Why Did my Invisalign Crack?

I'm using Invisalign teen, and one of my aligners is starting to crack near the gum line, between two teeth. It also has colored spots/wear indicators that fell off after three days. The orthodontist suggested that I may be clenching my teeth at night, but I have never noticed it if I do. What could have caused it to crack?

Doctor Answers 3

The plastic isn't very durable

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While the aligners are plenty strong for their purpose, they are not designed for indefinite use, like a retainer. Given enough time, all aligners would crack or break.

If you are a "high mileage" patient, like one that grinds, clenches, has many buttons (thus greater retention and challenge to remove) you will see cracking much sooner. If the cracks are happening at day 11 out of 14, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If they are happening on day 2 out of 14, then another strategy should be considered.

Cracking Invisalign aligners

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Sometimes we see cracks develop in Invisalign aligners due to the stress of inserting & removing the aligners frequently.   One tip is to NOT always put the aligner in & out in the same manner.  For example, don't always grab the same area & pull on that area first when removing the aligner.  Switch it up.  The plastic does fatigue & wear out.  But hopefully, this will help you get through the 2 weeks necessary for each aligner.  

Kristen Berning, DDS
Dubuque Dentist

Pulling them off may cause them to crack

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The attachments you have glued on to your teeth may cause the aligners to be more difficult to remove in specific areas. If an excessive amount of flexing or torquing is required to remove your aligners on a regular basis then you may begin to see the effects manifested in cracks and tearing. This is caused by having 2 or more attachments clustered together in one area. Cracking can also be caused by chewing on aligners. Clenching teeth at night can be a possibility too even though you may not realize it.

Matt T. Walton, DMD
Suwanee Orthodontist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.