Invisalign Whitening

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This article contains everything you need to know about Invisalign whitening – whether it’s possible, which options are best and which options to stay clear of.

If you are considering straightening your teeth – of if you are already undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign clear aligners – you probably care deeply about both the health and the appearance of your teeth. And unfortunately, it is a fact that your teeth are more likely to turn yellow while you are undergoing your teeth straightening treatment, particularly if you smoke while wearing your Invisalign trays or if you are not very meticulous about staying on top of your daily oral hygiene. 

Fortunately, it is possible to maintain a bright, white smile throughout your Invisalign treatment. It is also possible to whiten your teeth during the 2-4 hours a day where you are not wearing your aligner trays. There are several different whitening options – but not all of them are equally effective while you are getting your teeth straightened with clear aligners.

Teeth whitening options while wearing Invisalign aligners

With so many teeth whitening systems available, how do you choose a whitening product that is A) effective and B) not going to interfere with your teeth straightening treatment?

To help you make your decision, here are the best teeth whitening options if you are undergoing treatment with clear braces.

Whitening gel

Teeth whitening gel is a popular whitening system, and one that works well with wearing clear aligners. In fact, Invisalign also produce and sell a highly effective whitening gel, and there are many other options on the market too.

Whitening gel is a low-intensity whitening product that can be added to the insides of your clear aligners every night before bedtime. You only need to use a small amount, distributed evenly inside each tiny compartment in your aligner trays. 

The whitening process takes approximately 90 minutes, after which you should rinse both your mouth and your Inivisalign clear aligners thoroughly with lukewarm water.

Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is another great option if you want to achieve whiter teeth, not merely straighter teeth. 

Whitening your teeth using whitening toothpaste is a very easy option since you can simply replace your regular toothpaste with one that has whitening properties. It is recommended that you brush and floss between your teeth twice a day, whether or not you are currently undergoing teeth straightening treatment with Invisalign clear aligners.

Stay clear of these teeth whitening options

As hinted at earlier on in this article, not all teeth whitening options are great options while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign aligners. 

To help you know which teeth whitening systems to avoid, here are the worst whitening choices you could make while undergoing Invisalign treatment.

Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal has become incredibly popular in recent years, and understandably so, since it has a wide variety of different practical uses. One of them is to whiten teeth.

It is a little known fact that activated charcoal can be quite abrasive on the teeth’s enamel – so much so, in fact, that it can erode it, leaving the teeth extra vulnerable to cavities and infections. For this reason, we don’t recommend whitening your teeth by scrubbing them with activated charcoal, particularly not when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Apple cider vinegar 

There are many old-fashioned home remedies that can help whiten teeth. However, they are not without their problems, and apple cider vinegar is no exception. Much like activated charcoal, apple cider vinegar used as as mouthwash can be very abrasive and can contribute to the erosion of your tooth enamel.

Lemon juice

The same goes for lemon juice, another popular teeth whitening home remedy that you may see recommended by influencers. Lemon juice in small quantities are fine, but used as a mouthwash lemon juice is abrasive and erodes the enamel of the teeth. 

Invisalign whitening FAQ

Can you whiten your teeth while on Invisalign?

Yes, there is nothing stopping you from whitening your teeth while undergoing your Invisalign treatment. 

Having said that, you should only use low-intensity whitening products while undergoing orthodontic treatment, such as whining gel and whitening toothpaste. Stay clear of intense whitening chemicals as well as teeth whitening home remedies such as apple cider vinegar and activated charcoal.

Do you need whitening after Invisalign?

Keeping your teeth clean and white throughout the teeth straightening process is slightly more of a challenge than it is when you are not wearing clear aligners.

Even if you are diligent about staying on top of your oral hygiene, food particles and bacteria-filled plaque are still going to build up around or get trapped underneath your clear aligner trays. This is why it is so important to remain diligent and committed to your daily oral hygiene habits, which should include brushing and flossing between your teeth twice a day. Using a whitening toothpaste or a small amount of low-intensity whitening gel applied to the insides of your aligner trays can help you keep your teeth white during the Invisalign process.

If you want to undergo more intense teeth whitening after your Invisalign treatment, it is a good idea to wait at leat a few month after completing your treatment. Giving your teeth a few months’ worth of rest before whitening them will allow them to rebuild their enamel.

Why are my teeth turning yellow with Invisalign

It is harder to keep your teeth white while undergoing any kind of orthodontic treatment – including the Invisalign treatment. Food particles and plaque have much better conditions when they can build up around or under the clear aligner trays. 

Use a whitening toothpaste and low-intensity whitening gel to combat this. If you are a smoker, smoking while wearing your aligner trays is also a no-go.

Takeaway

You don’t only want straight teeth, you want your teeth white and healthy too.

It is no secret that keeping your teeth white while undergoing teeth straightening treatment can be a bit of a challenge, but luckily you are able to balance this out by replacing your regular toothpaste with a whitening toothpaste, and by using a bit of whitening gel every night before bedtime.

To protect your teeth from enamel erosion, stay clear of high-intensity whitening systems and home remedies that are known to be abrasive.

Dr Febin Mary George - Editor

With more than 10 years as a dental surgeon, Dr Febin Mary George is passionate about educating consumers around the world to help look after their teeth.

She completed her Bachelor of Surgery at the Century Institute of Dental Science and Research Centre in 2010.

Alongside editing the International Journal of Dental Clinics she has also written for major publications including Thrive Global.