Invisalign has transformed millions of smiles thanks to its innovative clear aligners. But one common concern people have before starting treatment is: are the plastic trays prone to breaking?

It’s an important question if you’re considering Invisalign. After all, you don’t want cracked or split aligners interfering with the teeth straightening process.

Below we’ll discuss what causes Invisalign trays to break, how to prevent it, and what to do if you experience a broken aligner during treatment.

Can Invisalign Trays Break

What Makes Invisalign Trays Breakable?

While very durable, Invisalign aligners aren’t completely immune to damage. Here’s what makes them susceptible to cracks or breaks:

Composition The trays are made from smooth medical-grade plastic (polyurethane) which is:

  • Flexible enough to snap on/off teeth
  • Rigid enough to move teeth gradually
  • Prone to splits/fractures under excessive force

Tight Fit For Invisalign to work, trays must fit your teeth snugly. The tight fit pressures teeth to move but also leaves trays vulnerable around the edges.

Everyday Use You wear aligners for 20-22 hours per day. Frequent insertion and removal coupled with eating, speaking, and normal activity puts stress on the trays.

With this understanding of the contributing factors, let’s look at when tray breaks typically occur.

Top Causes of Invisalign Tray Breaking

In general, 3 issues tend to be behind most Invisalign tray breaks or cracks patients experience:

1. Improper Tray Removal

Aggressively prying trays off teeth instead of slowly easing them out can cause edge splits or fractures.

2. Clamping Down While Eating

Chewing food with trays still in your mouth tends to make them crack around the biting edges.

3. Grinding Teeth at Night

Clenching or grinding your teeth applies concentrated force against trays which can split thinner areas like incisor gaps.

Now that you know why Invisalign trays sometimes break, let’s go over how to avoid it.

Tips for Preventing Invisalign Tray Breakage

Use these suggestions to handle your aligners with care and prevent unnecessary cracks or damage:

  • Remove slowly & gently – Never forcefully pry trays off teeth. Carefully start easing from back molars first.
  • Clean with care – Rinse gently and use aligner-safe cleaners. Scrubbing too hard risks surface scratches vulnerable to splits.
  • Keep out when eating – ONLY remove aligners for meals & snacks, then immediately brush teeth before replacing trays.
  • Get nightguards if needed – Ask us about bite guards/mouthguards to curb damage from clenching/grinding.
  • Travel with case – Keep a protective case with you when out and about to prevent accidental damage.

Closely following the Invisalign wear schedule and policies will also keep trays intact longer.

But even if you’re very careful, tray breaks can still occasionally happen. Here’s what to do when that occurs…

What To Do When Your Invisalign Tray Breaks

Don’t panic or try to self-repair broken aligners using glue or wire. Stop wearing the damaged trays right away and call our office. We’ll schedule you promptly to evaluate and replace them.

To get new trays printed, bring in your current aligners so exact copies can be made. New aligner production and delivery takes roughly 1-2 weeks.

In the meantime, go back to wearing your previous (unbroken) set if possible so treatment stays on track. If none are usable, minimally wear the broken tray only while eating until the replacements arrive.

While inconvenient, a few weeks of temporary setback won’t undermine your Invisalign progress significantly as long as new trays are promptly ordered.

Ensure Your Treatment Stays on Track

As you can see, Invisalign tray breaks are annoyances that can be minimized, managed quickly, and overcome.

Be sure to follow our preventive tips, handle all aligners gently, and inform us right away if any damage needing replacement occurs.

Doing so means you can keep treatment moving smoothly towards the smile transformation you want!

For more Invisalign information or scheduling needs, Lansdowne Family Dental is always here to help – just give us a call!