White & Straight Teeth! Sound Great …
Indeed, Teeth Whitening with Invisalign is a serious trending topic that many people talk about. That’s why I felt pretty committed to put together this complete article to let you know about what I’ve leant myself!
So how should you approach whitening your teeth with Invisalign aligners? There are many ways and approaches, but the most solid solution is to keep a good cleaning routine and apply a reliable whitening product on your teeth during the short period of time (2 hours) you are allowed to take off the trays.
Of course there much more to that!
I’ve learnt the importance of being aware of the several cases and possibilities you have, and I want you to be so as well.
So, you would make the right choice by following the right process. Thus, you will manage to get the expected results safely which is the ultimate goal!
Can you whiten your teeth with Invisalign?
Invisalign is a removable plastic aligner considered as a clear hygienic alternative to regular metal braces. It has many advantages comparing to regular braces such as:
- It can be changed much more frequently, around every 2 weeks.
- Almost invisible, it is pretty hard for others to notice them unlike braces that even your dog would notice them!
- Maintaining oral cleaning practices with braces is not easy. This is justified by the metal and wires that make it harder to reach many spots of your teeth and mouth in general.
- Again, implementing teeth whitening technics is also harder with braces comparing to Invisalign. Unless you follow this Complete Guide!
The answer of the question is pretty obvious now. Yes, it is definitely possible to whiten your teeth even during your Invisalign treatment as far as you are doing it the proper way.
In fact, many cosmetic dentists recommend an additional whitening treatment to the Invisalign treatment. Sometimes as bonus but most of the time you have to pay for it!
So this is something that is commonly practiced by most dentists as a complementary treatment so to speak.
There are many points that may cause some concerns on your side like the attachments or the time you are allowed to whiten your teeth. Yet, these are generally non-issues that you can go through and bypass pretty easily.
Bellow in the rest of this article I reveal many options! So you can have a great experience SAFELY!
How to actually whiten your teeth with Invisalign?
If you can afford the high whitening treatment cost in dentist’s office, this is a legit way to go …
… But still you should have enough knowledge and education to know how to apply the process by yourself. I mean sometimes with very small adjustments you could reach great results with a much lower budget! Why not?
I don’t want you to consider whitening in this case as a task. Otherwise, the results (if any) won’t be durable at all.
I rather want you to consider it as a process or a routine that you are willing to implement for a decent period of time. Thus, you won’t only get great results safely but they will last for a long time!
1. Cleaning Techniques
As I’ve said before, one of the most important advantages of these trays comparing to regular braces is being “Removable”. Because of that you can keep not only your cleaning routine but also apply most whitening methods. And this during the time you take off the trays.
In most of my articles I highlight cleaning routine. That is the first and the most important step in the whitening chain.
To clean your teeth effectively, you should consider mainly 3 different techniques:
Brushing your teeth
Your need (no matter what) to keep brushing your teeth twice a day! Especially after heavy meals full of foods that could stain your teeth.
Brushing is your first weapon against dental plaque and tartar. The latters are responsible for all bad things that could happen to your teeth and oral health in general.
They are mainly responsible for:
- Gum diseases like sensitivity and gingivitis.
- Accumulation of bad bacteria producing acid that cause tooth sensitivity and even erosion.
- Tooth Stains.
- Teeth loosening when you get older.
- And much more …
So not taking brushing seriously may lead to some of these bad effects!
For a proper brushing you should consider 2 things:
- Think about using a fluoride-free toothpaste (Check this one Here on Amazon) : Try some fluoride free toothpaste (with whitening properties from time to time). They are much effective and safer for your teeth! If you want to have more ideas about some good fluoride free toothpastes, you should have a look at this solid article.
- Using an Electric Toothbrush is not a luxury (Check this one Here on Amazon): Indeed, it is almost 100 times more effective than a regular toothbrush when it comes to dental plaque removal. It has many top-notch features that ensure better results. Not to mention how easy it is to use it.
I’ve spent decent amount of time to figure out the best electric toothbrush brand out there. Right now, I am convinced that Oral-B Genius 8000 is really second to none!
Thus, I’ve put this complete Oral-B Genius 8000 article together to let you know about its amazing features that you should probably learn about.
I understand that using a dental floss is not very comfortable. You may even cause some little injuries to your gum if you are not used to it. Yet, I encourage you to be patient and take some time to get used to it.
Otherwise, there is a much effective, comfortable and safe way to floss which is a Water Flosser!
It is probably my preferred tool when it comes to oral care in general. That’s why I usually recommend people to use it.
