Top Ten Tips For How To Remove Invisalign Braces

Need help on how to remove Invisalign braces? Read on:

I used to have beautiful fingernails before I started wearing Invisalign. They weren’t long and glamorous exactly, but they were long enough, healthy enough and manicured enough to look feminine and as if I at least took a little care of myself.

No more. Since I transferred back to full time wear of Invisalign removing my Invisalign braces has transformed my previously healthy looking nails into broken, torn, ragged shadows of their former selves. It ain’t pretty.

I must confess that over the last week things have become easier, but my first week back in full time aligners reminded me just how difficult it can be to remove aligners at the beginning of Invisalign. I remember the claustrophobic feeling of terror as I clawed at my mouth in a restaurant bathroom the very first week I ever wore them.

Fortunately, having been through all of this before I know that in a couple of weeks removing these things will be as easy as taking off a T shirt, so there isn’t quite the same level of fear this time around. However, I thought it might be helpful to new users to compile a list of tips for how to remove Invisalign. Please, please feel free to add more tips via the comments form. Alternatively, if you think I’ve got them wrong, please set me straight!

How To Remove Invisalign Braces – Top Tips:

  1. Make sure your mouth is warm. How To Remove Invisalign - glass of water with ice Make Sure Your Mouth Is WarmTrying to remove Invisalign after a very cold drink is harder. Don’t ask me why, but it’s true! Somehow the plastic feels less pliable. It also helps if your fingers and the inside of your mouth are drier. If possible, open your mouth for a few seconds before attempting to remove them. Yes you’ll look odd, but it’s worth it. (Don’t drink a warm drink with your aligners in to help though- it can distort them.)
  2. Start at the back. Start at the back and work forwardLift the aligners off the molars on each side first, then gradually work towards the front. Alternatively some people find that it is easier to work from one side of the mouth to the other. The wonkier the tooth, the harder that section of Invisalign are to remove. Start by lifting off the easier bits and get to those bits last. The same is true of areas with a lot of attachments. Tackle those bits last. In those areas hook your fingernails under the edge of the aligner and lift it up and over the attachment or difficult area. If you really get stuck try an aligner removal tool*
  3. Try a paper towel. How To Remove Invisalign- pile of paper towels How To Remove Invisalign – Tip 3 Try A Paper TowelLots of people find that thick paper towels* increase the grip on the aligner. Taking either a paper towel or a piece of kitchen paper in your hand place it over the tooth, grasp the aligner firmly and pull off the molars. Do this also for the opposite side and finally the front section. Replace the towel as it gets damp. The increase in grip can sometimes make a huge difference.
  4. Try surgical gloves. How To Remove Invisalign - Image of latex gloves Many Invisalign patients report that surgical gloves* work the same way as paper towels to increase grip on aligners. Many dental assistants also swear by them apparently. In this case the thick rubber gloves that you use for cleaning your house won’t do the trick (urgh!) what you need is the very fine type that you buy in boxes of 50 or 100. These allow you to feel what you are doing, but still increase grip.
  5. Use an aligner hook. How To Remove Invisalign- image of an aligner hookSome lucky patients get these given to them by their Invisalign provider for removing Invisalign braces. However they are also available online*.  Looking similar to a crochet hook but designed specifically for removing clear braces they hook under the edge of the aligner and lift it away from the tooth. They are especially helpful for people with attachments when they are first fitted.

  6. Another implement: How to remove invisalign - an implement like tweezers can help. image of tweezers Not authorised by Invisalign!Before I even get started in this one I would like to point out that it is certainly not Invisalign approved and might well result in damage to your aligners. Other Invisalign users have however reported success with other implements such as crochet hooks and even the edge of a pair of tweezers. Bearing in mind that your Invisalign are expensive I would personally probably skip this method, but each to their own.
  7. Give it time: How To Remove Invisalign - Give It Time Wait Before Trying To Remove InvisalignOne thing that people tell you constantly when you first get Invisalign is that removing Invisalign braces gets easier with time. Of course, when people told me this I used to secretly believe that I would be the one exception to this and my aligners would be difficult to remove forever. Of course, what I soon realised is that quite literally every hour counts. If you try to remove your new aligners very soon after they are inserted for the first time it will be very difficult. Waiting even an additional hour could make it much easier. If you are ravenous and desperate to eat I can understand that you may be cursing me on reading this tip, but if there is any way that you can, stopping and waiting a while could make your aligners much easier to remove.
  8. Change aligners in the evening: How to remove Invisalign - image of woman sleeping Change aligners last thing at nightSimilar to tip 7 for how to remove Invisalign, inserting your new aligners at night has two benefits. Firstly it means that you get to sleep through the stage when they feel tightest and most uncomfortable. Secondly, by morning your teeth will already have shifted and the aligners will therefore be easier to move. Popping them in last thing at night, accompanied by a mild painkiller is probably the way to go if you think they will cause you trouble.
  9. Speak to your orthodontist: How To Remove Invisalign Image of doctor or orthodontist Speak to your orthodontist or dentist. Some orthodontists don’t put on the attachments until the third aligner. This allows you four weeks of perfecting your removal technique before the attachments are fitted. Once they go on it does become a lot harder, so this period of practice can be really helpful. Also, when your attachments go on ask whether you can wear the template for a day or two to get used to removing it before changing to the proper aligners. The template is softer and much, much easier to remove than a normal aligner. Also, I thought that it shifted the teeth a tiny bit too, so that also helps to make it easier when it comes to time to remove the actual aligners.
  10. Relax: How to remove invisalign - image of woman relaxing on a bed It’s easier if you relax!Remembering my first day in Invisalign I know that relaxing was a long way down a very long list of things that I wanted to do; a list that started with ‘Get these aligners out of my mouth and never, ever put them in again’. The truth is though that the feelings of panic and claustrophobia make the aligners much, much harder to remove. Taking a deep breath and trying to relax, even giving up and taking ten minutes before starting again can be the difference between success and failure.

