You Lost an Invisalign Aligner, Now What?

“Keys? Wallet? Phone? Invisalign Aligners?” you mutter as you head out the door. “Check, check, check, and oh no!” you audibly groan when you realize you’ve lost your aligners. Did you leave them at a friend’s house? At the restaurant you ate at last night? In the Uber on your ride home? You don’t remember where, but one thing is clear: You lost your Invisalign aligners. 

Invisalign is an excellent alternative to traditional braces, with convenient clear plastic aligners that make orthodontic treatment almost invisible to others. These aligners can be removed, which is great for experiencing the freedom of eating and drinking without any impediment, but it does increase the chances of misplacing them. It may seem devastating to you at the time, but it’s actually quite common for orthodontic patients to misplace their aligners. There are several relatively easy options for keeping your orthodontic treatment on track, even if you’ve lost an aligner.

Act quickly

Most importantly, you must act expediently. To ensure proper treatment, you must wear your Invisalign Aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day. Every hour your aligner is lost is another hour that possibly could affect the quality and length of your treatment. If you leave your aligners out for several hours, you may be adding to your treatment time; leave them out for days, and your teeth will likely begin to drift, causing your aligners to fit incorrectly. The improper alignment causes a snowball effect, delaying moving onto the next set of aligners as scheduled and lengthening your overall treatment.

Use your previous, or next, aligner

If you recently switched to your new aligner, you may be able to go back to your previous one. Conversely, if you are almost ready to move to your next one, you may be able to move up to your next aligner early. Contact your orthodontist to let them know that you lost your aligner and they can advise on the best next steps. You may not even have to go into the office if your orthodontist determines you can simply advance to your next aligner. However, make sure to consult with your orthodontist prior to moving back or advancing forward with your aligners, as you risk compromising your treatment if your teeth are not ready.

Order a replacement aligner for free with Invisalign Teen

If you have Invisalign Teen, the great news is your treatment includes replacement aligners! Invisalign understands that misplacing or damaging aligners happens, especially with teens, and shouldn’t impede your treatment. That’s why they provide a few replacement aligners free of charge to Invisalign Teen patients.

Don’t lose your Invisalign aligner in the first place

Of course, preventing the loss of your aligners is the best solution. To prevent the loss of your aligners, make sure to keep your storage case with you at all times. Even better, have several storage cases on hand and keep them in frequently visited locations, such as your car, purse, nightstand, and even your friend’s house. Having a case within easy reach will help keep you from misplacing them at an unknown location. You will also want to remove your aligners as little as possible. You can’t lose them if they are in your mouth. When you must remove your aligners in certain circumstances, such as eating or drinking anything besides water, take extra care to place them where you will remember, and do not wrap them in a napkin or set them on a tray or plate that may get discarded. 

Even with the best precautions, you may still misplace your Invisalign aligners, but don’t worry. Smith Orthodontics will help you get back on your orthodontic treatment plan quickly.