Clear aligners are a globally recognized dental treatment for several obvious reason. They are nearly invisible and you can remove them to comfortably enjoy a meal. However, clear Invisalign aligners also serve useful purposes like serving as a dental retainer when your treatment is complete and serving as whitening trays to help improve your smile.
Benefits of using your Invisalign aligners as whitening trays include
- Can whiten with already made custom trays
- Avoidance of gingival irritation due to custom trays
- You can whiten or touch up as needed
- Patients can maintain good oral hygiene so that whitening is more effective
There are different types of whitening that you can use with your Invisalign trays. Whitening products are so saturated on the market that the type and brand differ based on your preferences and budget. Here are some safe and effective options you can try if you wear Invisalign aligners and want whiter teeth!
Whitening gels are certainly your best option for whitening if you are looking to make a drastic change to your shade of teeth. This is because whitening gels contain the most active ingredients that deliver the dramatic results you are looking for to brighten your teeth.
Remember that your Invisalign trays are made to straighten your teeth and are custom made to fit your teeth precisely. Some people prefer to use their aligners as whitening trays because it is convenient, but there are some downsides to doing so.
- Whitening products will not whiten dental fillings, crowns or veneers. If you have any anterior teeth with a restoration or prosthetic, it is best to speak with your dental professional about your options.
- Teeth whitening gels are popular with Invisalign trays, but you have to make sure the bleaching gel flows evenly so whitening is not blotchy or uneven.
- Sometimes whitening gel overflows over the tray causing your gums and surrounding tissue to get exposed to the bleach. This may cause sensitivity and temporary white spots around your gum line.
- Studies show that Invisalign aligners are actually not the greatest method for teeth whitening treatment because there is limited room for the bleaching agent. You are better off requesting custom whitening trays for just whitening.
The steps to whiten using your Invisalign trays include:
- Brushing your teeth with a non-fluoride toothpaste because fluoride blocks the peroxide ions from penetrating into the tooth.
- Floss between your teeth to remove food and plaque debris.
- Apply whitening gel to the front of your aligner trays.
- Gently fit the Invisalign aligners over your teeth for 15 – 30 minutes. Remove early if you are experiencing sensitivity or pain.
- Remove and rinse your trays.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly.
Some of the best recommended whitening gels to use with your Invisalign aligners are:
Opalescence 35% by Ultradent
Opalescence Mint Whitening Gel is a popular choice for teeth whitening because it contains a high percentage carbide peroxide formula compared to its competitors. At 25% it is much more powerful than most gels that contain 10% to 20%. The stronger whitening gel will more effectively whiten your teeth, but remember this can come with great sensitivity.
Cali White Teeth Whitening Gel
Many studies show Cali White is a great option for people with sensitive teeth and gums. They also market this gel for people looking for a healthy option. At 25% carbide peroxide, it is also vegan, non GMO, kosher, and gluten free. With so many chemicals in or cosmetic products, Cali White stands apart as a natural whitening product.
AuraFlow Teeth Whitening Gel
AuraGlow is a popular choice for teeth whitening because it contains 35% carbide peroxide in a mint flavor. It can remove much harsher stains from dark foods and even smoking. Many people will see results quickly and can be used for long-term whitening maintenance and touch-ups.
Phillips Zoom Nite White
Phillips offers a strong whitening gel that you can deliver results even after the first use. It is recommended to use overnight, but if you are not comfortable, you can use for a few short hours. At 16% carbide peroxide, it can help deliver maximum results, but may take a bit longer than other brands.
AuraGlow Teeth Whitening Kit
Patients love AuraFlow 35% carbamide peroxide because it is essentially a professional teeth whitening system from the comfort of your home. It works well in conjunction with Invisalign and is used with an LED light and mouth tray.
You can either use the bleaching gel in the tray they supply or in your Invisalign aligners. It is recommended to use the LED light as an activator for the whitening process, but many say the gel works effectively with or without the light.
Whitening strips are a great economical solution for teeth whitening during Invisalign treatment. This is because Invisalign aligners are removable and you can easily apply and remove a whitening strip to brighten up your smile as needed.
Most whitening strips are affordable, don’t cause as much sensitivity as bleaching gel, and can effectively remove surface stains that may cause your clear aligners to look a bit dull or yellow.
The advantage to whitening strips during Invisalign treatment is they are affordable. Invisalign is a costly investment so there is value in getting a professional whitening treatment without the high out-of-pocket costs.
You also don’t need to hassle of an additional dental appointment to produce good whitening results and they are often a lot more gentle on your gums and teeth than a professional in-office whitening session. Some of the best recommended brands for whitening strips during Invisalign include:
Crest 3D White Professional Strips
Crest 3D whitening strips are the staple of over-the-counter teeth whitening. They deliver professional results for a lower price tag than in an-office session. They claim to help deliver a brighter smile in 3 days and you will see full results in less than 3 weeks. The kit comes with a 1 hour express that you can also use them if you need a last minute touch-up.
