How to file invisalign edges (tray)

Invisalign has many benefits, but you may have to get past a few challenges at the start of your treatment before you can start enjoying it fruits, including cuts on your tongue, lips, gums, and other oral tissues, due to the sharp edges of the tray.

Fortunately, you can easily solve this problem by filing the edges of Invisalign trays to help smoothen any rough or sharp areas that may be causing irritation and cuts.

By carefully removing excess plastic or rounding off sharp edges, patients can enhance their comfort and minimize the risk of oral tissue injuries.

How to file invisalign edges

How to File Invisalign Trays

If your Invisalign trays are hurting your oral tissues, especially your tongue and lips when talking or eating with your Invisalign, you can follow these steps to file those sharp edges:

Step 1: Prepare your tools and work area

When filing down sharp Invisalign tray edges, you will need a few tools and materials to ensure a safe and effective process. These include:

  • Two-sided emery board: This type of nail file has a rough side and a finer side, which allows you to gradually smooth and refine the edges of the trays.
  • Nail clippers or small scissors: These can be used to trim small rough edges if they are present on the trays. However, exercise caution and only remove a minimal amount of plastic at a time to avoid compromising the tray’s structure.
  • Clean workspace: Find a clean and well-lit area to work on your Invisalign trays. Make sure the surface is free from dust, debris, or any potential contaminants that could affect the hygiene of your aligners.
  • Magnifying mirror (optional): Having a magnifying mirror can provide a closer view of the trays and help you identify specific areas that require filing.

Step 2: Wash and dry the trays

Before filing the edges, ensure that you wash and dry your Invisalign trays thoroughly. This helps remove any saliva or debris that may interfere with the filing process.

Step 3: Identify the problem area

Take your aligners out and inspect them to locate the specific areas that are rubbing, sharp, or causing discomfort.

Step 4: Remove excess plastic

If there is a small rough edge, you can use nail clippers or small scissors to carefully trim it. Ensure that you only remove a small amount at a time to avoid compromising the tray’s structure.

Step 5: Smooth the edges

  • Use a two-sided emery board to file down any sharp or rough areas.
  • Gently run the rough side of the emery board over the targeted region, checking the progress with your finger as you go.
  • Once the desired smoothness is achieved, switch to the finer side of the emery board to further refine the edges.

Step 6: Rinse and recheck

Wash the tray thoroughly to remove any residue from filing and try it back in your mouth. Assess the results and repeat the process if necessary.

How to clean your Invisalign Aligners

You will need to clean your Invisalign trays properly after filing them to maintain good oral hygiene and keep them free from bacteria and other contaminants.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean Invisalign trays effectively:

  • Remove the trays: Take out the Invisalign trays from your mouth. Handle them carefully to avoid any damage or distortion.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water: Rinse the trays under lukewarm running water. This helps remove any saliva or loose debris on the surface.
  • Use a soft toothbrush: Gently brush the trays using a soft-bristle toothbrush. Choose a separate toothbrush dedicated to cleaning your Invisalign trays to avoid cross-contamination with your regular toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste, as it can be abrasive and may cause scratches on the trays.
  • Clean with mild soap or denture cleaner: Apply a small amount of mild, fragrance-free soap or a denture cleaner to the toothbrush or directly to the trays. Gently brush the trays, making sure to clean both the inside and outside surfaces. Avoid using harsh or colored soaps, as they can stain or damage the trays.
  • Rinse thoroughly: After brushing, rinse the trays thoroughly with lukewarm water to remove any soap residue.
  • Soak in a denture cleaner (optional): For a deeper clean, you can soak the trays in a denture cleaner solution. Follow the instructions provided with the denture cleaner and avoid using hot water, as it can distort the trays.
  • Brush and floss your teeth: While the trays are out of your mouth, take the opportunity to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. This helps remove any plaque or food particles that may have accumulated during the day.
  • Store the trays properly: Once the trays are clean and dry, store them in their designated case to protect them from damage or loss.
  • Clean your trays daily: Clean your Invisalign trays at least twice a day, preferably after each meal, to prevent the buildup of bacteria, plaque, and odor.

Remember to follow any specific cleaning instructions provided by your Invisalign provider, as they may have additional recommendations tailored to your treatment. Regular and proper deep cleaning of your Invisalign trays will help keep them clear, odor-free, and ensure your overall oral health.

Caution when filing your Invisalign trays

While filing Invisalign trays can be effective, it is essential to exercise caution to avoid damaging the trays.

Some important considerations include:

  • Take small, gradual steps when removing excess plastic to prevent over-trimming.
  • Use gentle pressure and avoid applying excessive force while filing the trays.
  • Regularly check the tray’s fit and structure to ensure it remains intact and functional.
  • Filing the trays requires patience and attention to detail. Take your time, work slowly, and regularly assess the progress to avoid over-filing or damaging the trays.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable with filing the trays yourself, consult your Invisalign provider for guidance or assistance.

When to Consult your Invisalign Specialist

If you are experiencing persistent discomfort, tongue cuts, or are unsure about filing the trays on your own, it is advisable to seek professional dental guidance. Your Invisalign specialist can assess the fit of your trays, make necessary adjustments, or provide alternative solutions to address the issue effectively.

Remember, proper communication with your Invisalign provider is crucial throughout the treatment process. They have the expertise to address your concerns and ensure your orthodontic treatment is as smooth and comfortable as possible.



  • Editorial team

    A team comprising oral health care professionals, researchers, and professional Writers, striving to impart you with the knowledge to improve your oral health, and that of your loved ones. 

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