Help! I’m on vacation in the Virgin Islands for the next week, and right when I got to our hotel I accidentally threw out my upper AND my lower aligners! It was while I was down at the bar, I took them out briefly to eat some fresh fruit, and stupidly kind of hid them in a white napkin (I didn’t want them just sitting loose on the bar!) I left and we were gone for more than three hours before I realized. I called and they couldn’t find them. The garbage had already gone out.
Anyway, what do I do? Do I just go without them for a week? Won’t my teeth drift out of position and not fit my next set? I had just put those ones in that morning, I didn’t even get to wear them a whole day. I feel so stupid. I’ve only had Invisalign for two months!
I am so sorry to hear of your mishap, especially during your vacation. The good news is this has happened to many people. So, take a deep breath. It’s frustrating, but not the end of the world.
As you know, Invisalign clear aligners are fabricated to be changed every one to two weeks, depending on the needs of your treatment. Each set has small differences that will create movement. If you’re two months into your treatment, you’re likely somewhere between sets four and eight.
Skipping a week may or may not cause the next set of aligners to fit properly. Sometimes the next set will not fit because there has not been adequate movement during the lapse. You don’t want to rush this because the treatment plan is carefully designed. In the meantime, you can just wear the set you just finished with until you get home and your dentist can provide you with another copy of the new aligners.
In the meantime, call your dentist to let them know what happened. That way they can be prepared for when you get home. If you cannot, then call right away as soon as you’re back home.
If you do not have this prior set either, you will have to go the week without anything. Your teeth may shift slightly; be sure to see your doctor right away when you return. They may need to obtain a new scan of your mouth–if so, don’t despair. At most, it may have added a few weeks to your total treatment time, but it will not impact your promise of a beautiful end result.
This is a common occurrence, which is why we try to encourage patients to bring their case with them on outings. This way you won’t feel like you have to hide them and will be less likely to accidentally forget them. Do not beat yourself up over this. You are human. Believe me when I tell you that your dentist has heard every possible scenario of how patients have lost their aligners.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the remainder of your vacation.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.