An amazing invention called invisible aligners has completely changed how people around the world correct their teeth.
It’s not always obvious how to recycle Invisalign ethically given the mounting pressure on landfills and the increased attention being paid to the state of the world’s oceans.
The road to beautiful teeth is made easier with Invisalign. But it also involves wearing numerous aligner trays. What happens to your old aligners after you’ve achieved your dream smile?
This guide will show you an appropriate approach to dealing with old aligners.
So, What Is Invisalign?
One of the most popular aesthetic dental procedures today is Invisalign.
Invisalign straightens crooked or mismatched teeth using nearly invisible aligners (braces). Most people won’t even notice you are wearing them because they look like a thin, transparent gum shield.
Your teeth will be gradually realigned using the Invisalign system of aligners. To get the greatest and quickest results, it’s critical to wear your aligners almost always.
How You Should Recycle Old Invisalign
How should your old tray aligner be disposed of?
1. Treat Them as Medical Waste and Dispose of Them as Such
Invisalign trays are composed of medical-grade plastic and they are categorized as medical waste. Like many other invisible aligners, they should not be thrown away like regular trash.
According to Invisalign, Vivera retainers and Invisalign aligners are considered class “IIa” medical devices. According to the Medical Device Directive 93/42/EEC, they are CE-marked.
Your used aligners must be discarded ethically and handled like medical waste.
2. Your Dentist Can Recycle the Invisalign
Your Invisalign cases, flexible plastic packing, and packaging are collected, cleaned, and then transformed into hard plastic. Then, this is remolded to create brand-new recycled goods.
A variety of plastics are combined to create the multi-layered polymer (Invisalign). As your grin aligns, Invisalign permits both rigidity and suppleness during tooth movement.
Unfortunately, the standard household recycling techniques won’t work because there are separate recycling methods needed for each type of plastic used in Invisalign.
The fantastic news is that your dentist’s office can recycle your Invisalign. Any brand of dental aligners, their flexible plastic packaging, and even your plastic aligner case may be recycled.
Reasons to Recycle Aligners (Component of Invisalign)
To Curb the Proliferation of Plastic Waste
You undoubtedly believe that throwing away your old Invisalign aligners is considerably simpler.
However, the issue of old Invisalign trays is growing significantly in the fight against plastic waste.
Over 10 million people’s smiles have been improved by Invisalign, not to mention the numerous other businesses that produce high-quality invisible aligners.
An estimated 25 million dental aligners per year are disposed of in general trash dumps. There could be a lot of old aligners swimming in our waters.
Is Invisalign an Environmental Hazard?
As aforesaid, plastics are used to make Invisalign trays.
Although Invisalign trays are safe for your teeth and are composed of a variety of plastic materials, they are awful for the environment.
Invisalign trays contain numerous different types of plastics and are even worse than ordinary plastic things.
They harm The Ecosystem
Consequently, the Invisalign trays will harm the ecosystem if they are not properly contained.
Invisalign tray recycling is prohibited in some nations, in addition to the lack of technology needed. Therefore, even if you wanted to, you would not have the chance to defend the environment.
Your only option would be to finally throw away your Invisalign trays.
Things You Can Do with Your Old Invisalign Trays
There are only a few uses for Invisalign trays besides straightening teeth because they are considered medical waste.
1. Keep Them
Even after getting the next fix, keep your Invisalign trays handy in case you lose the current one and need to switch back to the earlier one. You cannot, however, choose to take this action.
To determine which choice is best for you, you should speak with your dentist.
Always keep a few of your most recent Invisalign trays on hand since you never know when you might need them.
2. Bin Them
The best way to get rid of your Invisalign trays is to bin them. Each person has a unique set of teeth, so you can’t exactly pass them down or distribute them.
What may be bothering you is also not likely to bother someone else you know.
They are composed of intricate plastic, so recycling them is clearly out of the question. You should be aware by this point that they are also a sort of medical waste.
So, throwing them out is the best course of action.
3. Creative Stationary Holders
This advice is ideal for you if you enjoy making spooky crafts.
You would also require some paint and a glue gun. Initially, use two sets of your Invisalign trays to form a circle.
After that, stack the trays on top of one another and secure them with a glue gun.
When you reach the height you want, you can paint the creative undertaking you just finished.
Note: Before you begin working on it, you might also think about thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting it.
4. Nightstand Décor/Decorations
You can paint your useless Invisalign trays with glow-in-the-dark paint and set them on your nightstand.
Additionally, it’s a fantastic technique to get rid of them without endangering the environment.
Bonus: What Not to Do When Wearing Invisalign/Aligners
Your normal activities shouldn’t be significantly affected by wearing your Invisalign aligners.
However, specialists urge patients to remove them for specific tasks like eating, smoking, chewing gum, cleaning their teeth, and flossing.
Remove aligners when brushing your teeth
Taking the aligners out when brushing your teeth enables you to properly clean every area of your mouth, assisting in the removal of plaque and bacteria.
Remove aligners before you smoke
If you smoke, dentists would urge you to remove your aligners before having a cigarette because the smoke might discolor them and make them more noticeable to others.
Avoid Chewing Gum
Additionally, chewing gum while wearing aligners is discouraged since gum tends to adhere to braces, increasing the risk of dental health issues because plaque will begin to build up on the aligner.
We now know that even though Invisalign trays are highly harmful to the environment, we still require them.
We are crossing our fingers, though that technology will eventually create a technique to properly dispose of them without endangering the environment.
Until then, think about throwing them away in a trash can. If you want eerie but avant-garde art, feel free to utilize one of our suggestions.