Did one of your Invisalign trays crack? Don’t panic–there are steps you can take to keep your treatment on track.
Invisalign is an extremely popular method of correcting mild to moderate crowding, crookedness, and gaps. While they serve the same purpose as braces, their methods are different. Most notably, Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic aligner trays to move several teeth at once. Though tough and durable, they are not totally indestructible.
Yes, Invisalign Can Break
Although the trays are made of durable plastic, they can develop cracks or even break apart. The makers of Invisalign products advise you contact your dentist or orthodontist the moment you notice a crack. They will be able to give you the best advice about what to do about the cracked tray.
How Bad is the Crack in Your Invisalign?
Your dentist’s advice about what to do if your Invisalign cracks will depend on how severe the damage is. In general, if it is just cracked and not split, you can continue wearing it until you are ready for your next tray.
If it is split or broken to the point that it can’t hold its shape, you should stop using it. The device’s shape and stiffness are what moves your teeth. If it has lost its form, you are getting no benefit from wearing it.
Even if the damage to your tray is minor, you should contact your dentist right away to discuss your options. A replacement for the broken tray may be necessary, or your dentist might be able to repair it. He or she may recommend that you go back to your previous tray until the new or repaired one is ready. In other cases, you can move on to the next one.
Timing is Everything
Since you wear each tray for two weeks, the timing of the crack is important and will determine what your dentist suggests. If you are in the early days of wearing a set of trays, he or she may tell you to go back to the previous set of trays. In the meantime, they will order you a replacement for the broken one.
Many dentists say that if you are on Day 8 or later, you can begin wearing the next tray in the series and skip replacing the cracked Invisalign. Others feel that you should not do this unless you are at least Day 11. This is why it is so important to notify your dentist. He or she is familiar with your case and will know what is best for you.
Moving on Too Soon
There is some risk in moving on to the next tray too soon. The new trays might cause pain if your teeth aren’t ready for them. You should never have to force them onto your teeth. Also, when you try to move teeth too quickly, you can suffer some root loss.
DIY is a No-No
Some dentists have had patients who have tried to repair cracks and breaks in their Invisalign trays with strong adhesives like Super Glue. This is not a good idea! Most glues contain toxic materials that you do not want on something you will have in your mouth for up to 22 hours every day. It is best to leave any repairs to the professionals.
Avoiding Cracks in your Invisalign
Even though your dentist can quickly and easily order you a replacement for your cracked Invisalign tray, it’s best if he or she never has to. Replacements will usually cost extra money, and waiting for them could affect your teeth’s progress.
Here are some tips on how to avoid cracking or breaking your Invisalign device.
- Be sure to remove your trays when you eat or chew anything.
- Use the case provided when they are not in your mouth. Many breaks occur when they are dropped or set down somewhere and crushed.
- Be sure you are putting them in and removing them correctly. Many breaks happen because patients pull them out from the exact same spot every time. This video shows the proper way to remove your Invisalign device.
A Cracked Invisalign Tray is Not the End of the World
If you crack your Invisalign tray, it does not need to cause you stress. There is an easy solution depending on the extent of the damage and its timing. If you notice a crack or a break in your Invisalign device, contact your dentist for the option that is best for you and your teeth.