When to whiten teeth during or after treatment

Which one do you think is true?

  1. The practice of whitening teeth started 4,000 years ago in Egypt. 
  2. In 2020, thirty-seven million Americans used teeth-whitening products. 
  3. The teeth-whitening industry made 6.86 billion dollars in 2021.

Believe it or not, they’re all true! Wanting shiny pearly whites is not new or uncommon. Most recently, the spike in aesthetic dentistry could be attributed to the popularity of social media.

While our team at Delplanche Orthodontics will always encourage you to feel confident in yourself before, during, and after treatment, we also understand and support your journey for the white teeth look. However, we must stress that in order to achieve the best whitening and orthodontic results, you must know when it is the right time to whiten your teeth. 

So, Should You Whiten Your Teeth Before or After Treatment?

It depends.

Wait, wait! Don’t click away. We know you came here for answers about when to whiten your teeth, not unhelpful vague responses and random facts about the whitening industry, so let us explain! 

When to whiten your teeth depends on if you have removable or fixed orthodontic appliances in the mouth. Fixed appliances are glued to the teeth, which means that patients cannot take them off. Removable equipment can and should be removed by patients for various reasons.

Keep reading to find out what that means for your dreams of pearly white teeth!

Fixed Orthodontic Appliances

Suppose you have braces or a fixed retainer. In that case, you should most definitely wait until after you have completed orthodontic treatment to use any whitening product, including whitening toothpaste, trays, or strips. Because fixed appliances are bonded to your teeth, there’s a portion of surface area on each tooth that the whitening agent will not touch. Only the surrounding area that’s currently visible will be whitened. While it might look nice now, when your orthodontic equipment is removed, your teeth will have a mismatched color! They will look spotty and not at all like you hoped they would when treatment ended.

The best way to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile while in treatment is with proper oral hygiene! Brushing and flossing with thread and a water flosser twice a day significantly impacts the health and appearance of teeth and gums. 

After treatment with a fixed appliance finishes, consider going to the dentist for professional teeth cleaning and whitening! It is generally recommended to wait about six months after the conclusion of treatment to use any whitening agents. While that may seem like a long time, your teeth need time to regain strength and become situated in the mouth. It is also best to wait because, more often than not, your saliva will fix much of the discoloration! Though it may sound odd, before booking a whitening appointment with your dentist, speak to your orthodontist!

When to whiten teeth during or after treatmentRemovable Orthodontic Appliances

It is commonly known that patients with removable clear aligners or retainers have a little more freedom than those with fixed appliances regarding diet. But you do know that another benefit of removable appliances is the ability to use teeth whitening products?

That’s right! Invisalign patients and Hawley or Essix retainer wearers can remove their orthodontic equipment and use whitening products. We even offer our own whitening product that patients can use from home! Patients can also participate in professional whitening services.

Because the orthodontic appliances are removable, there is nothing in the way of the whitening agent reaching the entire surface of the teeth — so no splotchy or inconsistent coloring!

Teeth whitening is not an excuse to neglect oral hygiene! If you wear removable appliances, you still need to brush and floss with thread and a water flosser twice a day! Not only will it keep the mouth healthy, but it will also help keep teeth nice and shiny!

When to whiten teeth during or after treatmentCome See Us At Delplanche Orthodontics!

We know how desirable white teeth are, and we would love to help you safely achieve them at the right time! 

Before applying any products to your teeth or orthodontic appliances, speak to Dr. Delplanche! You don’t want unintended outcomes to your teeth, gums, or appliances. 

We are passionate about providing every patient with a personalized treatment plan, outstanding customer service, and quality information so you can make informed decisions!

If you have questions about your treatment or want to discuss ways to brighten or whiten your teeth, please contact us to make an appointment with our professional and talented team! 

Delplanche Orthodontics looks forward to seeing you and helping you find a reason to smile today!