Keep using your clear aligner
during self-isolation and physical distancing
Many of our Invisalign® patients have been following health official recommendations to stay at home and maintain physical distancing during the current health crisis. In addition, the BC Dental Association recommendations mean dentists are now treating only the most serious emergency dental issues. What does this mean for Invisalign users?
The good news: you can keep up with your Invisalign treatments even if you’re self-isolating or quarantined. By following this guide, you can continue to work towards straight, healthy teeth and not lose any of the progress you’ve made.
You took control of your smile and did the hard work to get your teeth where they are. Stay positive and proactive about your dental health and you can keep that forward momentum until you can safely visit your dentist’s office again.
The most important piece of advice to remember is to keep using your clear aligner. Follow the last treatment plan provided by your dental professional and adhere to your usual schedule.
If you’re not clear on your treatment instructions or if you suspect you should adjust your schedule, call or email your dentist’s office. Often you can receive guidance and information over the phone, without the need for an in-person visit.
If you usually discard your aligners once used, save them instead. You can put them inside the original packaging or a clear plastic bag. Remember to keep the aligners safely out of reach of pets—dogs often mistake them for chew toys!
What To Do When
You’re On Your Last Aligner
Depending on how recently you visited your Invisalign® professional, you may not have enough aligners to last through the pandemic. After you finish your last aligner schedule, continue to wear the aligner but reduce the wear time to 8 hours (while you sleep).
Your goal is to keep your teeth from drifting back into place before you can visit your dentist again. Think of your aligner as a part of your nightly routine, as necessary as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and putting on your pyjamas.
You can try calling your dentist to see if they can order more aligners based on your last impressions. Be aware, though, that many offices cannot order aligners without a current exam. It’s a matter of their professional code of conduct. It’s worth calling and seeing what your dentist says.
What To Do If You Lose
or Break Your Aligner
Remember, the most important rule is to keep wearing your aligner. You want to gently and safely hold onto the progress you’ve made and not let your teeth regress. If you lose or break your aligner, move onto the next one and double its wear time.
If you lose or break your last aligners, find the previous one and begin wearing it for 8 hours every night. Try to keep at least three aligners on hand in case of an emergency. Even better, keep all your previously used aligners.
If you lose or break your last aligner and have no previous ones, you can purchase a sports guard or moldable night guard from the drugstore. Follow the package instructions and wear the guard for 8 hours at night. The drugstore brand won’t be perfect, but it will be better than nothing.
Elastics and Wires
You may have elastics you’re supposed to wear throughout the day, depending on your individual treatment plan. Switch to wearing your elastics for 8 hours while you sleep to conserve them. If your wire button broke or fell off, take a break from your elastics—but keep wearing your aligners!
Lingual wires bonded to the back of your teeth may become loose or unglued over time. If your lingual wire is loose and irritating you, you can carefully trim it with a pair of nail clippers. You can also try filing the end of the wire with a nail file. Most drugstores sell orthodontic wax, which you can use to cover the end of a loose wire and protect your mouth.
If your lingual wire comes off, keep wearing your aligners, if you have them. You can also switch to a drugstore-brand sports guard or mouthguard.
Though at first it might seem overwhelming to know you’ll miss your next Invisalign® appointments, you can see there’s plenty you can do at home to maintain your treatment. If you have questions, or if you experience severe dental pain for any reason, contact our office at 250-764-7794. Take care of yourself—and your teeth—and we hope we can see you soon.