Do Braces And Teeth Whitening Match?

Teeth whitening is still possible during orthodontics

Aesthetics is the most important factor in starting orthodontic treatment. In a systematic analysis of individual incentives driving orthodontic treatment criteria, facial attractiveness ranks first as the main catalyst to enter treatment.

However, from the dental practitioner’s perspective, we strive to encourage our patients that orthodontic treatment has an immense impact on a patient’s overall well-being, including their health.

A comprehensive approach to dental structures that involves all areas of dentistry prevents patients from suffering painful and costly corrective treatments for issues derived from teeth and jaw malpositioning like the following:

Tooth Decay

Teeth malpositioning limits patients from practicing good hygiene that derives in tooth decay, caries (cavities), a potential root canal treatment, or a denture piece extraction due to a severe infection that could spread larger.


The human body is an extraordinary biological machine that evolved over thousands of years. When it comes to the dental structure, a bad occlusion might inadvertently cause undesired friction with other teeth edges eroding and potentially cracking other teeth.

Notwithstanding these factors and others, we will discuss the health-related benefits of orthodontic treatment later. Today we will treat the opening aspect of this reading, “aesthetics,” prominently, teeth whitening during orthodontics with traditional braces.

How to Whiten My Teeth if I Have Braces?

You might encounter this a little strange. How could a patient get their teeth whiter while on braces? The first reaction would be, what about the spaces where braces are? You can’t whiten those spaces. The truth is you can.

Here we will divide the whitening process into two parts. The first segment refers to whitening teeth with the assistance of a cosmetic dentist at the office or home. The second segment refers to methods that include DIY and counter-commercial products to whiten teeth.

Professional Whitening

Whitening teeth involves using chemicals. Knowing the right proportions is known as posology, and its according timeframes requires a professional and knowledgeable person.

In fact, we strongly recommend patients’ professional whitening to avoid problems related to hurt gums, excessive enamel erosion, or unwanted results.

In Office Teeth Whitening

Your cosmetic dentist first applies a gum protectant before starting the process. Then the dentist will show you a shade that relates to your current teeth color and some gradually lighter shades.

The intention is to help you distinguish how your teeth become clearer after each application. Also, it is essential to note that your teeth won’t turn any whiter than your original color.

This means teeth whitening can only return your teeth to their original color before they get stained. Then the orthodontist prepares a professional-grade solution with a high concentration of an active ingredient, hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

Your orthodontist then places the solution in a set of guards for each dental arch and lets the concentration work for about an hour. Once the process ends, the specialist shows the first trial of results comparing previous and new shades.

Finally, the cosmetic dentist repeats the process to enhance results and obtain a lighter shade closer to the patient’s original teeth color. The resulting shade lasts approximately six months.

Home Teeth Whitening

The cosmetic dentist instructs the patient on applying an in-office solution (whitening gels) to the guards and teeth. The solution includes hydrogen or carbamide peroxide in lesser concentrations than that of office treatment applications.

However, the specialist often recommends patients wear the guards at night for approximately three weeks. The extended wearing time delivers magnific results that, in most cases, exceed the effects of in-office whitening for a whiter smile.

Counter Products Whitening

You enter a pharmacy or a store and see a shelf where you can find different products that promise to whiten your teeth in a few sessions. However, at this point, it is important to note their differences and why they can’t help you whiten your teeth while on braces.

Hydrogen Peroxide acts at a molecular level, but what does this mean? The chemicals penetrate several layers of your teeth, producing a reaction clearing your teeth from within, and eliminates years of stains.

Most counter products contain abrasive products that help clear the tonality of your teeth and help you get a lighter shade, but they are less effective than peroxides.

This means the results will last only a short time and will get fewer lighter shades than professional-grade solutions (peroxides). Furthermore, abrasive products might erode teeth enamel.

Having said this, here are some of the most popular teeth whitening options available in the market.

Whitening Strips

These products are available at most pharmacies and are inexpensive. Whitening strips do contain peroxides. However, they cannot penetrate your teeth’ inner layers, attacking only extrinsic stains, making them inefficient for a white smile if you wear braces.

Whitening Trays

The first thing to know is you can buy trays in a store or from your dentist. However, if you buy them in a store, they won’t fit in your dental arches if you have teeth with braces.

Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwash

Whitening tubes of toothpaste have a common ingredient: silica which works by scrubbing teeth and removing surface stains but don’t make teeth clearer but stain-free. In some cases, these tubes of toothpaste might include chemicals that work to dissolve stains. Also, mouthwash is an excellent product to prevent further tooth discoloration.

Is It Safe to Whiten My Teeth?

It is unsafe to whiten your teeth without professional supervision using chemicals such as peroxides. First, any whitening method, including professional whitening, recurs to chemicals that could damage the tooth’s enamel and produce tooth sensitivity.

Consequently, teeth whitening is a process that requires professional dental treatment. A cosmetic dentist knows the balance between chemical portions and the required application span to make whiter teeth safer.

Also, teeth whitening does not prevent teeth discoloration over time.

Caring Orthodontics in Issaquah, WA

At Egger Orthodontics, we create a warmhearted environment for our patients, trying to resolve concerns related to dental issues, including teeth whitening and many others that will help you get a beautiful smile safely. So call us and schedule a visit, and our friendly staff will assist you in starting the journey to a healthy and beautiful smile.