The Brand that resonates with me the most is Waterpik wp-660 Water Flosser (Check it Right Here on Amazon!). It is the first ADA approved product in its category which is pretty interesting. Plus it is a leader in the market today!
Using Interdental brush
My wife uses Interdental brush (Check these ones Here on Amazon!) pretty often because of its effectiveness to remove food residues from your teeth.
These food residues (if not removed the right way) may alter the color of your teeth and cause tooth decay.
Some people think that flossing and using an interdental brush have the same purpose! Yet, this is not true …
… Flossing is more to clean the places that each tooth contacts the next one. However, interdental brush is the little triangles formed by 2 teeth next to each other and the gum.
So, flossing and using this brush are complementary to each other.
You can check this interesting video for more in-depth info about interdental brushes …
2. Whitening Strips with Invisalign … is that right?
Once you feel you’ve implemented cleaning almost the way I’ve described in your routine. It would be probably the right time to start thinking about some whitening techniques.
If you are willing to do so, you should think about whitening strips (Check these ones Here on Amazon!). There are couples of reasons why I think so:
- Whitening Strips are easy to use. All you have to do is to apply the strip for about half an hour, remove it and then you are done.
- The treatment duration is pretty short (2 up to 3 weeks)! Keep in mind that some whitening treatments could reach up to 2 months which is hard to handle.
- Most whitening strips are adapted to sensitive teeth. So you won’t have to worry much about that.
- The results you may get are usually very good. Sometimes they look almost professional!
You may already know that, when it comes to this product, there is no way around Crest 3D WhiteStrips. In fact, they are the best out there!
If that resonates with, I encourage you to check this Post in which I am explaining all what you need to know about this product.
3. Can you use Invisalign as a teeth whitening tray?
Before writing this Post, I’ve spent some time looking for what most people ask regarding this subject. Indeed, I’ve noticed that many Invisalign users were wondering whether they could use these trays as whitening ones.
In fact, it is a possibility! But probably not the best one …
Actually, the trays are formed to your teeth with precision and are not designed to serve for whitening purposes. It is rather designed to merge your teeth to straighten them.
On the other side, whitening trays have always little space for the bleaching gel to be spread on your teeth.
So, if you apply the gel to the Invisalign tray, most of the gel will instantly be pushed out of the tray. This usually causes 2 things:
- Your teeth won’t beneficiate from the right gel amount so the whitening effect would be pretty low.
- The pushed gel will touch your gum and mouth which would cause some forms of irritation.
Finally, it is very hard for me to recommend using them! You simply should not … rather; get trays designed for that purpose and you will be just fine.
If you don’t have the choice at a given moment not to use any tray but the Invisalign one then you should approach it this way:
- Apply really few drops of the gel on the front.
- As the trays are very tight the very little gel would spread and fit your front teeth.
- After 12 up to 15 minutes, remove and wash the tray.
- Rinse your mouth.
Keep in mind that this is only a provisory plan until you get legit whitening trays …
Speaking about whitening gel, try to get one with around 15% of active ingredient in order to avoid any form of sensitivity. There are many examples of products that verify this condition. Ultradent’s Opalescence 15% whitening gel is one of them.
4. Don’t forget to clean your tray
Targeting only your teeth by cleaning and whitening them is a good and necessary thing to do. Yet, it is not enough.
That is, you should consider cleaning regularly your Invisalign trays. Otherwise, bacteria will accumulate as time goes on.
In this case, you should use Invisalign cleaning crystals with some water to wash the tray. Put it in a bowl full of water with the crystals for 10 up to 15 minutes and that’s it.
5. Watch out your nutrition
Your nutrition is an important part of the whole process that you should not overlook.
I mean even if you apply all these cleaning and whitening techniques but keep some bad nutrition habits, you probably won’t reach the results you are looking for.
Foods like apple, carrot, broccoli, strawberry and olive oil are all great ones to whiten your teeth in an organic way.
On the other hand, fast food, alcohol and staining beverages will put you many steps behind …
… So watch out what you eat!
6. Maybe some natural whitening home remedies
I feel it won’t be fair to end this section without talking about some natural home remedies. There are many that you can use:
- Baking Soda.
- Activated Charcoal.
- Banana peel.
These elements (especially baking soda and charcoal) are pretty abrasive. That’s why; I don’t really feel confident encouraging you to try them.
Yet, it has been few months that I found a natural whitening program that teaches you how to prepare remedies by yourself using very cheap ingredients.
7. When you should think about whitening your teeth wearing those trays?
There are some patients who would rush and try some whitening from the beginning! They may generally visit their dentist or use DIY methods since the first received aligner.
Honestly, I can’t recommend that for couple reasons:
- Your teeth are still acclimating to a new environment which is very tight invisalign aligners!
