My Dog Ate My Invisalign [What to Do]

What Should You Do if Your Dog Ate Your Invisalign?

It’s not an uncommon tale: you leave your Invisalign aligner on the table for just a moment, and the next thing you know, it’s disappeared into the eager jaws of your furry companion. The question that invariably follows is, “What should I do if my dog ate my Invisalign?”


Dogs and Invisalign: A Risky Combination

Dogs are naturally curious creatures. Combine this with their proclivity for chewing, and you have a recipe for potential mischief. While Invisalign aligners may not seem like a typical chew toy, their plastic composition, coupled with the lingering scent of the owner, can make them an irresistible target for a dog’s chewing instincts.

The Immediate Aftermath

If you find yourself in this situation, your first concern should be your dog’s health. The plastic used in Invisalign aligners is not toxic to dogs, but the size and shape of the aligner can pose a choking hazard or lead to digestive obstruction. Monitor your dog closely for signs of distress, such as drooling, gagging, loss of appetite, or changes in bowel movements. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a veterinarian immediately.

The Status of Your Invisalign Treatment

After ensuring your dog’s wellbeing, it’s time to turn your attention to your orthodontic treatment. If the aligner was partially chewed but still retains its shape, you might be able to continue wearing it until a replacement arrives. However, if it’s beyond salvage, you’ll need to reach out to your orthodontist promptly.

Contacting Your Orthodontist

Reach out to your orthodontist as soon as you realize your aligner is missing or damaged. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action, which typically involves ordering a replacement aligner. In some cases, depending on how far you are into your current aligner’s two-week cycle, they might suggest moving on to the next aligner set.

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Prevention: The Best Cure

To prevent such occurrences in the future, make it a habit to store your Invisalign aligners in their designated case when not in use. Not only does this protect the aligners from curious pets, but it also maintains their cleanliness and integrity.

Understanding the Potential Health Implications for Your Dog

While we’ve briefly touched upon the initial health risks posed by a dog consuming an Invisalign aligner, it’s crucial to delve deeper into these potential implications. Chewing and ingesting foreign objects can lead to various complications in dogs. When it comes to plastic items like Invisalign aligners, they can potentially cause oral injuries. Sharp edges can cut a dog’s mouth, gums, or even the esophagus if swallowed.

Moreover, if the aligner gets lodged in your dog’s digestive tract, it could lead to a condition known as gastrointestinal obstruction. Symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, and a painful abdomen. In such cases, surgical intervention might be necessary to remove the object. Therefore, if your dog has ingested your Invisalign and shows any of these signs, it’s paramount to consult your vet immediately.

The Cost Implications of a Consumed Aligner

The financial aspect of this unfortunate event should also be discussed. Replacing an Invisalign aligner isn’t cheap, and the cost will depend on several factors including your orthodontist’s policies, the stage of your treatment, and your insurance coverage. Some orthodontic practices might include a certain number of replacement aligners in your treatment plan, while others may charge a fee. If you find yourself frequently replacing aligners due to your pet’s antics, it might be worth considering pet training or pet-proofing your home more effectively.

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The Psychological Impact on Your Dog

Finally, it’s worth noting that if your dog has ingested your aligner, it could be a sign of underlying behavioral issues. Dogs often chew on non-food items out of anxiety, boredom, or lack of appropriate chew toys. It might be beneficial to consult with a pet behaviorist or a trainer to address these problems. Providing your dog with suitable chew toys and engaging them in regular exercise and play can help manage their chewing tendencies and safeguard your orthodontic devices.

Invisalign and Pet Safety: A Matter of Mutual Concern

In conclusion, the dual concern when your dog eats your Invisalign is the potential health risk to your pet and the interruption to your orthodontic treatment. By maintaining vigilance about where you place your aligners and promptly responding if an incident does occur, you can ensure that your path to a beautiful smile remains on track while keeping your furry companion safe.