Can You Whiten Your Teeth While Wearing Invisalign
Can You Whiten Your Teeth While Wearing Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular option for those looking to straighten their teeth but without the look of traditional metal braces. It’s a more discreet option that doesn’t require metal brackets or wires. Those who have Invisalign may want to continue their whitening process while undergoing treatment. The good news is that you can absolutely still whiten your teeth while wearing Invisalign. Discover your options with Northern Virginia Orthodontics.

Can I Whiten My Teeth While Using Invisalign?

You’re putting a lot of time, money, and energy into straightening your smile with Invisalign, so you definitely want your smile to look great! This includes your teeth looking shiny and white. Keeping your teeth looking their best is easier than you think while undergoing treatment with Invisalign. 

Invisalign trays can be removed when eating, drinking, brushing, flossing, and whitening. This means the options available for whitening are more plentiful than if you are wearing traditional braces. 

What Causes Teeth Staining?

Before we talk about how to whiten your teeth, it’s important to explore what causes the staining in the first place so you can take measures to prevent staining in the future. The two main causes of teeth staining are diet and lifestyle. Some of our favorite foods we consume daily are common culprits of teeth staining- coffee, red wine, tea, berries, and dark-colored sodas. 

Bad dental hygiene is another common cause of tooth staining. Improper or poor brushing can lead to plaque buildup which turns into tartar. This hard mineral deposit will lead to yellowing over time. Smoking and other tobacco use is another cause of serious tooth staining. Tobacco smoke contains tar that can discolor teeth over time. 

Medications are a lesser-known cause of tooth staining and discoloration. Many medications contain coloring agents that can stain over time. Some of these medications include seizure medications (phenobarbital), antihistamines (diphenhydramine), and certain high-blood pressure medications. 

What Products Can I Use to Whiten My Teeth While Using Invisalign?

If you would like to whiten your teeth with your Invisalign trays, there are a few available low-intensity gels that can be used in the aligners overnight for 1-2 weeks. It’s important that you’re using the correct products in this case, so best to speak to your dentist or orthodontist before beginning an at-home treatment.  

Other popular options available to those using Invisalign include whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, and whitening mouthwashes. Whitening toothpastes work by deploying abrasive agents to scrub the surface of the teeth. These abrasive agents combine with chemicals to prevent staining. Whitening mouthwashes protect teeth from additional staining and keep your breath smelling fresh.

A good electric toothbrush is a great tool to implement in a good dental hygiene routine. While they don’t contain agents to whiten teeth, they can do a better job at removing plaque and stains than manual brushes. Flossing daily can also help remove plaque that can lead to discoloration. 

What Whitening Options Should I Avoid While Using Invisalign?

It’s important to note that you should not use your Invisalign trays as whitening trays with over-the-counter products. Your Invisalign is designed to fit snugly on your teeth, and this may cause products to leak out into the mouth. Additionally, prolonged exposure to whitening treatments can cause sensitivity and gum burning. 

A few popular at-home whitening remedies to avoid during your Invisalign treatment are: 

  • Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar: these acidic liquids can erode the enamel of your teeth when used as a mouthwash 
  • Activated Charcoal: this is a popular trend at the moment, but charcoal is abrasive and can erode enamel
  • Swishing Oils and Spices: this is an ancient Indian technique that has not been scientifically proven to work. In this technique, typically coconut oil is swished around the mouth, and then spices such as turmeric are placed on the teeth 

When Should I Whiten My Teeth When I Have Invisalign?

While Invisalign offers the freedom to continue on your whitening journey while undergoing treatment, it may be best to wait until after your treatment has concluded to start. The reason is that if your teeth are overlapping, the whitening agent may not be able to reach all of your teeth and the results can be uneven. Discuss your goals with your dentist or orthodontist who can recommend a plan. 

Invisalign with Northern Virginia Orthodontics

At Northern Virginia Orthodontics, we are North America’s #1 provider of Invisalign. Our team is knowledgeable and ready to assist you in your journey to the perfect smile. Request an appointment on our website today.