Are Invisalign Braces Toxic?

glass ball in nature for invisalign safety blog

I’m worried about the safety of Invisalign. I’vebeen using the system for about eight months and have not had any issues withit. However, I just found out I’m pregnant. Although I wasn’t planning onhaving a baby, I’m incredibly excited and this will be my first child. Istarted reading about the precautions I should be taking, and several articlesmentioned avoiding plastics of all types. Then, it hit me—my aligners areplastic. I stopped wearing them right away just to be on the safe side, but nowmy mind is going a mile a minute. Are Invisalign braces toxic? If they are,then how much danger have I already put my unborn child in by wearing thealigners and is there a way to undo any damage from exposure? I’m probably 5-6weeks along, if that matters.

Thank you,


Dear Lis,

This is a great question that weighs on the minds of a lotof people, particularly with all the information that’s circulating on the net.It can sometimes be difficult to tell what’s what and which piece of informationis true. This is an area where you will see lots of conflicting reports, so thispage will break down some of the common concerns about the safety and toxicityof Invisalign and point you to reliable and trustworthy sources to confirminformation.

BPA is not typically a component of clear braces.

“People became worried about BPA safety because of animalstudies that showed a link between high levels of the chemical and infertility,diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure,” says WebMD. Thiswas of particular concern in 2008 when the CDC announced more than 90% of alladults had BPA in their systems. There was enough worry or public outcry overit that companies which manufacture baby-related products such as bottles and dinnerwaremoved away from it and the FDA ultimately restricted its use in some cases.

Each manufacturer has its own proprietary blend of plasticsand raw materials which go into their clear braces, so it may not be guaranteedacross the board, but Invisalign reportsthat their raw materials do not contain “latex, parabens, phthalates,glutaraldehyde, epoxy or Bisphenol A (BPA).” Ergo, if you’re going with the tradename, this is not a concern.

Cytotoxicity and estrogenicity have been ruled out.

Researchers have also looked into cytotoxicity andestrogenicity; cytotoxicity meaning toxic to cells and estrogenicity meaningthe substance behaves like estrogen in the body. Ultimately, it’s these things whichwere the worry with BPA. There’s a fantastic article on ScientificAmerican which breaks down the discovery of the link between BPA, hormonalabnormalities, and fertility issues. It was written in 2008 and much researchhas been conducted since; to the point the FDAbelieves BPA is safe. That being said, BPA is not even a component of thealigners and, to take it a step further, researchers have experimented with thealigners regardless of their BPA status and have reached the conclusion thatthe aligners do not produce any estrogenic effects.

Adverse effects are incredibly rare.

An alternate researchstudy looked at adverse effects as a whole. It was published by theAmerican Journal of Orthodontics & Dental Orthopedics and it looked overall adverse reports from 2006 through 2016. In 2017, the brandannounced over five million people had used their aligners. That’s a significantnumber, but perhaps what’s most interesting is that of the millions of peoplewho have worn the aligners, just 173 adverse events were recorded. This isn’t thetotal number of people, to be clear, as individuals could report more than oneevent each.

The Most CommonAdverse Events:

  • Difficulty breathing (56)
  • Sore throat (35)
  • Swollen throat (34)
  • Swollen tongue (31)
  • Hives and itchiness (31)
  • Anaphylaxis (30)
  • Swollen lips (27)
  • Feeling of throat closing/tight airway/airwayobstruction/laryngospasm (24)

There are no issues at all related to pregnancy, toxicity, orhormonal issues. Most items on the list appear to be related to allergy,irritation, or immune responses. Considering how few people have even thoseissues, the aligners are some of the safest medical devices around right now.

It’s difficult to imagine a safer product than clear braces.

When you look at the data and the FDA approval, all signspoint to the clear aligners as being incredibly safe. Moreover, they actuallyserve an important health benefit. Crooked teeth are hard to clean, which meanspeople without straight teeth typically wind up with more incidences of gumdisease and tooth decay. Research presented by the American Academy ofPeriodontology notes that gum disease in pregnancy is linked to pre-termlabor, low birthweight, and a host of other conditions which can span the child’swhole life. In other words, ditching the aligners is needless, and there’s somechance it could actually be detrimental to yours and the baby’s health to stoporthodontic treatment, particularly if you struggle with gingivitis. Keep usingthem as planned and visit yourdentist for a cleaning and checkup for maximum health.

This blog is sponsored by Dr.Steve Sirin, a provider of Invisalign in Elgin, Illinois.

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