Hopefully these tips will be helpful to someone else having difficulty removing Invisalign braces. As I said above if you have any other tips on how to remove Invisalign please feel free to share them via the comments section and I’ll update this page as and when necessary- thanks. Find an aligner removal tool here*


73 thoughts on “Top Ten Tips For How To Remove Invisalign Braces”

  1. I had a veneer pop off the first day of the first tray. Now i’m absolutely terrified every time I move to a new tray i’m going to lose another veneer, or even worse a crown. I have the hook thing but it’s useless the first two days or so. I got acrylics on my nails and they. just tear up my gums. Fingers crossed the flosser thing will work. Thanks so much to all of you for getting me off the ledge

    1. I’m so afraid I’m going to pull a tooth out or something! I’m only on my second day so maybe I won’t freak out as things progress (I only have 8 trays to get through). I keep feeling like I have buyers remorse, but maybe it will get better! I have no issues with the bottom tray it’s just the top one that freaks me out! Thanks Heather for your comment! Hoping you’re doing well since you posted this id December 2020!

    2. OMG! You’re killing me! I can so relate!!! I “was” on a 15 week program and was soooooo happy at Week 15; should have been done last May. But, as I waited and waited for my retainers, for whatever reason, they had me go back to weeks 6,7 and 8 for about 2 months then they/ all but ignored me for about 6 weeks as I through darts to find the “best fitting” aligners. They finally helped me but I received 2 chips in one tooth and I had to pay cash to have it fixed. Long story short, my teeth were worse than ever to include when I started. It took far too long but, I received another impression kit and new aligners. Only one aligner fit. I finally received my 3rd set and, yep OMG!!! I tried to put them on and gave up but fell asleep with them on half on. The next morning they were on! After trying to remove them for over a half an hour with my teeth throbbing, 3 broken acrylic nails and 2 broken cuticle pushers, I called for help and was told this was normal for “new ‘refinement’ aligners”. REALLY? I suggested they include that info with the aligners as a big heads up. I finally got them off and after soaking them in warm water for a day, things got easier. But, I do dread going to Week 2 as my dentist saw me a couple of days ago and said “Do not force them on. They shouldn’t need to be soaked and should go on with a little work like 30-45 econds or so each at first and less time after that”. It’s coming up on a year of my 15 Week Nightmare. I should say these are invisaligners but not from invisaline.

  2. I have lost two nails because of the everyday removal of Invisalignes. 4 years later and my 2 nails (the ones I’ve been removing the plates with) don’t grow properly and are detached from the finger bed. Did it happen to anyone else..?

  3. Thanks for all the help. I will definitely be trying the paper towel thing.
    What I found was that when the back comes off the plate tries to straighten and this is what causes the pain in the teeth that are still covered by the plate.
    The answer is to grip it tightly and pull it into the centre of your mouth. Then you peel it out from the inside. The outside, where the attachments are, is always a little behind the inside. It’s a rolling motion with your hand.
    My big problem is that I am already very thin and can’t afford to lose more weight. I eat mostly fish and mash up my food with my fork if it is a bit hard. In this post Weinstein era there is no shame in anything – I take my plates out at the table. It is easier sitting down anyway. I put them in a Stasher silicone bag containing a bit of saline and then clean them properly before I put them back in.
    I’m 67, I should have done this earlier, but maybe helpful posts like all these would not have been around.

  4. I’ve been wanting to get some invisalign braces, and I think that doing some reading first would be good for me. I’m really glad you mentioned being able to talk to your orthodontist about invisalign braces. I’m going to have to talk to a few different ones and see what braces would be best for me!

  5. Just went to the dentist yesterday after wearing these (Clear Correct) trays 2 months and thinking I would quit because of the trouble of removal. She said, with two finger of one hand squeeze the back of the tray gently while at the same time with the thumb and pointer finger of the other hand pull the front of the tray away from your mouth.

    This helps it clear the buttons you may have on the front of your teeth. It is helpful to hold the back of the tray with a paper towel or tissue. Much easier now.

  6. Thank you so much for writing about this!! I just got aligners yesterday and and put them in last night. I got up this morning to take out to brush my teeth and I panicked when I could not get them out! Your post saved me-using a paper towel to grip worked like a charm!!

  7. Hi Everyone! I use this tool called orthokey and it does the job very well! My nails are brittle and pulling out my trays is very difficult for the first few days! It’s a lifesaver!

  8. I also looked up the tool on Amazon, and noticed someone said that the reach flossing tool would work. My drug store didn’t have reach so I got the Listerine one. Worked like a charm, was starting to think I would never get them off. $2.99 and life is good again! Just use the floss on one end and it will pop right off. Good luck to you all, and happy teeth straightening.

    1. Oh my, this comment saved me! I was actually starting to have panic attacks trying to get them outl. Used the Reach floss tool to get one side out and then just wiggle them to get them all the way out. Thank you thank you

  9. Jere Cleveland

    I have no problem removing the trays. My problem is in eating, trying to keep those white bumps on my teeth from pinching the inside of my mouth. Any help out there?

    1. My dentist gave me some small wax sticks. She said to create a smooth bump in areas were the bumps were abraiding my cheeks. Made a huge difference. About to move onto aligner set #2 and I wonder if I will need as much wax as I think your mouth/lips etc do get use to the bumps…

  10. I was so glad to have found your tips! This is my first week and I have been so freaked out. To the point where I was eating less and less and feeling hungry all the time. Thank you!

