Can My Son Leave His Invisalign at Home While Camping?

My son is going on a one-week survivalist campout. I’m worried for about a zillion reasons, but it just dawned on me that he’s supposed to get Invisalign about a month before he goes. I know he’s supposed to wear the aligners all the time, but I sincerely doubt he’ll even brush his teeth once while he’s away. The chances that he’ll lose the trays are pretty high as well. I don’t want to have to pay for replacements, and I’m worried that he’ll run into decay problems if he wears it without brushing. Is it ok for me to tell him to leave his Invisalign at home when he goes?



Dear Pamela,

That sounds like an exciting and life-changing trip! Hopefully everything goes as planned. As for leaving the Invisalign at home, that’s not a good idea. Starting from the time he pops in his first set of aligners, his teeth will be on the move. The trays will feel snug at first, but that feeling goes away after about a week because the teeth have shifted into the desired position for the time being. Even though the teeth will be right where they need to be, the ligaments that help hold his teeth in place will be stretched. They’re kind of like rubber bands, and they’ll want to go back the way they were until they get settled again, which can take a considerable amount of time. So, anytime your son goes without his aligners, the teeth will fight to go back to where they were. After a week without them, it’s tough to say what position they will be in. It’s not likely that the current aligners will fit, and he might have to have multiple sets remade.

As for alternative options, you may choose to delay starting orthodontic treatment until he returns. This is probably the best option. However, if he’s eager to get started and you’re under time constraints, you can send him with his previous set as a backup, just in case the current one gets lost. Your concern for hygiene is understandable. It may be worthwhile to pick up some disposable toothbrushes from the grocery or drug store before he goes. There are some newer styles that hit the market a couple of years ago that are designed for travel and are very compact. They even come preloaded with toothpaste. If he understands the importance of follow-through, and indicates he’ll be compliant while he’s away, this can be a viable option as well. Best of luck to the both of you!

This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.

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