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Did I Kill My Invisalign Aligner?

I feel like a complete moron. I’m hoping I didn’t completely ruin my Invisalign aligners. I was eating breakfast and slipped the aligners in my robe while I had some pancakes. Then, I accidentally spilled the orange juice all over myself, including my robe. I gathered up all the soiled clothing and tossed them in the washer and then dryer. I was halfway through the dryer cycle when I realized my aligners weren’t in. That’s when I remembered they’re still in the pocket of my robe. I dashed to the laundry room and got them out. They fit okay, just a little more snug than usual. I’m hoping that means they’re just a bit shrunk and not that I ruined them. It would be humiliating to have to tell my dentist what I did.

Karen S. – Florida

Dear Karen,

First, you should never be embarrassed to tell your dentist anything. Believe me, he or she has seen it ALL. Forgetting where you placed your Invisalign aligners isn’t that bad at all. You wouldn’t believe some of the crazy stories we hear all the time. One lady got mad at her boyfriend because he didn’t want to take out his aligners to taste something she cooked for him and she ran his Invisalign through the garbage disposal.

Unfortunately, for your aligners, due to the heat of the dryer, they’re likely warped. The tightness you feel when you put them back on gives that away too. Being warped, they could completely throw off your treatment.

If you were close to the end of your two weeks with your aligners, then you can probably just move on to the next set. You don’t want to do that early too often. It will cause your teeth to come loose. But, just doing it once is no big deal.

If you weren’t close to the end of that set of aligner’s treatment, then you’ll need to call your dentist and have him or her make you a new set. In the meantime, if you have the previous set, wear those to keep your teeth from shifting.

Don’t feel too bad. This kind of thing could happen to anyone.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steve Bader.