  11. I just started my first tray for Invisalign yesterday and it’s awful! Putting them on is easy, and keeping them in is bearable, but getting them off is a long production filled with tears. My orthodontist didn’t really talk to me about the attachments, so I had no idea I was getting 18 (18!!!) of them. The worst part is that I’ve had some work done on the front teeth, and when they first had me practice taking them off, a huge chunk of one of those teeth broke off and stuck in the aligner when I pulled it out! Mostly bonding, but still, it was terrifying, and after getting it fixed they decided not to put the attachment back on that tooth, so I’m down to 17. What freaks me out is that the canine tooth next to it has had similar work done and also has an attachment on it, and every time I pull the tray out I’m afraid that one will break, too. I’m definitely going to try using gloves to see if it’ll help me maneuver the tray over that problem area. Hopefully these tips can ease the process, so thanks for sharing them.

    I would love to hear from anyone who has or had a similarly large number of attachments. Even if it’s only to share the experience!

    1. I’m going to be getting allot of attachments soon. I’m concerned about your same phobia. Wel both just be really careful fingers crossed. So sorry about what happened to you. I know you must have really been stressed too the max!

      1. I just started this week with 18 attachments. I didn’t eat for 12 hours today in fear of the pain of removing the trays. I just used a paper towel to get them out which helped a lot. Will this get easier with this many attachments!? I don’t know if i can make it 18 months!

  12. Can someone here please explain to me why the attachment bumps have to be so sharp they cut the inside of my cheeks to the point of bleeding? Incentive to wear the trays to avoid the cuts? Why do the pressure points have to be so sharp? Oh, I asked that already? Day 2 of Trays 3 with bands. Only 53 more sets to go. Thank you for this blog. It has been very helpful.

  13. Day 2, Top front teeth were shaved (and yes it felt like cuts in the gum) All hurts with removal for eating and putting back in. I read something about warm water so i had a mug of hot water after lunch, whicle the liners were soaking in warm. Was easier and faster…still sore front teeth which i understand will take a while to feel ok again.
    I have 22 weeks worth…3 sets liners (6) at a time as my dentist is Out of town. I too wondered about spending all that money…for pain. I know it will be worth it in teh long run. Like the saying goes ” Vanity know No Pain”!
    As far as snacking goes…sure makes you think twice when you have to go through all the trouble of out, cleaning and back in again. I anticipated i wouldnt start my weeks untill holidays were over, but coulnd’t not cover those sharp attachments. I would have sores on the inside of my mouth otherwise!
    Thanks for the Blog. Helped me so much. I am feeling more positive rather than panicky that they werent coming out or thinking that i would be pulling my front teeth out, yanking down to release the implants.

  14. Lizzy C crispin

    Thank you for having this blog! Im on day 2 of my first tray- they put the attachments on right away- which I had no idea about- I hate taking the trays out, I definetely think I’m going to loose weight.. my teeth feel so sore .. Im afraid they will fall off every time I take the trays out.. Even when the trays are out.. my teeth feel so sore I dread when I have to eat.. or even put them back on… Im hoping the soreness will subside. Thank you for all the tips. I am going to try them all .. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions about tongue soreness? My tongue feels so sore from rubbing against the trays..(which I have on both top and bottom) does that ever goes away…

    I am NOT looking forward the shaving of my bottom teeth.. in about 3 weeks.. the thought if it is already giving anxiety. If it wasnt because of the attachments.. I probably would have already removed the trays and given up on this whole thing. :S

  15. MY GOODNESS. I am so happy I found this blog. I just got my first set of trays today WITH the attachments. Feels like my teeth are going to rip out of my skull when I remove them to eat or clean after coffee. Such a nightmare! I will definitely try these techniques… dinner is coming up soon 🙁

  16. I went on-line hoping to find some help with getting Invisalign on and off. I just got them today January 24,2013 a day after my 69th birthday. I had no idea they would be so hard to take on and off. I cried my eyes out on the drive back to my home which is over an hour from the orthodontists office, because I had so much anxiety about how I was going to cope with so many changes in my life because of the Invisalign, When I got home I tried taking them out and putting them back in my mouth a few times, and I needed to eat because I was hungry, and I had a really difficult time, and last time I wanted to take the bottoms out, one area was practically impossible to remove, and I was struggling with it for at least 15 minutes. I called the doctor and she can see me tomorrow again if necessary, so I will have to drive way back there again.
    Anyway, sorry for babbling on and on about my problems with the Invisalign, but I just had to complain to someone who would understand.
    I will try some of your suggestions. I don’t know why the orthodontist didn’t mention the tool.
    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Charlotte from MA

  17. I found that when I got gel fake nails – they are incredibly strong and are amazing ‘aligner getter outers’! Better than anything I have tried – love em!! Worth having just for that reason!

  18. Just got my 1st set if trays 3 hours ago. I got the top tray out no problem. I COULD NOT get the bottom tray out. I was having low blood sugar so I had to eat!!! So I did with the lower tray still in!!! I am starting to wonder if the fit on the bottom is just not right. When they attempted to put the bottom in they couldn’t do it. It was like the tray was a little short wouldn’t reach. Finally she got it on the back teeth then slammed it on the first four crooked teeth. OUCH!!! When I tried to take the bottom tray out to eat the pain was unbearable on those four front bottom teeth and one of my teeth actually started to bleed. So I WILL continue to eat with the bottom tray in!!!! I don’t know what else to do!

  19. ** Best removal tool ** well, for me and the others I have shared this with. Purchase a package of flossing tools. (the little plastic toothpicks that have a wide end with floss) now, turn the floss end sideways and hook it over your stubborn trays and they will work(pop) off. I have button on the front two teeth that seem to bond with the tray when the teeth are dry and using a flossing tool has made the difference. I can fit 1 or 2 flossing tools in my little cases as well! also, when it is time to brush your liner and teeth, first leave your trays in and brush (without paste) the outside of your trays before your remove them. It will make it easier to only worry about cleaning the inside of the tray when they are removed! Good luck to y’all! I am on 19 of 32!

    1. Thank you so much! I didn’t think there was a way I could get my retainer out & sure enough your idea with the flexible flosses worked nicely. ?

