top of page

Welcome to Our Smile Blog


Your Dental Aligners Can Be Recycled! Find Out How...

It’s estimated that over 8 million metric tons of plastic have entered the ocean. This is disastrous for our planet, so it’s extremely important to reduce our plastic waste, or else the future of our ecosystem will be in jeopardy.

According to Spotlight Oral Care, an estimated 25 million dental aligners will be disposed in a landfill site that will eventually go into the ocean. We can all do our part to decrease our plastic waste, and one of the impactful programs we have implemented at Karen Harriman, DDS is recycling dental aligners via Spotlight Oral Care’s partnership with TerraCycle.

You can find the Spotlight Oral Care’s Zero Waste Box in our reception area. Feel free to drop by when you’re passing by or return them at your next appointment. Our office is the only office in the Falls Church and DMV area to offer this recycling service.

“On average, each patient goes through 25-30 dental aligners during their Invisalign treatment. We believe every little helps in the long road we have ahead of us to reduce our plastic waste,” said Karen Harriman, DDS. “We are proud to partner with Spotlight Oral Care to encourage our patients to recycle their Invisalign clear aligners responsibly and easily at our dental practice in Falls Church.”

What Are Dental Aligners?

At Karen Harriman, DDS we are a certified Invisalign Provider. We have been offering Invisalign Clear Aligners for many years and have seen outstanding results in transforming our patients’ smiles. Dental aligners are clear and discreet braces that fit your teeth snugly and over time move your teeth to prevent issues like: ​

  • Overcrowded teeth

  • Overbite / Underbite

  • Crossbite

  • Gap teeth

  • Open bite

  • Generally straight teeth that need some straighten

How Does Invisalign Treatment Work?

With modern technology, we can create the path to a straighter and healthier smile in our office by taking pain-free 3D images using an iTero Element scanner. Dr. Harriman will then design a treatment plan that’s custom to your dental needs. You will even be able to see the results before you decide to move forward with the treatment.

You will receive new dental aligners approximately every two weeks that help slowly move your teeth. We will check on the progress of your treatment every month or so. Results can be seen in as little as two months with the complete transformation in 6-18 months depending on the extent of your dental needs.

What Happens to the Dental Aligners After They Are Recycled?

The Spotlight Oral Care recycling program takes the Invisalign Clear Aligners, cleans, and melts them into hard plastics. These can then be remolded to make other recycled plastic products.

Our team in Falls Church is ready to answer any of your questions about Invisalign or how to dispose of your dental aligners — contact us today!


bottom of page