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Can You Whiten Your Teeth with Invisalign?

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invisalign teeth whitening
Can you whiten your teeth with Invisalign, or is it better to wait for doing it after the treatment?

The path to a pearly-white smile might sometimes require a lot of effort. When using Invisalign clear aligners, additional care must be taken to ensure that they stay transparent and stain-free; otherwise, your teeth and the Invisalign aligners may acquire a yellow tint.

You may be in the midst of your Invisalign treatment, and now you wonder: Can you whiten your teeth with Invisalign aligners?

In this article, we’ll be covering the following:

  • Can you whiten your teeth with Invisalign?
  • How to whiten your teeth with Invisalign
  • Best Invisalign whitening gels and Invisalign whitening kits

We will answer the questions you may have about whitening your teeth during and after Invisalign treatment, and about using your Invisalign aligners or retainers for teeth whitening.

Can you whiten your teeth during your realignment with Invisalign?

We start out by addressing some cautions to be aware of.

While teeth may be whitened while using Invisalign aligners, most orthodontists will probably advise you to start the procedure six months after the realignment is finished. When teeth are realigned, they are more sensitive, which might complicate any whitening procedures you decide to have.

In addition, when your teeth move into their ultimate locations, discoloration may still appear in spots that were not exposed to whitening agents. This will give an uneven look and could be difficult to fix right away.

Whitening treatments and Invisalign aligners

Milder types of teeth whitening might work best if you wanted to undergo treatment while using aligners. These include toothpaste and certain mouthwash types that have been specially prepared with whitening agents.

Using whitening gels is a stronger choice. Dentists may recommend them, and you can use them at their clinic or at home on your own.

Because whitening gels are more potent than the majority of whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes, they come with user guidelines. It is recommended to see your dentist before utilizing whitening gel if you are interested in doing so.

Can you put whitening gel into your Invisalign aligners?

You might be wondering if you can put the whitening gel in the Invisalign trays. When looking for an answer on if it’s advisable to put the whitening gel in your retainer or Invisalign aligner, you’ll find mixed opinions.

Although they seem similar, Invisalign aligners and teeth whitening trays are not the same. The Invisalign aligners are made specifically to match the form and size of your teeth and gums; therefore, they cannot be changed into a regular tooth-whitening tray.

Applying whitening gel within the aligner might be unsafe since the chemical will be squeezed out and could irritate your gums or mouth/stomach if you swallow it.

However, according to Manhattan Bridge Orthodontics, it’s possible to use whitening gel inside your Invisalign aligners. Watch the video to understand their recommended process of teeth whitening with Invisalign aligners:

In this video by Manhattan Bridge Orthodontics, we will show you how to do teeth whitening at home with your Invisalign trays. You will have to first purchase any over the counter whitening gel. We recommend any product that has between 10% to 20% active ingredient – anything above that may cause extreme tooth sensitivity. Here we are using Ultradent’s Opalescence 15% whitening gel – https://amzn.to/3iwZXs4 First clean your Invisalign tray and apply a few small droplets of whitening gel to the front portion and then place them on your teeth. It is not necessary to apply any gel for your back teeth since nobody can see them anyway. The Invisalign trays are tight and will evenly spread out the whitening gel over your teeth. Any spots under the Invisalign attachments will also get whitened because your teeth are porous and acts like a sponge when absorbing the whitening gel. After about 15 minutes, you can remove and wash the Invisalign tray then rinse your mouth rigorously. Do this about twice a week until the desired tooth shade has been achieved.

If you watched the video, you’ll notice that the workaround they recommend is to clean the excess bleaching material which is expelled from the Invisalign aligners with a cotton swab or paper towel.

Whitening your teeth with Invisalign

Teeth whitening is not the original goal of Invisalign braces; however, you’ll actually not find a tray that fits your teeth better than these. The key to attaining beautiful, even teeth whitening is to keep the bleaching chemical as near as you can get to all of the tooth surfaces.

The exact contouring of the Invisalign trays to your individual bite ensures that the whitening gel contacts your teeth evenly and closely. Even though there’s little space provided between the aligner and your teeth it can work very well, and many dental professionals, including some aligner manufacturers, recommend using them to whiten teeth.

Here you’ll find a video by a dental professional from Diamond Braces, also encouraging you to whiten your teeth with Invisalign aligners.

