How To Remove Invisalign Braces

Invisalign Stuck? Here's How To Remove Them

For many people removing their Invisalign braces is one of the hardest parts of adjusting to a new life with braces. Even people who found it easy when they first got their Invisalign often find it more difficult when they get their Invisalign attachments or buttons.

Lots of patients say that struggling to remove their aligners has reduced them to tears of frustration and some people even describe feeling claustrophobic and fearful that they will never get them off their teeth.

If you feel like this try not to panic! I am going to show you several tips and techniques that will make removing your Invisalign much, much easier.

Before we start there are a couple of things to think about. Firstly, is your mouth warm. This may seem like a strange question, but Invisalign are easier to remove at body temperature. If you have just had a cold drink wait a few minutes before starting to try to remove them. This will allow your Invisalign to become more flexible again.

Secondly, make sure you are completely calm. Take a deep breath and relax. Removing your aligners gets more difficult when you panic and become frustrated.

Thirdly, think about whether you need to remove your aligners right now. Wherever possible wait as long as possible after inserting the aligner. This means that it will be easier to remove as teeth will have shifted a little bit.

Ok, we're ready. Good Luck!

Invisalign Aligners
Invisalign Aligners

Practicing your Invisalign Removal Technique

Many people that are new to Invisalign have trouble removing their aligners because they try to pull them off all of their teeth at the same time. Most patients find that it is much easier to remove aligners by working their way around the teeth starting at the back. Some patients remove the aligners from the molars on one side, and then the other, then finally the front, whilst others prefer to work all the way around from one side to the other.

The key to it is to work slowly and methodically gradually lifting the aligner from the teeth one area at a time. If a specific point is too difficult try another area until gradually the whole aligner is off the teeth.

In places where you have attachments gently try to lift the aligner out and over the attachment. It really helps if you have long nails at this point!

If this method of removing your invisalign fails try some of the techniques below and please remember, there has never been a case out of the million cases of Invisalign where the aligners became permanently stuck!

Method 1 for Invisalign Removal: The Paper Towel

This doesn't work for everyone, but is particularly useful for people without Invisalign attachments. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't attempt it if you have attachments, it often works anyway.

The key here is that the paper towel (or piece of kitchen towel or tissue paper at a push) is providing extra grip. Holding the paper towel firmly in your hand place it over the aligner at the back on one side and attempt to release it from the molars. Work forward until it is no longer working and then do the same for the other side. Hopefully at this point your aligner is now only on on the front of your teeth.

Using either the paper towel or your finger nails pull the aligner off the front teeth, taking care not to push it back down again at the back.

This technique works best when the teeth are as dry as possible. I would often open my mouth for a few seconds before starting to attempt this.

It worked? Great!

It didn't work? Read on for my next technique.

Method 2 for Invisalign Removal: The Rubber Gloves

If you have tried technique one without success there is another technique that also sometimes works and uses a similar principle of grip.

This technique uses rubber gloves to remove the Invisalign aligner.

When I talk about rubber gloves I am not talking about the thick kind of rubber gloves that you might wear whilst cleaning your bathroom. The kind I am referring to are the latex type fine rubber gloves that have an almost powdery texture to them. The kind that often come in boxes of 100.

Some people report that using these gloves allows them to get an extra bit of grip on the aligner whilst still allowing their fingers to be nimble and therefore get the aligners off. This is best done when the teeth are dry.

Again, use the same technique as before, lifting the aligner from the teeth at the back first.

It worked? Hurray!

It didn't work? Move onto my next method.

Method 3 for Invisalign Removal: The Hook

If you are new to Invisalign you may not yet be aware that there are actually specific implements available on Amazon to remove them! These are known as outies or aligner hooks and some people swear by them and claim that they could not remove their aligners without them.

To the left is a box where you can see a picture of the outie. Clicking on the link next to it will take you to the Amazon website where you can purchase your own outie tools.

However, you probably need to get your aligner off right now! Whilst an aligner hook would be ideal to have now, you may need to improvise. An aligner hook works by lifting the aligner gently off the tooth. It is particularly useful with attachments as it helps to lift the aligner out and over the attachment on the tooth.

Until you get your own aligner hook start by attempting this same manoeuvre with your finger nails. If this isn't possible many people swear by a very small crochet hook or even the end of a pair of tweezers.

Please be cautious though. Although an aligner hook is designed to remove aligners these other implements aren't and could damage your aligners. You should only try using them in absolute desperation and should do so with a lot of caution! As soon as you are able, switch them for a proper aligner hook so that you don't damage your braces!


Invisalign Aligners still stuck?

If your aligners are still stuck after these techniques you really only have two options. The first is to wait a few hours so that your teeth move a little and the removal becomes a lot easier.

Secondly, you may need to call your Invisalign orthodontist and go back to their office so that they can remove them for you. I would however, retry all of the above techniques before doing this!


How To Avoid Stuck Aligners In The Future

In the future it is a good idea to always put your new aligner on just before you go to bed. This way a lot of tooth movement happens during the night and your aligner will be looser and therefore easier to remove in the morning. If you are concerned that the discomfort will stop you sleeping taking a painkiller is usually enough to ensure a great nights sleep.

If you feel that that will not be enough you should also invest in a retainer removal tool. You can either buy these from your orthodontist if they sell them or you can find links to purchase one on this page.

One thing I can promise you is that it gets much easier as time goes on to remove your aligner. I can personally remove my aligner in under 3 seconds, which is great, but means that I am not losing the weight I was hoping to from having braces!


Rate My Invisalign Removal Hub!

If you found my hub useful would you please be so good as to go to the bottom of the page and rate it. If there are improvements that you think could be made to help other readers please let me know that too via the comments section at the bottom of the page. I try to keep this information updated to help other Invisalign wearers so would love to hear your tips and tricks. Thanks!

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Comments 2 comments

Joanna 3 years ago

Just got my Invisalign braces today. Couldn't remove them at dinnertime!! Luckily, I found your advice..I tried the paper towel trick and it worked. I will bring paper towels to work with me tomorrow so I will be able to eat lunch! Thanks!


Jan 5 years ago

Just got my invisalign braces a couple of days ago and I was having difficulties removing my uppers and I to was getting worried that I would not be able to remove them one day.

I didn't think there were other ways to remove them until I found your article on the net!!

Greatly appreciated!! :)

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