  20. I could use some advice on how to get a tight set of invisalign on. My daughter has lost her current set and has not had them in for about 2 weeks. I am taking her the next set tomorrow and I know they are going to be extremely tight and difficult to get in…her lower teeth are already starting to space. The orthodontist is not available until Monday. Is there a safe way to temporarily stretch or soften the next set of liners so that she can get them in? Help!! Thanks!

  21. Thank you so much for all the info. & advice. 7 hrs in. Day 1 of express 10 tray option with 14 attachments!!!! Holy smokes they hurt can’t get them out etc. actually feel light headed & really sore. They now have been out for 2 hrs. Dreading to put them back on!!

  22. Thanks for the tips. On day 2 of Invisalign with attachments from the start. I have a pretty high pain threshold, I’ve run some tough marathons, and given birth to two children without pain relief, however what I am experiencing now is up there with those experiences. The panic, claustraphobia, and pain trying to get the aligner over the little blocks. I am getting nostaligic about my crooked teeth.

  23. Wow, so nice to find a support group. So I just started, or tried to start, my 2nd tray yesterday. (I just have lower trays). I have about 8 of the monster attachments (after 10 days I took a nail file to them and at least the inside lip bleeding stopped). I still eat mostly soft food and lose weight. I had a lower front tooth pulled the day they put on attachments and put in the first trays. It was horrible. Like most everyone’s experience. Hard to get out, put in, pain, raw, Wahhh! But also as reported, it got better gradually. By the end of week 2 I could pop it right out. It cracked a little at some point. Since I had a tooth pulled and cannot have a big hole in my front teeth (I talk for a living) the doctor made a little fake tooth and glued it into the tray. Ok at first. But for 2nd tray in my 4th week, I think/hope the tooth is be too big. When I went in yesterday he FORCED the tray onto my teeth, I clenched, cried out. Then getting it out caused me to curse outloud. I have alot of dental work, and have old gums (I’m 57) and so am very concerned about tearing/pulling out teeth or filling or crowns. He put the new fake tooth in the tray and I put the old tray back in my mouth to let the other set. Last night couldn’t get the lower tray in. Tried, tried. Actually went to sleep with it about 2/3 in on front teeth. Got it set on back teeth. I think/hope the fake tooth is a little too big and tray won’t go in for that reason. I’ll go back to ortho tomorrow, but will not let him slam it into my mouth again. This part is just brutal. I expect it to be difficult, especially with the little attachments. But this is just too much. Ya’ll help me keep my eye on the prize. Thanks.

  24. I have never laughed so hard reading the comments. I am on day 4 and haven’t gotten the attachments. After reading everything, I admit I am pretty nervious about trying to get them out. But at least I now what to expect after reading all the comments. It has been very helpful to know that I am not alone in this quest for perfect teeth. I am going to Europe on vacation in a month and wondering if I could just not wear them for 20 hours and day and wear them for 10 hours and then just add on another week before I change to the next tray?

    1. You will be sore, eventually as the attachments rub against the inside of your check, or you play with the attachments as they are foreign, with your tongue. I had thought about holidays, and starting the liners after..but changed my mind rather quickly. For a road trip and no will be hard to do. (also, only water to drink, so there are no sugary substances my teeth have to sit it for too long.) I don’t want the cavities on top of everything else!! Enjoy your holiday!!

  25. So glad I stumbled upon this post and these comments! I just got my attachments yesterday, after wearing Invisalign without attachments for one month. I was not prepared for the difficulty in yanking off the trays! Yikes! I, too, felt desperate, and I was on the verge of tears when I decided to turn to the internet. Thank goodness others have felt despair as I have! I was thinking I should have done the metal braces when others commented above that they are way worse. I’m thankful for these tips. I did try the paper towel method this morning. I did have trouble, but the trays did come off, not as quick as I’d like, but I only got the attachments yesterday. I suppose I need more practice. I’m glad for forums like this where I can see that I’m not alone!

  26. Thanks for your sage advice. The panicky feeling at the beginning was unexpected and so led to more anxiety. Shaky fingers don’t help — hopefully the paper towel strategy will. My nails are taking a beating.

  27. I’m just embarking on the Invisalign path and will be getting my moulds done in a few weeks, after which time there’s not really any turning back! I’m nervous about not being able to get the aligners out to eat as everyone here seems to have found it incredibly difficult. I’ve already bought some Outies from Amazon (US) so I’m hoping these help a bit (and save my nails too!). I also had metal train track braces as a teenager and every tightening session was horrid with wires cutting up the inside of my mouth and elastic bands all over the place. Surely Invisalign can’t be worse than that?! Anyway, I’ll report back in a month or so when hopefully I’ll be on set 1. Great blog though and very helpful advice, thanks everyone!

  28. Hi there,
    After reading all the tales of Invisalign trauma I actually feel more positive, the blog has had a positive effect. I have already got through 23 sets of upper aligners, I just started on the lowers and have had very similar problems in getting the things out. It seems harder getting the lower ones out than the upper ones. Your finger nails are in the correct direction when pulling the upper aligners in a downward direction but you just can’t get your fingers in the correct position to get the lower ones off. I spent 15 minutes hiding in the store room at work trying to get them out, anyone seeing me must have thought I was having some kind of fit. I was worried about knocking the retaining bumps off. I gave up for a while then tried again 30 minutes later and managed to do it in around 5 minutes. I’m sure it will get better with practice.

  29. Pingback: My Invisalign Journey Begins : Life After Marriage

  30. Thanks for the tips. I just got my 1st 2 trays today and when I took them out, it hurt so bad, I cried. It felt like someone was trying to pull all of my teeth out at once. My dentist told me that some people lost weight because they hated to have to remove their aligners. I’m looking forward to when it starts to get easier to take them out. For this week, though, I think I’ll be eating a lot of milkshakes!