You absolutely can whiten your teeth with Invisalign. In fact, Diamond Braces provides all our Invisalign patients with a complimentary whitening gel for safe and convenient use with Invisalign aligners! In this video, Diamond Braces dental hygienist Kimberly explains how to use the complimentary whitening gel kit with Invisalign. The whitening kit comes with a set of 3 syringes with specialized tips for inserting whitening gel into the aligners. Open the syringe by removing the cap, and apply a thin layer of gel inside the aligner where your teeth will go; only apply gel to the front area of the aligner – it's not necessary to whiten the back teeth since they are not visible. Once the gel is applied, insert the aligner over your teeth normally, and leave in for about 45 minutes (not any longer). Remove the aligner, and rinse thoroughly to remove any gel, and brush it to clean. Do the same for your teeth. You should see results within the week! This kit will help you smile throughout your treatment – but make sure to keep brushing and flossing as well for lifelong health and beautiful teeth! How to Clean Invisalign Trays: https://diamondbraces.com/video-faqs/how-to-clean-invisalign-trays/ Most Frequently Asking Questions About Invisalign (Videos): https://diamondbraces.com/invisalign-faqs-videos/ Find out more about Invisalign treatment: https://diamondbraces.com/invisalign/ Expedited Invisalign: https://diamondbraces.com/smilify-invisalign-treatment/

How to whiten your teeth with Invisalign (in easy steps)

  • Purchase an at-home teeth whitening kit that includes a syringe with bleaching gel — or visit the dentist.
  • Clean your Invisalign aligners.
  • Have some Q-tips and toothpicks ready.
  • Place the bleaching gel at the front surface of your teeth as close to the bottom of the aligner tray as possible.
  • If you need to readjust the positioning of the gel in the tray, you can do this with a toothpick.
  • Place the Invisalign aligners over your teeth, just as you normally would.
  • Now you should check if you have any excess bleaching material expelled out of the aligners. You can remove it using a cotton swab or paper towel.
  • Use the whitening gel for the recommended time.

In the tables below you can see our top whitening picks for gel that you can wear inside your aligners, but remember to ask your dentist first if it's OK.

Whitening gels for use inside aligners

Sporting Smiles whitening gel

  • 4 10ml syringes

  • Professional strength 35% carbamide peroxide

$4.75 per session

Smile Brilliant whitening gel

  • Whitening gel is applied to custom-made trays

  • Professional strength carbamide peroxide

$2.5 per session

Snow Extra Strength Whitening Serum

  • Removes deep stains in minutes

  • Ideal for sensitive teeth

  • Gluten-free

$1.4 per session

Conclusion

Yes, you can whiten your teeth with the Invisalign aligners you’re using to straighten your teeth. This can be done with whitening gel inserted into your aligners, or by using separate whitening kits.

However, make sure to follow the guidelines and consult the Invisalign dentist who oversees your treatment before doing so. It could be that it's best to wait to whiten until you finish treatment, because if your teeth are very crowded or overlapped, then you may have some spots that are noticeably darker once your teeth are straightened.

FAQ

Can I whiten my teeth with Invisalign?

Yes. Even though Invisalign aligners aren't primarily for the purpose of teeth whitening, you can also apply a whitening gel in your aligners to whiten your teeth. But make sure to follow the user guidelines.

Does Invisalign make your teeth white?

Invisalign itself does not whiten teeth. However, it's possible to use the same aligners to whiten teeth. You can purchase an over-the-counter whitening gel and apply it carefully to your aligners.

invisalign whitening
How to whiten teeth with Invisalign?

Can you put whitening gel in your retainer?

Retainers serve the purpose of keeping teeth aligned. However, you can also use it to whiten your teeth with over-the-counter bleaching gels. Be careful of gum irritation, though.

How to keep teeth white with Invisalign?

Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Avoid certain foods and drinks. Keep up with your regular cleanings and checkups. Whiten your teeth using your Invisalign aligners or a custom tray.

Can you whiten your teeth with Invisalign attachments?

With Invisalign attachments, you may safely undergo professional teeth whitening; it won't harm or stain the attachments. You may also use at-home whitening strips.

Can I put whitening gel in my Invisalign trays?

You will find mixed opinions on this question. It is possible to put the whitening gel in your Invisalign aligners. However, you have to be careful that the whitening gel does not touch the gums.

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Contributors:
Simon specializes in writing content on healthcare and dentistry.
Sources

Researchgate.net: Tooth whitening in association with clear aligner treatment. Consulted 5th July 2022