Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth without the metal brackets and wires of traditional braces. However, there may come a time when you need to remove your aligners for a special event or just to clean them. Here’s how to do it properly.
1. Make sure your mouth is warm
Our clients inform me that when trying to remove aligners after a very cold drink the job seems to be harder. Somehow the plastic feels less flexible. It also helps if your fingers and the inside of your mouth are drier. If possible, open your mouth for a few seconds before attempting to remove them.
2. Start from the back
Lift the aligners off the molars on each side first, and then gradually move towards the front. Alternatively, some clients find that it is easier to work from one side of the mouth to the other, you will find your own way of doing this. If there is an attachment then the aligner can be harder to remove. Start by lifting off the easier bits and get to those bits last. In those areas hook your fingernails under the edge of the aligner and lift it up and over the attachment or any difficult area.
3. Try using a paper towel
Lots of people find that thick paper towels increase the grip on the aligner. Take either a paper towel or a piece of kitchen paper in your hand, place it over the tooth, grasp the aligner firmly and pull off the molars. Do this also for the opposite side and finally the front section. The increase in grip can sometimes make a huge difference.
4. Try surgical gloves
Many of our Invisalign clients report that surgical gloves can also increase your grip on the aligners, although not the thick rubber gloves that you may use for housework. You need the very fine type that you buy in boxes of 50 or 100. These allow you to feel what you are doing, but still, increase your grip.
5. Use an aligner hook
I am informed that these are available on Amazon and are known as an outie. Looking similar to a crochet hook but designed specifically for removing clear braces they hook under the edge of the aligner and lift it away from the tooth. They are especially helpful for people with attachments.
6. Use another implement
One of our clients have reported success with using the edge of a pair of tweezers when trying to remove the aligners, but I would like to point out that it is certainly not Invisalign approved and might well result in damage to your aligners. Bearing in mind that replacement aligners are expensive I would personally probably skip this method, but each to their own.
7. Give it time
One thing that we constantly tell our clients is that when you first get Invisalign, removing aligner’s does get easier with time. If you try to remove your new aligners very soon after they are inserted for the first time it will be very difficult. Waiting even an additional hour could make it much easier. We understand that you may be hungry and desperate to eat but by stopping and waiting a while could make your aligners much easier to remove.
8. Change aligners in the Evening
Inserting your new aligners at night time has two benefits. Firstly it means that you get to sleep through the stage when they feel tightest and most uncomfortable. Secondly, by morning your teeth will already have shifted and the aligners will therefore be easier to remove. Popping them in the last thing at night, accompanied by a mild painkiller is probably the way to go if you think they will cause you trouble.
9. Speak to your dentist
If you have any concerns at all just give your dentist a call, they will help you as much as possible and always remember a period of practice can be really helpful. At Ollie and Darsh, our team will help you practice to make perfect.
Initially, you may think that relaxing was a long way down a very long list. The truth is that the feelings of panic can make the aligners much, much harder to remove. Taking a deep breath and trying to relax, even giving up and taking ten minutes before starting again can be the difference between success and failure.
Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to you. if you ever need to advise we are just a phone call away – 0151 65 910 65.