability
Invisalign aligners are made from a proprietary thermoplastic material called SmartTrack. It’s engineered for flexibility and strength, allowing for effective teeth movement while being thin and transparent. However, while the material is designed to be durable, it’s not invincible. Mishandling, chewing hard foods, or just an accidental drop can lead to damage.
Common Causes of Aligner Damage
Improper handling when removing or placing the aligners
Chewing or biting while wearing the aligners
Cleaning the aligners with harsh chemicals or hot water
Natural wear and tear over time
Immediate Steps to Take
If you’ve discovered a crack or break in your aligner, here’s what you should do next.
1. Assess the Damage
First off, determine the extent of the damage. Is it a slight crack that doesn’t affect the aligner’s fit, or is it a full-blown break? Small cracks might not disrupt your Invisalign treatment, but larger issues can impact the aligner’s function.
2. Protect Your Mouth
Sharp edges from a broken aligner can irritate or cut your gums, cheeks, or tongue. If the edges are sharp, you should temporarily stop wearing the aligner and revert to your previous set if you still have it.
3. Contact Your Dental Professional
As soon as you notice the issue, get in touch with your dentist or orthodontist. They’ll provide guidance on whether you can continue wearing the damaged aligner if you should switch back to an old set, or if a replacement is needed.
Can You Fix a Broken Invisalign Aligner?
Our instincts might nudge us to fix things ourselves, but when it comes to medical devices like an Invisalign aligner, it’s best to avoid DIY solutions. You may end up causing more damage or even extending your treatment time.
Why It’s Not Recommended
Home remedies could alter the shape of the aligner, affecting its effectiveness.
Potentially harmful materials like superglue can lead to health problems if they come into contact with your mouth.
In most cases, you’ll need a replacement from your provider. They’ll ensure the new aligner matches your current treatment stage to keep you on track.
Preventing Aligner Damage
While some accidents are unavoidable, there are measures we can take to significantly reduce the chances of aligner damage.
Proper Handling and Storage
Always handle your aligners with care, especially when inserting or removing them. Use the recommended techniques provided by your Invisalign provider. When not in use, store your aligners in their protective case to shield them from harm.
Maintaining Good Hygiene
Keeping your aligners clean and free from debris prevents them from becoming brittle and prone to damage. However, be sure to avoid hot water, which could warp the plastic, and use only designated cleaning solutions.
Avoid Eating and Drinking With Aligners In
Aside from water, it’s best to remove your aligners before consuming any food or beverages.
When to See an Oral Surgeon?
Sometimes, damages to your aligner may coincide with other dental issues that require professional attention. For instance, if you’re experiencing pain or if there’s a risk of injury from the damaged aligner, seeking help from an Easton oral surgeon might be necessary. Oral surgeons deal with complex dental concerns that go beyond general dentistry, providing solutions to more severe cases.
Managing Treatment Delays
Waiting for a replacement aligner can cause some anxiety. You’re on a timeline to your dream smile, and any hiccup feels like a setback. Here’s how you can manage such delays:
Switch to Your Previous Aligner Set
If advised by your dentist, reverting to your last set of aligners will prevent your teeth from moving back to their previous positions. It can serve as a temporary hold until your new aligners arrive.
Stay in Touch With Your Provider
Keep communicating with your dental professional about your situation. They’ll inform you about the expected waiting time and any additional steps you might need to take.
Accessing Emergency Dental Needs
In a situation where you need immediate assistance, such as when a broken aligner causes injury or significant discomfort, you should look for emergency dental care services. These services are available for urgent dental issues that can’t wait for a regular appointment. It ensures you won’t have to endure pain or risk injuring yourself further while waiting for a regular consultation.
The Bottom Line
When faced with a cracked or broken Invisalign aligner, it’s essential to act swiftly and appropriately. Assess the damage, protect your mouth, and reach out to your dentist right away. While you might be tempted to fix the issue yourself, it’s best to leave the solution in the hands of professionals.
Delays in treatment can be managed by reverting to a previous set of aligners or discussing the issue with your Invisalign provider. And remember, if an emergency arises, don’t hesitate to seek out the necessary dental care services to ensure your oral health stays on the right track.