  31. I’m on week three of my Invisalign treatment and just got my second set in today. The first two weeks I just had the aligners, no attachments and the first two days were the most difficult with the aligners being very tight but I managed to get them in and out with little to no problems after that and thought the treatment would be as simple as that going forward. Then this morning, I got attachments put on my teeth and aligners number two… and what a rude awakening when I tried to take them off to eat lunch! I struggled for 20 mins in the bathroom in work, broke the nails on my index and middle fingers on both hands and didn’t succeed in more than budging the aligners slightly!! I tried putting tissue over my fingers which only succeeded in sticking bits of soggy tissue to them! I actually felt like crying with frustration!! I waited til I got home to attempt to remove them again. By now my fingertips were so raw it reminded me of when I first tried to learn guitar and the pain from the pressure of trying to form chords!!…not to mention I was practically delirious with hunger having not been able to eat anything all day. Against your advice here I used a tweezers to try and jimmy them off…lo and behold after 10 mins of this approach I had a result. I started at the back next to the molars where there is the most give and worked my way towards the front teeth, loosening a little on each side as I went. Where there was an attachment on the teeth I tried to pull the aligner AWAY and down, not just straight down, this seemed to do the trick. It was slow going and awkward and I was terrified of breaking them but I think if you go slowly and carefully, moving each section a little bit at at a time, you’ll get there eventually.

    I’ve noticed on a lot of forums people talking about the pain of Invisalgn and how bad it can be etc. but as a person who wore the train-track style braces for three years in my teens I can tell you that the pain of Invisalign is nothing compared to the pain of tracks. When I had my tracks put on and then each month afterwards when I got them tightened I had to eat nothing but biscuits mashed up with hot milk for days because I couldn’t eat any solid food. The othodontist would often leave the wire too long at the back molar which would then stab me in my inside cheek. I had pieces of wax to put over this until I could get back to him to clip the wire. With tracks not just your teeth hurt but your gums, your inner cheeks and at times it felt like your whole head would just explode! Yes, Invisalign can be painful for the first couple of days with a new aligner but it settles down very quickly and I find I have gotten used to them quite quicky. They can be a bit of an irritation but it is a foreign body in your mouth after all, how could they not cause some type of sensation? I can honestly say having experienced both I would take Invisalign any day and to me it is worth going through all this to have straight teeth once and for all!!

  32. Part of the reason why your aligners aren’t coming out easily is because either a. Your dentist didn’t take a very good impression or b. your teeth need more than minimal treatment. If your teeth are just crooked to a minimal amount, then they won’t be as hard to get off, but they won’t slip off. if you try to make your mouth warm, the you might end up stretching the aligners out and they won’t do the work as well, so before you go telling people to do things with their EXPENSIVE aligners, that could possibly ruin them, make sure your a professional.

  33. THANK YOU! I had my first aligner fitted today, with quite a few attachments. When I took it out a few hours later to eat, it hurt so much, I cried! It felt like the teeth with the attachments were going to snap in half! Off to try again now, using your tips! Thanks again!

  34. Hi Jo,

    That sounds terrible! I must say mine were tight, but not so bad that I couldn’t remove them to eat and clean my teeth. I think perhaps you need to go back and see your dentist so that they can show you other techniques for removing them. It does feel like you are ripping your teeth out when you first remove Invisalign, but it usually eases somewhat after a couple of days, this sounds quite extreme.

    Do know what system you have if it isn’t Invisalign.

    Good Luck, I hope it gets easier soon.

    1. Thank you for that funny experience, mine always make me feel like I have toe socks on my teeth! I always wait about 10 seconds after the second jaw is freed, then I spit them out! Some people at a table in a restaurant wanted to know if I needed am ambulance because all my teeth came out in a neat little lump! They fainted and I got to eat! Thank you kind table !

  35. Hi,

    I see from this that everyone struggles removing their alligners at first but Im really finding it so painful that Im cant remove them.

    I havnt got invisalign, I just have clear allingners from a cosmetic dentist which are apparently the same. I got my alligners on Tuesday night, were now on Thursday morning and although its disgusting Ive only managed to remove the top alligner twice so Ive not been able to eat and brush my teeth! When I try to remove the top alligner im in so much agony that I cant physically make myself do it. I can pull the back off each side but as soon as they are loose the front feels like its going to rip my teeth out and I am hanging off the front off the alligner with my nails pulling it down and it just wont loosen off. I end up in tears and just push it back on at the back because its so tight. I tried to remove it this morning and the front teeth started bleeding just from the pressure of the brace pushing on them when I pull off the back :o(

    I really dont know what to do, the dentist have said that thats just the way they are and I have to persevere but I cant help thinking that the top allinger is just too tight! Ive tried using a crochering needle to pull at the front but that didnt work either. I will try the gloves aswell

    Anyone had any experience of so much agony and actually not being able to remove them rather than just pain and difficulty? I am so so fed up with it that I feel like cutting it out!

  36. Ps: forgot to mention, i know it says in the literature to remove the aligners when ever you drink…. im not doing that as its a pain in the behind (also i dont drink fizzy pop or hot drinks)… am i being naughty?

    cant exactly see myslef out on a friday or saturday night drinking – with out my aligners! lol lol

    hope my ortho isnt reading this!

  37. Wow, what a great blog site. Im new to Invisalign and was pretty nervous about having the procedure. Im now on tray 3 of 39!! long way to go as yet. To have the aligners work correctly i needed to have 3 teeth removed to make space for the correction… not pretty when i have to take the aligners out to eat… pretty self concious, especially when out to dinner with work colleagues (my work requires alot of this). This side there is no easy way out, i just eat as quick as i can, dont say a word and then pop them back in again… easier said than done. All those encounters in public washrooms (some of which are not the most hygenic of places)! haha But hey im guessing it will be worth it once i have a beautiful smile… why oh why did i just not do it when i was a child… 36 now!

