Can I Undergo Teeth Whitening During Invisalign® Treatment? By fairfaxfamilydentalcare on November 30, 2022

Invisalign alignersThere are many cosmetic imperfections that detract from the beauty of the smile. Two of the most obvious are discoloration and misalignment. Invisalign® is a popular solution for malocclusion issues, or misaligned teeth. This orthodontic treatment uses clear plastic aligner trays to gradually shift the teeth into proper position.

As patients see their smile transform during Invisalign treatment, they are often eager to address other blemishes, including dental stains and discoloration. However, it is important to consider whether teeth whitening is a good idea during Invisalign treatment. Here, the dentists from Fairfax Family Dental, in Fairfax, VA, discuss teeth whitening options that are well-suited to Invisalign patients.

Is It Okay to Undergo Teeth Whitening During Invisalign Treatment?

When discoloration is a concern, patients are likely to consider teeth whitening treatment. Prior to looking into teeth whitening options, Invisalign patients should be sure that it is not their aligners that are making the teeth appear yellow. Aligner trays are clear, but if patients do not care for them properly and maintain good oral hygiene habits, the aligners could take on a cloudy or discolored appearance, which can affect the appearance of the teeth.

If discoloration or dental stains are truly on the surface of the teeth, and not the result of poorly maintained aligners, teeth whitening treatment can be effective. Technically, it is okay to undergo teeth whitening treatment while using Invisalign, but patients should talk to our dentists about which whitening option is right for them and optimal timing.

Invisalign Teeth Whitening Options

Choosing the right teeth whitening method is important during Invisalign treatment. Our Fairfax patients should get the whitening results they desire without compromising the effectiveness of Invisalign, and without causing other dental complications. The most common whitening options are in-office teeth whitening treatment, at-home whitening, and over-the-counter whitening products.

  • In-office teeth whitening - In-office teeth whitening is a safe and effective treatment option. During the procedure, a whitening gel is applied directly to the teeth. The teeth are exposed to a special light that activates bleaching agents to lift away stains and improve tooth color. In-office whitening sessions are typically completed within an hour, so Invisalign patients can remove their aligners for treatment without compromising teeth straightening results. However, it is important to keep in mind that the teeth continually shift and change positions throughout Invisalign treatment. Over time, portions of the tooth that were not exposed to the whitening gel may become visible, which could result in non-uniform whitening results.
  • At-home whitening - Patients can also opt for at-home whitening treatment, which includes the use of a whitening gel and customized trays. Patients often ask if whitening gel can be placed in their Invisalign aligners, but this is often not a good idea. Invisalign aligners fit securely and are closely conformed to the teeth. If whitening gel is placed in the aligners it could squeeze out the top and cause irritation to oral tissues.
  • Over-the-counter whitening - Over-the-counter teeth whitening products, like toothpastes and mouthwashes, are not as effective as professional treatment, so they are not generally recommended. However, they are a great option during Invisalign treatment because they can subtly enhance tooth color without compromising Invisalign results, and without causing uneven tooth color as the teeth shift.

Teeth Whitening After Invisalign Treatment Is Complete

Although teeth whitening treatment is possible during Invisalign, we often suggest that patients consider waiting until after Invisalign is complete. Within six months of completing Invisalign, the teeth should be settled into their new position and patients can choose any teeth whitening method that they think suits them to enhance tooth color and create a uniformly white smile.

Contact Us

The dental team at Fairfax Family Dental Care would be happy to help you consider the best method for whitening your teeth while undergoing Invisalign treatment. To discuss your unique needs and desires with a member of our staff, send us a message online or call (703) 385-0303 and request an appointment.

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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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