Difficulty removing aligners due to a tight fit? Not to worry! This is a common occurrence for many patients and a tight fit is actually a sign that the aligners are working the way they should.
First, follow these steps to remove aligners using fingers:
- Start from the inner ‘roof’ side of the mouth for the upper aligner and the tongue side for the lower.
- Go to the last tooth and place fingernail, just under the edge of the aligner.
- Carefully pull the aligner away from the tooth using light gradually increasing pressure.
- Repeat this motion on the opposite side before trying to remove the aligner completely.
- Once both sides are free, begin working forward to gently pry the aligner away from front teeth.
- Do not use excessive bending or twisting force to remove aligner.
- Do not use a sharp object to remove aligner.
If that doesn’t work, do the following:
- While wearing aligner, gargle with warm water to soften the aligners for a few minutes before trying again.
- Use the removal tool that came with aligners. It acts as an extension of a finger and gives more leverage to remove aligner (it is also helpful to have manicured or very short nails).
- Follow the instructions from above using the removal tool instead of fingers.
- If it is still having difficult, sleep overnight with aligners on. This gives teeth some additional time to move into the new position prior to trying to remove in the morning.
Because teeth are moving, tight fitting aligners will get easier to remove as they are worn consistently. Forceful removal of aligners should be avoided and could cause harm.