    I too have had one of my aligners crack, which has made me feel quite aprehensive about putting them in and out, i guess i must have incorrectly removed it and exerted undue pressure to cause it to crack… Had my attachments put in yesterday, 11 in total, wow thats a wierd feeling… not so bad when the aligners are but eating with these rough bits of fake tooth stuck in your mouth feels weird! anyway just like everyone else, im terrified of taking them out, placing them in isnt as bad at all, front to back but takingthem out is really hard.

    So glad that this blog exists, as its pretty scary when you have you and your otho to discuss matters… thanks peeps for being so informative… keep it going

    Ontario, Canada

  38. Happy to find your blog on the crazyness of removing the Invisalign. This morning my daughter was in a bit of a panic at not being able to remove in order to eat! This was after yesterday’s difficulty during school lunch in the bathroom desparately trying to remove in time to eat before the next class. This morning we used the two person technique:) She has already lost any edge she had on her fingernails after yesterdays madness, so between me hooking my short-ish nails onto the side, she got enough grip on the front and we got it out! Two people…she didn’t put it back in for school today and hopefully after the weekend of wearing, things will ease up. This is her second round, second tray, with attachments. Thanks again for your info, I’m going to get some gloves for her to try next! ~ Pam Ps: It is a comfort for me reading your blog…we’re not alone:)

  39. It’s been great reading all of these posts–and it makes me feel better about the whole process. I switched to tray #2 the other day, but had to spend nearly 30 minutes getting the top tray out at mealtime. For the third meal — at lunchtime — after 20 minutes I decided lunch wasn’t worth the agony and called the orthodontist. He told me to keep tray 1 for another week (thank goodness, as I’m going out of town for a few days!) and try again next week. The bottom tray, so far as been fine, but I’m expecting difficulty at some point. Fingers crossed…I think knowing that most people seem to have a similar experience at some point during the process definitely helps. And I’m certainly going to go buy some rubber gloves, and ask about outie tool!!!

  40. Nina, the attachments are what allow certain teeth to move more than others. The dentist uses them to be able to move certain teeth in specific ways (shift to the side, turn, etc.). As a result, they make the aligner tighter which increases the discomfort level in those particular areas.
    I am on my first set of trays and I’ve had them for two days now. Days one and two were awful. I considered skipping several meals to not have to take them off. I could not imagine the discomfort getting any better or the removal process getting any easier. Today is day 3 and I already feel kind of better about it. The most awkward thing now is removing them at work before lunch :). I’m definitely not looking forward to going through this with each new tray though … man oh man. No pain, no gain I suppose!

  41. just got my first attachments today. i’m on trays #2. I couldn’t get my top tray out so I could not eat dinner. I tried again later at night before sleeping and I finally was able to get my top tray out.Yeah! I was able to eat something. I really feel like I am going to break a tooth by the time I finish my invisalign. I swear I feel my two front teeth bending as I pull the tray off. I also fear of getting bad gums as well by the end of this process. This website helps me feel a lot better when I read other people are feeling the same as I.

  42. I started with my trays a few weeks ago and at first I could only bear a few hours at a time. This may sound a little crazy, but I made a list of the in and out times each day. I gradually built up from 6 hours at the beginning to currently 22 hours a day at the minute.

    I couldn’t sleep with the tray in at first, but slowly got used to it. I think that the main issue was that I felt the whole claustrophobia thing going on. I was constantly thinking that there may be food trapped between the tray and the teeth, etc.

    The only problem is that I need to move onto tray 2 now. I can’t even tell I have a tray in half the time at present, and in a weird way don’t want to say goodbye to tray 1, lol.

    The main issue for me is being able to get out the tray. It’s kind of like ‘if I can remove it at any time, then I don’t feel claustrophobic’. I think that has brought on the fear of tray change.
    One thing I will do just before I change to no 2 is keep it in my mouth for a few minutes before clipping it on. My idea is that it won’t feel too much like a ‘foreign body’, and may warm up a little bit so it becomes more pliable.

    Wish me luck, lol.

  43. Thanks for the tip on the glove, I used my fake tan gloves and sucked in some air to dry my mouth and i pinched the sligned at the back and it popped out of place, then i kind of yanked it out. It wasnt easy and it is a little scary, but its only day 1 and my teeth havent fallen out and my aligned hasnt cracked so I must be doing something right. Im guessing it iwll only get easier from now onwards
    Ps – they really dont hurt, im so surprised?!

  44. I’m very nervous about getting my invisalign. I’m just getting them on the bottom. I’ve heard a lot about “attachments”. I’m quite confused about what they are…and the removal sounds painful. I’m going to try and relax, but I’m feeling kind of overwhelmed. Can someone tell me what “attachments are? Thanks 🙂

  45. Hi,
    I am so relieved it’s not just me finding this process difficult. I got my first set or aligners last night, putting them in and wearing them is not an issue, it’s taking them out! The top aligner actually leaves me in tears trying to remove it, feels like it’s pulling 2 of my teeth out where it is so tight. Thank goodness that wont be happening for the whole 10 months I have the aligners for.
    Thank you for the helpful tips and the peace of my mind!

  46. Hi All,

    Hope you are all finding it a LOT easier by now. I have thankfully gone back to finding it quick and easy to get mine out- Hope it is the same for all of you…

  47. I’m also glad to read this and know I’m not alone! I got my Invisalign yesterday and almost cried trying to take them out for the first time last night – it took forever! I also have the attachments and hadn’t realized how difficult it would be – I had just assumed they would slip on / off very easily. I’ve now taken them out four times and it’s getting a bit easier, although I still feel like I’m going to crack my tray – or my teeth – every time I take them out. I really hope this gets easier, because I’m having serious buyers remorse right now! In the meantime, I see myself losing some serious weight over the next year, just because taking these things out to eat may not be worth the hassle!