They are safe, reliable, and the most cost-effective option for teeth whitening. The benefit of using this hydrogen peroxide whitening strip with Invisalign is you can simply remove your Invisalign for a short period of time and then insert your aligners back in to witness a a new smile.
Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Strips
Lumineux is a great product that uses natural ingredients to help remove surface stains and rejuvenate your smile. Using coconut oil, sage oil, and lemon peel oil, it reduces tooth sensitivity and helps strengthen your teeth.
The key ingredient in Luminous is dead sea salt, which helps reduce common post-whitening sensitivity. Lumineux does not contain bleach and is also SLS free.
The main downside is they don’t work as quickly as some of its competitors, but if you don’t mind being patient, they are a wonderful solution for improving your oral care.
Dental Duty Professional Whitening Strips
Dental Duty is an economical solution to whiten using the enamel safe whitening strip in one application per day. In as little as 30 minutes, you will start to see whitening results. Dental Duty claims you can even eat and drink water with their strips on!
Ray of Smile
Ray of Smile whitening strips is recommended for patients who are looking for a mild treatment without needing to wear them for extended periods of time. In 30 minutes, you can be on your way to a brighter smile with a gentle hydrogen peroxide formula.
Many toothpaste brands preach they can help whiten teeth. It is important to remember that while whitening toothpastes claim to brighten smiles, they are in fact removing surface stains and plaque that can often give a more yellow appearance.
Whitening toothpaste contains milder ingredients and is the most cost-effective way to whiten. It is also the easiest way to keep your teeth healthy and clean during Invisalign treatment.
Colgate Optic White
Colgate whitening toothpaste features hydrogen peroxide as its active ingredient to target the most stubborn stains. It works by helping remove extrinsic and intrinsic stains and claims to see results in as little as 3 days.
There is no question Colgate is one of the leading makers excellent of oral care products and Optic White is one of their revolutionary products that delivers bright smiles.
Hello Activated Charcoal Epic Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste
Hello is a very popular brand on the market because of its high end marketing toward younger people. It is offered with and without fluoride and it’s main feature is that it uses activated charcoal and coconut oil to help remove difficult stains. Charcoal is known to help whiten teeth, but beware overuse can have a negative effect because of how abrasive it is.
Sensodyne Pronamel Gentle Whitening Toothpaste
Even people with sensitive teeth and gums want to whiten. Sensodyne offers an incredible option for helping wipe away stains and restoring your natural white color. It contains special ingredients to avoid sensitivity triggers to temperature changes and adds minerals to your enamel to help strengthen your teeth.
Answer: This is not recommended as your aligner trays are designed to adhere tightly to your teeth. If you try and put a whitening strip inside it will most likely shift and not whiten your teeth evenly.
Answer: A professional in-office whitening treatment is the best way to effectively whiten because it can target deeper, more stubborn stains. When this is not possible, many celebrities will actually opt for dental veneers to achieve a “perfect white smile.”
Answer: Regardless of the whitening system you choose – professional whitening gel, whitening strips, or whitening toothpaste – you should avoid dark, strongly colored foods and beverages. Coffee, soda, tomato sauce, alcohol, and dyes will cause staining and not allow your whitening to work effectively.
Answer: Teeth are porous and whitening will not affect the attachments. The most important thing to remember is to apply the whitening gel evenly in the tray to cover all areas of the teeth. Touch-ups may be needed when you are done with your aligners, but that is expected and okay.
Answer: Yes! While you can use your Invisalign trays to whiten, you should still speak with your dentist to ensure whitening is the right treatment for you. Bleach will help make your whitening trays look brighter.
Answer: Invisalign does not change the shade of your teeth or affect the color appearance. However, you should keep in mind that what you eat and how well you keep your teeth clean will affect the overall appearance of your teeth.
We are bombarded with whitening products everywhere we look – on social media, on television, and in magazines. Sometimes it is hard to discern what whitening products are effective and what products are even safe.
People with Invisalign are going through an orthodontic process to improve and straighten their smiles, so it is natural to want to also brighten and restore the natural color to their teeth.
Invisalign is a good time to whiten since we already essentially have a custom made tray to fit our teeth. Some dentists will advise against using aligner trays for whitening, although there wouldn’t be much damage to the trays from the bleaching gel.
The main reason is the bleaching gel may leak from the sides and top to cause additional sensitivity. I think if you use the smallest amount of whitening gel and see results, there is no reason not to use your trays. Opalescence 35% by Ultradent is one of my favorite dentist recommended brands because it delivers results and is very safe for patient care at home.
If you feel like you’re experiencing sensitivity from bleaching gel, you can still whiten during Invisalign treatment. Teeth whitening strips are one of the easiest ways to whiten and although may take a bit longer than whitening gel, I think they are the best way to touch up and renew your smile comfortably.
Whitening toothpaste should be used regularly not only to keep your oral health in top shape but can help actively remove surface stains that may cause our teeth to appear more yellow and our trays to look less vibrant.
Whitening is usually an on-going process and regardless of your choice of treatment and brand, run it by your dentist to ensure it is the best option for you!