- Whitening needs a little bit of a commitment. So doing too many things from the beginning is not good to get the results you want.
- One of the best moments to start whitening your teeth is after receiving your 4th or 5th
You probably think that Invisalign attachments affect the whitening process!
That’s another source of concern for many patients! I can understand that as the attachment covers a pretty significant part of your teeth. So, probably these parts won’t be whitened!
In fact, this is not totally true as a recent study proves that this attachment s don’t affect the whitening process at all.
First of all, it is more correlated to how strong you enamel really is! That is, if you’ve got a strong one, even the spots under the Invisalign attachments will be whitened. In this case, enamel acts somehow like a sponge absorbing the bleaching agent.
Moreover, even if you don’t have that strong of an enamel, keep in mind that the covered area is insignificant. So those little remaining areas may be whitened rapidly later on.
There is another possibility that you might consider …
… Ask your dentist to remove the Invisalign attachments temporarily to whiten your teeth. Then you could resume using the trays normally.
If you want to whiten your teeth with the attachment on them, try to do it this way:
- Choose a composite attachment shade that matches the teeth shade you are looking for.
- Use some of the cleaning and whitening techniques described earlier in this article.
- Don’t rush to get the whitening effect; otherwise you may hurt your teeth.
- Once you reach the result you want; stop whitening your teeth and keep the cleaning techniques on your daily routine.
- Once you remove the attachment, if you notice the uncovered spots are as white as the rest of your teeth that’s fine. Otherwise, you can easily whiten them afterwards using the same cleaning and whitening techniques.
By considering these tips, the attachments won’t be that much of a problem.
Watch out teeth sensitivity while whitening with Invisalign!
Tooth sensitivity might be a problem during the process, that’s why you should watch out that aspect too!
To avoid tooth sensitivity you should as I’ve said before focus on cleaning your teeth. I mean, after few weeks of effective cleaning you may expect 2 different things:
- Your teeth will look cleaner and whiter. Thus, sometimes, you may even realize that you don’t even need doing any whitening whatsoever. So sensitivity won’t be an issue at all in this case.
- By doing so, your teeth and enamel will become stronger. This means that even after implementing some whitening, chances are, you won’t suffer from sensitivity.
There are other few things you may consider to prevent sensitivity, like using a bleaching gel with low concentrations of peroxide and active ingredients in general.
A percentage of 10% sounds really great!
But the key tip to anticipate sensitivity is not to rush by trying to get results quickly. Being patient is key … not only to avoid sensitivity but also to get durable results!
Could unclean or yellow Invisalign aligners affect the whitening process?
If your aligners are not clean, this might affect your teeth on the long term. So by making sure to clean them with the crystals you will fix that.
In addition, yellow Invisalign aligners won’t affect your teeth. I mean some people (I don’t know why they do that) could choose yellow trays, probably to look different. Yet, this won’t make your teeth yellowish.
Does Invisalign by itself make teeth yellow or even whiter?
Indeed, some people usually ask this question …
… Look! They have nothing to do with that. That is, the new routine with Invisalign aligners will look like this: 22 hours per day wearing the trays and 2 hours without the tray to eat, drink and clean your teeth!
So, what makes the difference is the 2 hours without the tray! If you manage to eat healthy and clean properly your teeth during these 2 hours you will be just fine.
What about dental work with Invisalign trays?
Yea, this might be another concern for those who have veneers, caps or crowns.
Actually, Whitening using active ingredients doesn’t work on dental work in general. It might make them brighter but not whiter.
So all you have to do is to keep a solid cleaning routine to prevent them being stained in the future.
The best cleaning technique for dental work is using a water flosser!
Here how you should whiten your teeth after Invisalign …
After removing the aligners once and for all and if you notice that your teeth are not that white. You may of course think about planning some whitening.
However, don’t do that right away!
You should wait probably a month in order to allow your teeth to acclimate to the new environment without these trays.
During that month you should keep the cleaning routine the way it was described earlier.
After about a month or so, you may visit your dentist for some in-office whitening. Or you might use some safe and relevant over-the-counter whitening products as I’ve described in this article.
To sum up, it is a great idea not only to get straight good looking teeth using Invisalign aligners. But also it would be even better to manage whitening them during this period of time!
However, get it right and do it properly following the guidelines of this article or any other relevant article or resource out there!
Now, I really want to hear from you!
Are you wearing these aligners these days? If so, Are you planning on whitening your teeth during the Invisalign treatment or after removing them?
What kind of cleaning or whitening method does resonate the most with you? And why?
Let me know on the comment section below! So others will learn from your experience …