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Can People Have Their Teeth Whitened While Wearing Invisalign Aligners?
Invisalign® clear aligners are designed to make it simple and comfortable to correctly align teeth. The appearance of one's teeth is often a big factor in a person's confidence. However, it can be difficult for people to have confidence in their smile when they feel self-conscious about discolored or stained teeth. A visit to the dentist and a personalized consultation about the physical state of their teeth can help a person decide whether or not tooth whitening should be done while wearing aligners.
Tooth whitening while wearing aligners
In a nutshell, the answer to whether people can whiten teeth while wearing Invisalign® aligners is yes. However, the decision should be made with supervision and advice from a dental professional due to several factors.
Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes
Often, less intense forms of tooth whitening such as the use of toothpastes or mouthwashes with whitening agents can be helpful for those who wear aligners. Wearers have reported that the aligners help to keep the whitening agents in close proximity to their teeth, providing greater whitening action. Such whitening agents can help break down surface stains, while tiny abrasive particles can scrub and polish the surface of the teeth.
Some dentists may be able to prescribe whitening gels to either apply in the dental office or at home. These gels are a little more intense than average whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. They often come with specific instructions for their use to avoid causing tooth sensitivity.
Specific tooth whitening questions
Though it is possible to whiten teeth while in the middle of realignment using aligners, most dental professionals recommend whitening the teeth once the alignment process has finished.
Is the Invisalign® aligner the same thing as a tooth whitening tray?
No. Despite being shaped similarly, the aligner is not the same thing as a tooth whitening tray and should not be used as one. The aligner is fitted to be much tighter against the teeth of the wearer and therefore will push out any whitening gel applied to the inside of the aligner. This can be irritating to the lining of the mouth and the stomach of the patient.
When is the best time to whiten teeth while using Invisalign® aligners?
Many dentists and dental professionals recommend waiting until after the teeth are correctly aligned before starting a procedure of teeth whitening. Since the teeth are moving constantly during the alignment process, new discoloration could appear from areas of the teeth that were not exposed to whitening agents. This can lead to a displeasing final appearance. By waiting until the teeth are aligned, the wearer can more easily achieve an even and bright smile.
Though whitening of the teeth is possible through the use of whitening toothpastes, gels and mouthwashes, many dental professionals recommend that patients begin whitening their teeth after alignment is complete. Caring for teeth during realignment should involve good dental hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing, which can help improve the appearance of teeth in the interim.
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