    1. Reading this I know that this is something I could have written myself. Today is the first day of wearing Invisalign – the first hours, actually (I put them on a little over an hour ago), and I am sooo dreading taking them out. I probably will not be eating anymore tonight, so tomorrow morning will be the first time trying to remove them. I even had trouble putting them on, so I would prefer never having to take them out again. won’t be much snacking for me, so some pounds outght to be shed! I am almost regretting getting this, but hopefully it will get easier, and after a mere 5 months my teeth should be looking better. However, I find I am speaking with a slight lisp now – hopefully that will disappear as I get used to these aligners in my mouth.

  48. I’m on tray 8 of 27 for both uppers and lowers. I’ve just realized that my lower tray has a split on the inside just back of my lower 2nd premolar. Its day 9 of this set. This is the second tray in a row to break like this. I’ve got attachments on 6 of my lower teeth and 4 on top but don’t really experience a lot of difficulty removing the trays (except the first day of a new set). Any idea why they are splitting?

  49. Thank you SO MUCH! I just started my aligners yesterday – it took me two hours of intermittent attempts before I could finally eat – and I was so hungry!

    These are great tips and so helpful. Without them, I would certainly be seriously panicking but it is comforting to hear I am not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Seriously, THANK YOU, for doing this blog!!!!!

  50. I’ve had my aligners for about 5 weeks (all the first set of aligners) and a couple days ago I went in to get the buttons put on and the IPR done. The buttons are in the front of the teeth and rub up against my cheeks when I eat. They are pretty rough and are actually making little sores on my cheeks where they are rubbing. Did this happen to you? Or did your orthodontist buff them down so they were smooth? A friend told me she used wax on her braces when that happened but I’m pretty sure that will interfere with the aligners. Any suggestions?

  51. I started mine tray 1 yesterday.. I have 7 attachments on the bottom and 6 on top.. I have a cross bite andan open bite and a little bit of crookedness on the bottom.. teeth are trying to crowd.. well. dr made my take them in and out a couple times before I left.. I must have take then in and out 4 times yesterday../ my main issue is the lip cutting.. I have had to file them on the tops..
    I found that popping them in the inside for the tops works for me
    on the bottoms, I just use my thumbnails and go under each canine tooth.. doesnt take a lot of pressure and it pops right off…
    I feel a lot less space between each tooth as I floss and its only been ONE full day.. suppose to be 12-18 months.. I think it will be a shorter time..
    Ill keep ya posted!

  52. Thanks so much for the tips! Glad to hear that it’s not just me who’s finding it difficult. I started on Invisalign today and taking the first tray off so I could eat was agony. My fingers are raw. But I feel like I’ll be able to do it quicker next time and hopefully with much less hassle. Seems like a long way off till I can just pop them in and out whenever I fancy a hot drink but I’m sure I’ll get there!

    Thanks again 🙂

  53. I definitely broke both thumbnails by the second day. T_T On the first day I had 12 attachments put on my teeth so I never got the chance to get used to taking the aligners on & off without attachments first. My bottom aligners were horrible to take out because of the crowding + 6 attachments and on top of that I have really chubby cheeks so my cheeks kept getting caught between my teeth and the aligners.. was already bleeding at the ortho ’cause my cheeks kept getting caught while I was practicing taking them on and off. But now on the 4th day I’m a pro! We’ll see how things go when the next set starts..

  54. Today is my first day of Invisalign (hour 5 to be exact). BUT I feel much much much better after reading this blog!!!! I am still panicky about removing my aligners. I DO feel like they are stuck and never coming out! I think that the attachments are really what get me panicked….that is where I get stuck…… 🙂 I will take all of the advice and just stay calm and keep practicing. Thanks for the support.

  55. I received an email on Saturday with one of the clinchecks! I’m sure there must be more than this one because it only shows the view from the front left, but at least it is a start and I can forward it on to my mom so she can have a better idea of what they’re doing to my teeth. It’s neat to watch each tooth get it’s moment in the sun and move into place. Each set of trays does definitely seem to “pick on” some teeth more than others, but in the end I guess each one will get its turn.

    Thanks for the tip on the Savacol. I looked it up and it doesn’t seem to be marketed in the US, but in looking up the ingredients they looked vaguely familiar and it turns out I already have some in the house, in — get this — doggie toothpaste and rawhide chews! I’m sure Piper, my Border collie, wouldn’t mind sharing some of her liver flavored toothpaste with me, LOL. If I don’t care for the liver (which I can guarantee you I won’t) it is also available in chicken and seafood flavors, yum yum. And the rawhide chews are basted with a 10% solution of the Chlorhexidine Gluconate. I give her about one a week. They’re stinky (to me) but apparently not to me because she loves them. They must work because her teeth are still in great shape and she’s 9 or 10 now, though I she does go in for a cleaning once every year. Anyway, I will ask about a human form at my next appointment. Thanks!

  56. Hi

    I first wanted to say that I absolutely love your blog.

    I’ve tried most of the different ways to take out my aligners and I’d agree that the best way is to relax and just keep at it. At first you feel like they’re stuck in there forever but eventually you realise that as long as you persevere then they’ll come out eventually.

    Please keep writing as I love to read about your invisalign story. I found your blog really helpful when deciding whether to go with Invisalign

  57. Hi Ellen,
    So glad they are getting easier to remove…
    You poor thing the IPR (tooth shaving) sounds horrible. I had a little done during my first run of Invisalign, but fortunately only a little and it didn’t really affect my gums thankfully.

    When I was pregnant I had constant and horrendous gum infections…rinsing with hot salt water also helped for me. I also tried something called Savacol which is a gingivitis mouthwash. It was great but pretty strong.

    Glad to hear refinements are included. Hopefully you won’t need them but good to know they are if you need them.

