Invisalign offers one of the best solutions to correct misaligned teeth while keeping it simple and comfortable. While these clear aligners are quite effective in correcting teeth alignments, they may also become a source of discolored teeth if one doesn’t adhere to their dentist’s rules on personal hygiene.
Having perfectly aligned teeth is good, but having discolored teeth kills morale. Have you thought about whitening your teeth while still on Invisalign treatment? Are there any risks involved? What’s the best way around it?
Get all the answers to your questions in this comprehensive post on whitening teeth during Invisalign treatment.
Can you whiten your teeth during your Invisalign treatment?
The general answer is yes; you can whiten your teeth during Invisalign treatment. A more technical response would be, ‘it depends.’
How Invisalign works
To understand how teeth whitening with Invisalign works, it would be prudent to look at how these clear aligners work. Invisalign is an ideal option to correct various orthodontic issues while remaining discreet at it.
Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign offers a more flexible treatment plan as one can remove them at any time. It would also be a little difficult for someone to notice that you’re on orthodontic treatment, not unless they are super keen about it.
The patient receives a number of trays to be changed every two weeks, with the next set of trays tighter than the first — all these work towards shifting your teeth to the desired position.
How whitening teeth with Invisalign works
As mentioned in this post, Invisalign aligners are quite flexible, and one can easily remove them at any time during the treatment. This can give you the time to go through with whichever teeth whitening plans you had.
However, at times, expert reviews on Invisalign indicate that it isn’t always this straightforward.
Whitening your teeth while on Invisalign treatment is dependent on several factors. Some of them include:
1 - Presence of attachments
Some patients have orthodontic attachments that are cemented onto the teeth. These attachments help in making the teeth move faster while speeding up the treatment.
While it is easy to insert and remove Invisalign aligners during the treatment, the same does not apply to the attachments. They are not easy to remove, and only your orthodontist can do so.
Furthermore, removing these attachments before you complete your treatment might make the whole process ineffective.
2 - Stage of treatment
If you’re still in the early stages of your orthodontic treatment, it might not be a good idea to start a teeth whitening program. Your teeth are still shifting position, and the movement might hide or show some places that were not whitened or where the whitening gel couldn’t reach.
This is why it would be prudent to wait until you’re almost done with the orthodontic treatment before you can whiten your teeth.
Besides, straighter teeth are said to whiten better than crooked teeth. Using the whitening solution in the early stages when the teeth are not yet well-aligned may hinder the solution from evenly coating all surfaces that would be exposed after the treatment.
3 - Tooth sensitivity
Some patients generally have more sensitive teeth, and orthodontic treatment would only amplify the sensitivity. It would become too much to handle if you were to add teeth whitening to the already-sensitive teeth.
Furthermore, whitening already sensitive teeth undergoing orthodontic treatment would only open you up to further complications.
The best options to whiten your teeth while wearing Invisalign
Whitening teeth while on Invisalign treatment is possible. However, it will be best to consult with your dentist on your viability as a candidate.
Furthermore, you can also easily tell if you’re a candidate if you meet the above criteria: no Invisalign attachments used, and you’re in the advanced stages of Invisalign treatment.
Whitening toothpaste and mouthwash
If you would like to pursue DIY teeth whitening treatment during your Invisalign treatment, the best solution would be to go for milder forms of tooth whitening. Toothpaste or mouthwashes specifically designed for teeth whitening would be an ideal option at whichever stage of orthodontic treatment one is in.
Using these products is also beneficial as they make it easy to even out any discoloration that shows up at the end of the orthodontic treatment.
Whitening gels are also a common teeth whitening solution used by those still undergoing Invisalign treatment. They are more intense than toothpaste and mouthwashes and are often prescribed by dentists.
Using whitening gels is pretty simple, as all you have to do is apply the trays with the gel before you wear them. You let the trays stay in for a few hours before you remove them to brush and rinse your mouth. Furthermore, it is also recommended to thoroughly rinse the trays once you remove them.
However, whitening gels are most effective when you use them with the best teeth whitening kits.
Before you purchase over-the-counter whitening gels to use on your Invisalign aligners, it would be best first to consult your dentist. This is because this method can be equally risky, as much as it is also highly effective.
Invisalign vs. teeth whitening trays
There is a huge difference between tooth whitening trays and Invisalign trays. Even though they both look similar, Invisalign trays are made to perfectly fit your teeth, with no additional space left out. They are designed according to the shape and size of your teeth and gums, making them an exact fit.
Applying whitening gel in them might force it out when wearing the aligners. This creates a hazard as it might irritate your gums and your stomach if you swallow it.
Ensure to consult with your dentist before using any Invisalign whitening gels during your treatment.
Whitening options to be cautious about
While teeth whitening is a good cosmetic dental procedure that improves one’s appearance and self-confidence, not all whitening solutions are the best, more so if you’re undergoing Invisalign treatment.
As mentioned above, one of the whitening solutions to be careful about are whitening gels. Although they are quite effective, they are also a lot more intense than toothpaste and mouthwashes.
This means that it would be best to pass it by your dentist first before using them; otherwise, you’ll risk getting complications.
Other whitening options to be wary of include:
Invisalign whitening misconceptions
There are many misconceptions surrounding Invisalign treatment. So many lies have been told about whitening teeth during Invisalign treatment too. In this section, we’ll debunk some of the most common Invisalign teeth whitening misconceptions:
Furthermore, you can easily remove your Invisalign aligner trays to regularly brush and floss your teeth, leaving no room for your teeth to change color. It would also help to know the various causes and remedies for yellow teeth, which you can discuss with your dentist.
When is the best time to whiten your teeth during the Invisalign treatment?
The best time to whiten your teeth during Invisalign treatment solely depends on the method you wish to use and also your dentist’s instructions. For some people, the dentist might recommend that you wait until you’re done with the orthodontic treatment first before you can resort to whitening teeth.
Whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are mild and can be used at any point during your Invisalign treatment. Gels are best used at the advanced stages of treatment, while in-office whitening (bleaching) is best done after you’ve completed your orthodontic treatment.
Most frequent questions and answers
Whitening gel is more intense than mouthwashes and whitening toothpaste. While it is still possible to put whitening gel in Invisalign trays, it is not the best option as it might get pushed out, irritating your gums. Only use whitening gels in Invisalign trays once you get approval from your dentist.
Both teeth whitening and Invisalign are considered cosmetic dental treatments. They are both different in nature and pricing; hence you’ll have to pay separately for both. The cost of professional teeth whitening will also be higher compared to over-the-counter whitening gels and toothpaste.
It is not recommended to whiten your teeth with braces on as it will leave out spots once you remove them. However, if you’re using lingual braces (where the brackets are placed at the back instead of the front teeth), you can easily whiten the front parts of your teeth while still with braces.
There is no special process to keep your teeth shining while wearing aligners, besides maintaining good oral hygiene, with regular brushing and flossing.
Sometimes when you feel like your Invisalign trays aren’t as clear as they were before you started wearing them, you can easily clean them to regain their initial shade. You can soak the trays in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide.
Use a toothbrush dipped in baking soda to remove any stains or build-up before rinsing with water. To keep your trays whiter for longer, you should avoid certain activities, such as eating with Invisalign.