What is the correct way to remove Invisalign aligners?
One of the best benefits of Invisalign clear aligners is that they are removable. This allows you to eat, drink and socialise for a couple hours a day as normal without wearing them. During this time, you won’t need to worry about getting food stuck between your teeth and aligners. And when you’re done, you can clean up your teeth and trays in a snap before you put your aligners back on.
However, Invisalign clear aligners aren’t designed to slip off that easily because they need to be applying constant pressure on certain teeth to correct your misalignment issues successfully. This adhesive function can make removal tricky if you have crowded teeth, don’t know the correct removal technique, and/or when you’re first getting started.
The following helpful tips show you the correct way to remove your Invisalign aligners:
Peel your clear aligners forward then down for easier removal
Firstly, if you have to wear rubber bands with Invisalign, you can use a hook pull tool to remove your elastics if your finger nails are too short or brittle. Once they’re off, you can start removing your aligners by following these steps:
- Starting on the inside of your left or right upper arch, use your opposite index finger to gently dislodge and pull away the end of the top aligner. Repeat this step with the other end until both ends are dislodged.
- Next, starting at the outside of the top front teeth, use a finger nail or pull tool to peel the aligner out a little and then pull down. Working your way back, repeat this step on any teeth with attachment buttons, because these are the areas with the most resistance.
- Repeat Step 2 with the inside of your upper arch until you can pry the aligner off.
- Remove your bottom clear aligner by using the same procedure except that your removal action is peel away and pull up instead of down.
Another variation on this removal method is to start from one end and loosen the aligner off – tooth by tooth – and keep moving across until you get to the other end. Never pull your aligners off quickly off one side while the other is still attached. You may create stress points and damage your aligners. Use both hands to gently remove the aligner once evenly loosened.
Everybody will have a different set of problems when removing their aligners because of their malocclusion issues, so experiment a little. With a little patience and focus, you can work out the easiest way to remove your aligners in a few key moves.
Additional tips for removing Invisalign clear aligners
Here are a few more handy Invisalign removal tips to keep in mind:
- Try using thin disposable latex gloves or paper towels for a better grip.
- Use a “chewie”, a silicon nib that’s usually included on the handle of a hook pull tool. When you bite and chew on it a little, you can reseat your aligners firmly back onto your teeth when it’s time to put them back on.
- Make sure your mouth is warm. If you’ve just drank ice cold water, your aligners will stiffen, making it more difficult to remove them.