    If they can’t email your clinchecks ask for a copy of them on cd. That should be reasonably easy for them to come up with even if emailing is a little tricky. I think the problem with emailing tends to be that you have to compress the file and not all orthos are comfortable with that level of computer skill!

    Anyway, glad to hear that your aligners are getting easier to remove. Hopefully that will continue to be the case.
    Thanks for the update, let us know how you go.

  58. Just checking in to say that yesterday’s transition from trays 3 to 4 was ever so much easier than the transition from trays 2 to 3 last time. I am very glad to be done with that set 3 and hope no other future sets give me such grief.

    The next phase of the tooth shaving process that they did yesterday was sheer misery though. They further widened the same seven spaces on the top that they had begun two weeks prior. But this time I kept cringing because I kept feeling them working into my gums as they shaved away first with the discs and then the final strips — which were the worst. I kept seeing blood spots here and there, though they rinse and you don’t see much of what’s going on, especially since I had my eyes closed because of that bright flood light they use. Then last night when I was flossing after dinner, the floss made my gums bleed in several places, and rather profusely around that wonky tooth on the top. But the bleeding did stop pretty quickly, and I went on with my routine and put the trays back in but not without rinsing well with salt water first to try to avoid any infection. I am prone to gum infections — in fact I’ve already had three of them since I started with Invisalign only 6 weeks and 1 day ago now. That’s the reason I’m doing this Invisalign thing — I couldn’t care less that my teeth are crooked — but the crookedness has increased over the years to the point that they my teeth are difficult for me to clean properly and also for the dental hygienists to clean each time I go in for a cleaning. It’s hard for them to remove the plaque that builds up in those hard-to-reach places. So hopefully straightening my teeth will ultimately result in fewer gum infections — though I seem to be having more of them during the Invisalign process. I fastidiously floss, brush, and rinse with mouthwash as well as salt water, but I still get the infections anyway. The salt water seems to be the biggest help though — so if anybody else suffers from infections like me you might try rinsing with salt water to get some relief.

    Now when I look in the mirror without my trays in it looks strange to see gaps between my top teeth. I do hope they will be filled in as they continue to move my teeth around. I’ve never had gaps between my teeth before, so this a new look for me — hopefully a temporary one! The gaps they made are .4 millimeter. Hopefully they are done widening but there may be more to come at a future appt.

    Oh and I asked if I would need refinements, and he said probably not, but that they would be included in the cost if I did (I am on tray 4 of 14 on the top and 4 of 20 on the bottom). I also asked to see my clinchecks and have them emailed to me and he said he could show them to me on his own computer but never did — they always seem really busy in there and I’m sure there is pressure to keep the patients on schedule. He said to leave my email addy with the receptionist and that he’d try to email me the clinchecks later but wasn’t sure he could since he’d never tried emailing any before, but I haven’t received anything at all yet. And with the holiday weekend now in progress, I rather doubt I will. But I will ask again on my next visit, which was set for four weeks away on July 30.

  59. Thanks for the explanation! You’re very observant and knowledgeable about the process. I wasn’t offered my templates. They put my attachments (five of them) on the same day I got my very first trays and sent me home with only the actual trays, for sets 1 and 2. They don’t really explain much about what they’re doing and stand mostly behind my head, so I don’t get to see most of what’s going on — so I didn’t even realize that they had used templates instead of the actual trays while they placed the attachments. In fact I was wondering how they knew exactly where to place the attachments, so thanks to you now I know! Reading about other’s experiences on the web has been super helpful, as I was provided very little information about to what expect once I got home and had these things stuck in my mouth that I had no choice but to get used to. I suppose if they told you too much, you’d chicken out and never get them, LOL.

    The transition to set 2, at home on my own, was relatively easy. When I went in for my next appt. to pick up what I had expected to be three more sets, of sets 3 through 5, they did the lovely tooth shaving process on my upper teeth (well, half of the total shaving process — I guess I still have the other half of the process to look forward to at a future date) and sent me home with only one new set of trays. He wanted me to come again after only one tray to make sure I’m staying on track. Boy was that new upper tray tight over my wonkiest tooth! It made it super sore for several days, and it was torture trying to get that upper tray off with the soreness. It’s still tough to get that tray off now, but at least the soreness has subsided. No doubt only to begin again this coming Friday when I go in for set 4. But at least the subsiding pain tells me that my teeth must indeed be moving. I had braces as a kid for 4 years with a total of 8 extractions, and now at 48 I am a poster child for what happens to you when you don’t wear your retainer, cough cough. Interestingly, the lower tray of set 3 hasn’t given me any grief at all — hardly any soreness or tightness. And those teeth are still crooked, so I guess they will be focusing on them more during other upcoming trays. I guess they can’t move all your teeth at the same time.

    I think I’ll start asking more questions, now that I’m more aware of the process and know what to ask. I’ll ask if I get a copy of or at least see my clinchecks too — I didn’t even realize that was an option.

    Thanks again — I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  60. Hi Ellen,
    The template is similar to an aligner but softer and more pliable. It is used by the Invisalign dentist as a guide to exactly where to place the attachments. As far as I remember they fill the gaps in the template with some kind of gel substance, place it on the teeth and then shine a very bright light on them to set it… When they remove it the attachments are left on the teeth.
    As the template is softer than the aligner it is easier to remove so it can be a good transition to getting attachments. My doctor allowed me to wear mine for a little while before switching to my first aligner with attchment spaces.

    I hope this helps. Thanks so much for reading and good luck with your treatment.

  61. Hi,

    Can you explain what templates are? You refer to them in the “Speak to your orthodontist” point, but I have never heard of them. I am on my 3rd set of trays. The first two sets were much easier to get off, and caused much less pain, than this third set. I’ll be going in for the fourth set this Friday.

    Thanks for your blog — I love all your tips — they have been spot on and it is so nice to feel like there is somebody else out there who can relate to what I’m going through!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *