Many of my adult patients at Feinstein 360 Orthodontics ask me if they have to wait to whiten their teeth until after their Invisalign treatment is finished. As long as a few parameters are met, the short answer is no. Let me explain.
How teeth whitening works
Tooth whitening works by removing intrinsic and extrinsic stains on natural teeth. Extrinsic staining is on the outside surface of your enamel and the discoloration is caused by environmental factors such as coffee, curries, teas, food dyes, and smoking. It is important to understand that whitening does not work on dental implants, veneers, crowns, or fillings.
Is teeth whitening while doing Invisalign an option for me?
All my treatment recommendations are patient-specific. I look at a variety of factors before recommending whitening during Invisalign treatment.
- Are your teeth extremely crooked and overlapping?
- Are your teeth overly sensitive?
- What whitening product do you intend to use?
Whitening works by the whitening product physically being in contact with your teeth. As a result, I like to postpone my patient’s teeth whitening until their teeth are relatively lined up.
Some people naturally have more sensitive teeth than others. The most common reasons are either having thinner enamel or gingival recession. Other causes contributing to tooth sensitivity can be decayed, broken, or chipped teeth, among other reasons. Tooth sensitivity can be worsened by whitening so it is important to choose the right whitening agent.
- Whitening products can be over-the-counter or dentist directed.
- The two most common active ingredients in whitening products are carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.
- It is important to understand which active ingredient and what percentage concentration is recommended for you in order to achieve your desired results.
- In general, whitening products with carbamide peroxide are less abrasive and need to sit on your teeth longer to achieve results.
- Whitening agents with hydrogen peroxide require less time in contact with your teeth but can lead to more irritation.
There are so many teeth whitening products and treatments available. It is important to consult your dentist about what is best for you.
I love being an advocate and cheerleader for my patients. Often, whitening while straightening their teeth with Invisalign is what is best for my patients, but it is always important to look at everyone as an individual and treat them as one.
If you are local to Chesterfield, Virginia and are interested in enhancing your smile with Invisalign, you can call us at (804) 532-4536. Your “feinest” smile is waiting for you!