Invisalign is an increasingly popular cosmetic dental treatment, allowing patients to realign their teeth discreetly and effectively. Cosmetic dentists often use it as part of an overall treatment plan to improve a patient’s smile, so it’s natural to look at other complementary treatments that can be used alongside the clear braces. Teeth whitening is one of the most requested treatments by patients, and given the similarity of the Invisalign aligners to teeth whitening trays, it’s natural to think they could be used in the same way. But can you put whitening gel in your Invisalign trays?
Can You Use Invisalign Trays To Whiten Your Teeth?
Although they look similar to whitening trays, you should not use whitening gel in your Invisalign trays. Invisalign retainers are custom-made for your teeth and are design to straighten your smile gradually, so they fit fairly tight against your teeth. This snug fit leaves very little room for the whitening gel in the tray, which can cause the gel to overflow when fitted to your teeth. This can lead to irritation in the gums and elsewhere in your mouth and reduce the treatment’s effectiveness.
Invisalign is also designed to be worn for around 22 hours a day, and bleaching gel should not be used for anything close to that length of time. Leaving the gel in your aligner all day can cause some real damage, including sensitive teeth and burns to your gums.
Some Invisalign patients will have attachments on their teeth as part of their treatment, which can also interfere with the teeth whitening process. These attachments are bonded to your teeth, so the whitening gel won’t work under those areas. The results will be discoloured spots on your teeth at the end of your Invisalign treatment – not the result you would hope for.
While Invisalign trays technically can be used with whitening gel, it’s rarely a good idea. If you’re concerned about the shade of your teeth, you should discuss this with your dentist ahead of any treatment plan getting underway.
Invisalign is likely to be a part of an overall set of treatments to improve your smile, so your dentist will advise if and when whitening is appropriate. On the extremely rare occasion your dentist advises that it would be ok to use whitening gel in your retainers, it’s likely to be right at the start of your treatment before any attachments are applied.
You may be a candidate for other cosmetic treatments after Invisalign, such as veneers, which will need to be color-matched against your natural teeth. Using whitening gel at the wrong time can have a negative impact on the aesthetics of your smile, so your dentist will advise you about the best time for this treatment.
Overall, it is not recommended to use whitening gel in your Invisalign trays. Always consult with your dentist about your overall treatment plan.