What Do I Do With My Old Invisalign Trays?

Posted | Invisalign, Blog

Invisalign treatment involves a series of clear retainers that minutely change the alignment of your teeth over the course of your treatment. Treatment time can vary, but you’ll receive new aligners every few weeks that will guide your treatment. This leads to an accumulation of old retainers and patients asking, “What do I do with my old Invisalign trays?” Here, we have your answer.   

Should I Keep My Old Invisalign Trays?

Out of focus woman hold an In-focus Invisalign tray


The short answer is: Yes! Hold on to each of your aligners after you have used them. This will help your Invisalign specialist if there is a movement that was not fully made and there is a need to go back to correct this. It can be helpful for both you and your Invisalign specialist if you hang on to everything and bring each aligner to your visits.

Once your treatment is complete your specialist will advise you on what you should do with your aligners. Most will advise to keep the last few aligners in the event anything is lost or broken. Invisalign trays can easily be misplaced and have a reputation of being the favorite snack for family dogs. Your last tray aligner can also assist your orthodontist, should any problems arise with your new retainers or if they want to check on the course of your treatment to determine if it needs any adjustments.

Lastly, you may want to keep your first tray in order to compare it with your final Invisalign treatment cycle. This can show the massive shift in your teeth and many patients find they enjoy the tangible memories.

What Do I Do with My Old Invisalign Retainers?

While you may want to hang on to your first and most recent aligners for the reasons above, you will receive many, many more Invisalign trays over the course of your custom treatment plan and likely won’t want to keep them all. When you think you no longer need or want your Invisalign trays, please check with your Invisalign specialist as to what they advise. 

Can You Recycle Old Invisalign Trays?

“But, wait, aren’t Invisalign retainers made of plastic? Shouldn’t I be recycling them?” you may be wondering. You’re right, your Invisalign aligners are made of a multilayer polymer. However, there are two things that prevent you from being able to recycle your plastic Invisalign trays: 

  1. They consist of multiple types of plastics, each requiring different recycling protocols, that are unable to be separated.
  2. They are classified as medical waste.   

So, while you may want to do your part to protect the planet, your Invisalign trays won’t be able to be recycled. 

Invisalign aligners are a simple yet innovative orthodontic appliance that can help you achieve your ideal smile. However, they can be confusing in their newness. The specialists at Tisseront Orthodontics are here to help your Invisalign treatment run smoothly and answer any questions you have. 


Author: Dr. Tisseront

I feel very fortunate to have found a profession as rewarding as the field of Orthodontics! For over 20 years, I have enjoyed creating custom, beautiful smiles for our family of patients all over the Northern Virginia area. You can even find some of our loyal patients across the country and abroad!

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