Invisalign aligners can go a long way in helping people improve their dental health and self-confidence. However, bite problems and other orthodontic issues are not the only factors causing people to feel self-conscious when they smile. Many people struggle with confidence due to tooth discoloration. Today, our orthodontic experts at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX are looking at options for whitening and straightening your teeth.
Can I Whiten My Teeth While Wearing Invisalign Aligners?
In some cases, you can whiten your teeth while wearing Invisalign aligners. However, it is important to consult with your dentist before having your teeth whitened if you are straightening your teeth with invisible aligners. Generally, it is safe for you to use over-the-counter tooth whitening treatments, like toothpaste or mouthwash with a gentle whitening agent.
There is some evidence to suggest that over-the-counter whitening treatments are more effective when aligners are worn. You also may be able to get a prescription-strength whitening gel to be applied at home or in your dentist’s office. However, you may not be satisfied with your final results due to your teeth shifting during your straightening treatment, exposing new discoloration once your teeth are aligned properly.
Other Invisalign Frequently Asked Questions
How Soon Will I Be Able To Straighten My Teeth?
How long your Invisalign treatment will take depends on several factors, including the severity of your orthodontic concerns and how many hours per day you wear your invisible aligners. The more time you spend wearing your aligners each day, the sooner you will be able to see your desired results.
Ideally, you should only remove your trays for two hours daily. However, it is okay if you only wear your aligners 20 hours daily. Typically, you can expect your treatment to take between 12 and 18 months to complete.
When Will I Need To Remove My Aligners?
You will need to take your aligners out every time you eat or chew gum. You also must remove your aligners whenever you drink hot beverages, like hot chocolate or coffee, or beverages that can stain your teeth, like red wine.
Furthermore, you may not wear your aligners when you eat. It is important that you don’t wear your aligning trays while eating because food can get trapped between your teeth and aligners. If food gets trapped between your aligners and teeth, plaque buildup, and, eventually, tooth decay can occur.
How Will I Need To Care for My Teeth and Aligners During My Treatment?
There are several critical rules you must follow to ensure your straightening treatment goes as smoothly as possible. One of the most important rules to follow is to not smoke while wearing your aligners. The heat can warp the plastic trays, reducing the efficacy of the treatment. Also, the nicotine present in cigarette smoke can stain the clear aligners. Moreover, you must clean your trays and store them appropriately.
Another important rule you must follow is to brush your teeth every time you eat. If you eat lunch at work or school, keep a toothbrush and toothpaste with you. Make sure when you brush your teeth that you’re brushing at a 45-degree angle to your gumline with short strokes and you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Are There Other Steps I’ll Need To Take To Maintain My Oral Hygiene?
Yes, there are steps besides brushing properly that must be incorporated into your daily oral hygiene routine. For instance, you need to floss daily to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. You should not floss into your gums, but you should take care to floss all of the inside surfaces of each tooth. Every time you floss between two new teeth, you should use a fresh section of floss.
It is also crucial that you use mouthwash at least once daily. There are many benefits to using mouthwash daily, including mitigating the risk of developing halitosis. It also significantly reduces the likelihood that harmful plaque buildup will occur. Moreover, rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash daily protects the integrity of your tooth enamel.
Am I a Good Candidate for This Treatment?
To discover if you are a good candidate for this treatment, it is necessary to come in for an initial consultation. Before we can determine if invisible aligners are the optimal straightening treatment for you, we need to discuss the orthodontic and aesthetic concerns you have. We also need to understand what goals you have and advise you on what results you can realistically expect.
There are other factors we need to consider before we can advise you on whether you are a good candidate for invisible aligners. For instance, you must be able to follow all of the guidelines required of you during treatment, including attending follow-up sessions every two weeks to get new aligning trays.
What Are the Benefits of This Treatment?
One significant benefit of Invisalign is that it is comfortable. You may feel a little pressure when you put your new trays in after your initial appointment and each follow-up appointment. However, you won’t feel any pain while your teeth are being straightened. You also won’t need to spend a lot of time attending follow-up appointments.
Even though you need to come in for new trays every other week, these appointments won’t take long. Another compelling benefit of this treatment is that it is discreet. They are nearly invisible, and you can even remove them for a short, important event, like a wedding or a crucial presentation. Just make sure that you’re wearing your aligners for at least 20 hours each day.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
You can use an over-the-counter toothpaste or mouthwash with a whitening agent during your Invisalign treatment. However, you may be better off waiting until your alignment treatment is complete and getting a professional whitening treatment with more powerful whitening agents once your teeth are properly aligned. To learn more, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Brian St. Louis at Central Texas Orthodontics in Austin, TX today.