Should You Keep Your Old Invisalign Trays?

Should you keep your old invisalign trays?
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Invisalign aligners are a popular orthodontic treatment among our Mississauga patients. Since they’re made from a clear plastic, they’re a discreet way to correct tooth misalignment and crookedness.

You can perfect your smile without anyone knowing! Plus, Invisalign treatments are very effective, especially for those with minor to mild alignment issues.

An Invisalign treatment plan uses multiple sets of trays over the course of many months. This means that patients can accrue quite a collection of trays! Consequently, “What should I do with my old aligners?” is a common question, which we will answer in this article.

What are Invisalign trays?

Invisalign trays are custom-made plastic aligners that correct tooth misalignment, resulting in a more symmetrical and beautiful smile. Over the duration of your treatment plan, you use a series of aligners to gently guide your teeth into the desired positions.

Each tray is slightly different from the last and is usually worn for 1-2 weeks at a time. The trays are made from clear plastic, so they’re virtually undetectable. They’re a discreet yet effective way of perfecting your smile.

The number of trays and length of the treatment depends on the severity of your tooth misalignment. Some patients are done in 3–4 months, whereas others wear Invisalign aligners for 12–18 months.

During your initial consultation, your Invisalign specialist uses advanced software technology to develop your treatment plan. The trays are custom-created for your mouth, ensuring accuracy and greater comfort. Your Mississauga orthodontist monitors your progress throughout your treatment and makes adjustments as necessary.

At the end of your Invisalign treatment, your smile will be transformed. Any crookedness or misalignment will be corrected, so you can smile with greater confidence.

Should you hold onto your old trays?

During Your Orthodontic Treatment

Yes, you should hold onto all of your Invisalign aligners during your orthodontic treatment—even after you’ve used them!

The old aligners can help your Mississauga orthodontist evaluate your ongoing treatment. They’re useful indicators if there has been sufficient dental movement. Incomplete movements necessitate an adjustment. In this case, your Invisalign specialist will tweak your treatment to correct an unfulfilled movement.

Essentially, keeping the old trays makes it easier for your specialist to monitor your progress and make adjustments.

It’s especially important to keep the most recent set of old Invisalign trays; that is, the set you wore before your current set. This means that if anything happens to your current set of trays, you have a set to fall back on.

Patients lose their Invisalign trays more often than you may think, so it’s crucial to have a backup that you can use before seeing your orthodontist in Mississauga. That way, your teeth won’t begin to slide back into their original positions. It keeps your treatment on track.

Just don’t get your old aligners mixed up! You don’t want to use an old set unnecessarily. Organization is key.

After Your Orthodontic Treatment

What about after your Invisalign treatment has concluded? At this time, your orthodontist in Mississauga will instruct you on what to do with your old aligners. Most orthodontists recommend keeping the last few aligners, just in case anything goes wrong.

For instance, you may lose or break your new retainer (many Invisalign patients need to wear a retainer after their treatment). You may also need to wear the final tray until your retainer is ready.

Alternatively, the last Invisalign tray can be helpful when your orthodontist reviews the results of your treatment.

How many Invisalign trays should you keep?

During your Invisalign treatment, you should keep all of your aligners, and especially the last set. The set used before your current trays is a useful backup, just in case you lose your current set.

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete, you don’t need to keep as many aligners. However, you should hang onto the last tray.

You should take a few steps to keep the old aligners in good condition, clean, and smelling fresh. Otherwise, your stored trays can start to smell and become very gross.

Before storing your old trays, use a simple denture cleaner or diluted mouth rinse to clean them. Conversely, you can soak them in a diluted mixture of white vinegar and water for 20 minutes. Brush gently with a soft toothbrush to remove any bacteria.

What should you do with the old trays?

You will accumulate a lot of trays during the course of your custom treatment plan. Once it’s over, you don’t need to keep the old trays (except for the last tray). Check with your Mississauga orthodontist at Bristol Dental Clinic so we can let you know what to do with all those trays.

Typically, you have three options: give them to your Mississauga dental clinic for disposal, throw them away yourself, or keep them as a memento. Some patients like to keep their first and last set of Invisalign trays to appreciate the massive transformation that their smile has undergone.

Are Invisalign trays recyclable?

No, Invisalign trays are not recyclable. We applaud our patients that are eager to recycle plastics to minimize their carbon footprint and protect the environment, but you cannot recycle your old Invisalign aligners. There are two main reasons for this.

First, Invisalign trays are a blend of multiple types of plastic. Each plastic type requires a different recycling protocol, but it’s impossible to separate them.

Second, Invisalign aligners are officially classified as medical waste. Medical waste cannot be recycled. They have to be disposed of in a very specific way for safety reasons.

Contact a Mississauga Orthodontist at Bristol Dental Clinic

Bristol Dental Clinic offers Invisalign treatment plans to our patients in Mississauga. Many prefer Invisalign because they’re incredibly discreet, so no one has to know that you’re in the process of straightening your smile.

If you want to correct tooth misalignment and gain a more symmetrical smile, contact the dental experts at Bristol Dental Clinic. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and can schedule your consultation with one of our orthodontists.

To book an appointment in Mississauga, call Bristol Dental Clinic at 866-673-2109 or contact us here.

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1 Comment

  • Posted on 02-06-2024 by Don Davies

    Although restorative and cosmetic dentistry are two separate fields, I feel excels at both. I definitely recommend them since they offer the greatest dental care in our town.