An Insight on Teeth Whitening with Invisalign Aligners

Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance that is primarily used to straighten the teeth. However, there are many other uses of Invisalign aligners. One among them is teeth whitening. Teeth whitening with Invisalign is a popular method in which the Invisalign aligners are used as bleaching trays. One of the disadvantages of Invisalign aligners is that it snugly fits on the tooth surface. This makes it does not allow the bleaching gel to flow properly.

While it is possible to whiten your teeth using Invisalign aligners, it is essential to take care that excess material does not overflow to the surrounding tissues. However, it is best to maintain a proper cleaning routine and apply a reliable amount of whitening agent on the tooth surface

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The technique to whiten teeth with Invisalign is quite similar to that of a bleaching tray method. The results of teeth whitening with Invisalign are often long-lasting. Let’s read the article further to take a closer look at the process of teeth whitening using Invisalign aligners. Furthermore, we’ll take a look at its efficiency as a teeth whitening device.

What are Invisalign aligners?

Invisalign are clear aligners that are used to straighten the teeth. It is typically made from a thermoplastic material that is customized to the size of the patient’s dental arch. The transparency of the aligners makes this device aesthetically pleasing. (1)

Therefore, it is the best choice for straightening teeth without social embarrassment. Additionally, Invisalign can also be used as trays for teeth whitening procedures. However, it is essential to follow the right method to get effective results.

As compared to other orthodontic devices, Invisalign surely has an advantage in terms of the teeth whitening in the following ways –

  • It can be changed frequently over two weeks
  • It is almost invisible
  • Patients can maintain good oral hygiene as compared to metal braces (2)

Do Invisalign aligners help in teeth whitening?

Invisalign can be used for teeth whitening. Many cosmetic dentists recommend teeth whitening as an addition to their Invisalign treatments. Therefore, teeth whitening with Invisalign is a common practice. However, it is not the best method as compared to other teeth whitening techniques.

Invisalign aligners typically act as whitening trays that a patient can use to whiten their teeth at home or in-office. However, the trays are designed to fit the teeth of the patient snugly. This leaves minimal room for the bleaching agent. Moreover, it increases the risk of an overflow of the bleaching gel into the surrounding tissues. (3)

Additionally, there are some precautions that a patient must take into consideration while using Invisalign for teeth whitening –

  • The duration of teeth whitening
  • The attachment of the tray on the tooth surface

When should you use Invisalign aligners for teeth whitening?

Many patients try to rush and use the Invisalign aligners at the beginning of the treatment. However, it is not advised to use the Invisalign aligners right away because of the following reasons –

  • The Invisalign treatment is new for your teeth. It takes time to adjust to the new environment
  • Every new set of Invisalign aligners is tight to allow tooth movement in the jaw. This leaves no room for the bleaching gel to come in contact with the teeth. Moreover, using whitening gel at this time will push almost all of the bleaching gel out into the surrounding tissues. (4)
  • Overflow of bleaching gel into the gums and oral tissues can lead to irritation and oral pain
  • You may not get the desired result if you use Invisalign teeth whitening at the beginning of the treatment.

Keeping these points into consideration, the best time to whiten the teeth using Invisalign aligners is after receiving the fourth or fifth set of aligners.

What is the procedure for teeth whitening with Invisalign?

The first step to follow before starting your teeth whitening procedure is to clean your teeth and the Invisalign aligner.

  • Brush your teeth to remove the food debris and plaque from the tooth and gums surface. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste as fluoride tends to block the peroxide ions in the bleaching gel. Therefore, the whitening effect is not as good as it should be.
  • Floss the teeth to remove the plaque from the areas between the teeth. You can also use an interdental brush to clean between the teeth.
  • As mentioned above, Invisalign is not the best option for teeth whitening. However, if you still want to go ahead with this practice, it is advised to use very few drops of the bleaching gel.
  • Apply the bleaching gel on the front. (5)
  • When you fit the tray into the mouth, the gel would spread over the tooth surface
  • Keep the trays in the mouth for about 12-15 minutes
  • Remove and wash the tray
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly

If you are not satisfied with the desired results, you can choose alternate teeth whitening techniques. Some alternate teeth whitening techniques that you can follow at home include –

Take away message

Invisalign aligners are made from a transparent thermoplastic dental material that doesn’t show when placed over the tooth surface. They are primarily used to straighten the teeth for people who want an aesthetic orthodontic device.

Usually, the aligners also act as dental trays that can be used for teeth whitening procedures. However, teeth whitening using Invisalign is not the best option as compared to other techniques. The perfect fit of the Invisalign doesn’t leave space for the whitening gel. Moreover, it risks the damage to surrounding tissues.

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If you still want to try using Invisalign as teeth whitening trays, it is best to follow the right techniques and precautions to get the desired result. Moreover, the best thing to do is to consult your dentist before trying out this method of teeth whitening.

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