Tag Archives: Invisalign and teeth whitening

Invisalign Myths Debunked

Ever since Invisalign made its debut in the 1990s, they’ve been in high demand. As with most new or popular things, there are always some myths which pop up about them. Before we debunk the myths, let me tell you what Invisalign can do for you.

Invisalign aligner

What’s True About Invisalign

  • Invisalign can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing, in half the time of traditional glasses.
  • Their aligners can double as teeth whitening trays allowing you to do two procedures simultaneously.
  • They have a very high patient satisfaction rate.

Myth #1: Invisalign is Only for Teenagers

While teenagers certainly do enjoy using Invisalign, the procedure was actually developed for adults. They have professional lives and can’t necessarily work with a mouth full of metal. Having an invisible orthodontic option is a huge help.

It’s only after it became so popular that more and more parents requested it for their teenagers and Invisalign Teen was developed.

Myth #2: Braces are More Effective than Invisalign

While it used to be that Invisalign could only handle certain candidates, that has changed. Now it can handle even difficult orthodontic cases.

Myth #3: You Can’t Eat What You Want with Invisalign

Similar to the first myth, this one is completely backward. With traditional braces, you’re limited in what you can eat. Many things get caught in the metal wires and brackets in traditional braces.

Fortunately, Invisalign is different. Because the aligners are removable, you can actually eat absolutely anything you want. The important thing is you brush your teeth after you are done and place the aligners back on immediately after cleaning your teeth.

Myth #4: You Get More Cavities with Invisalign

It’s possible you can get more cavities with Invisalign, but that’s up to you. If you take care of your teeth, you’ll be fine. That means to observe the following:

  • Brush after each meal before putting your aligners back on.
  • Don’t drink sugary or alcoholic drinks with your aligners in. You can still drink them, just make sure you do it when your aligners are off.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

If My Teeth Keep Shifting Do I Need to do Invisalign Again?

I had Invisalign years ago and it did a great job. Then I wore a retainer full-time for a year. Even after that was done, I still have to wear one at night. I’ve noticed that my teeth shift quite quickly. Lately, I sometimes can barely get them to fit at night when it’s time to put them in. I almost have to force them on. Do I need to do Invisalign over again? I was really hoping to move on to the next part of my smile makeover—teeth whitening. I feel like I’m taking a step back.


Dear Corinne,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

It sounds like your teeth aren’t firming up. Doing Invisalign again won’t make any difference it that case. Some people just have to wear a retainer full-time to keep their teeth in place. That doesn’t mean you’ll need a mouth full of metal for the rest of your life.

There are lingual retainers they can bond to the back of your teeth. No one will even know it’s there. However, if your teeth have shifted out of a position you’re happy with then it would make sense to re-do part of the treatment. In those cases, it doesn’t take long. there’s even an Invisalign express for people who don’t need much movement. From there you could switch to a retainer.

Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

None of this will interfere with your smile makeover goals. Either way, you can move forward. If you need to move things back into place and have to redo part of your Invisalign, you could still get your teeth whitened without waiting. The clear aligners can double as teeth whitening trays. Your cosmetic dentist can provide you with professional whitening gel. You simply place the gel in your aligners and wear them for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.

If you don’t need to wear the aligners and choose to go straight to a lingual retainer, you could just do the teeth whitening as you normally would. That gives you two options.

Traditional Whitening

You could choose traditional whitening where you wear custom-made teeth whitening trays that your dentist designs for you. You wear them at your convenience, though many people choose to sleep in them. The biggest benefits to this method are cost and control. It’s slightly less expensive. It also enables you to determine how much whitening you want. Once you reach the level you’re hoping for you simply stop using the gel.

Zoom Whitening

If you want to get it done quickly, you can use Zoom Whitening. That will allow you to whiten your teeth in just one appointment. It will get them their whitest, so you have less control than if you did the tray whitening. But, if you want your teeth as white as possible as quickly as possible, this is the way to go.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

When Sick Do You Change Invisalign Aligners?

I’m in the middle of my Invisalign treatment. I’m loving it but everyone in my family currently has a nasty virus. It’s only a matter of time before I get it too. If that happens, do I have to get a new aligner, like when you throw away your toothbrush? That seems like an expensive proposition.

Amy L.

Dear Amy,

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

I’m glad you’re enjoying your Invisalign. It does have a high patient satisfaction rate. On the other hand, I’m sorry your family has been sick. That’s never fun, especially for the mother who always seems to take care of everyone even when she’s sick.

If you happen to get the virus, you won’t have to toss the aligners and get new ones. Once you have the virus, you won’t catch it again from wearing them. Just be certain to clean them (as you normally would).

The only time you’d need to get rid of a pair of aligners is if they’re damaged or if you’ve completed your two weeks with them.

If they’re damaged, how do you know whether or not to go back to your old ones or move on to the next pair?

If You Damage Your Invisalign Aligners

A lot of which aligners you switch to has to do with how long you wore the damaged pair. If you’re still within the first week of wearing them then just go back to your old aligners. If you’re further in, you can skip onto the next pair of aligners.

You don’t want to do that too often. While your teeth move into their new position within the first few days, you need the remainder of the two weeks in order to allow the bone to reform around the roots of your teeth. Without that, your teeth won’t actually have the support they need. They will end up becoming loose and if you continue switching early will lead to you losing teeth.

A Little Known Benefit of Invisalign

Because Invisalign aligners are custom designed for your bite, they also do very well as teeth whitening trays. This can allow you to not only knock out two procedures at once but save money doing it. Talk to your dentist about providing you with some professional teeth whitening gel. You can wear that for a minimum of twenty minutes a day until your teeth are as white as you want.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

How Do I Purchase Invisalign For a Christmas Gift?

I want to get my wife a mini smile makeover for Christmas including Invisalign and teeth whitening (if I have enough for both). Unfortunately, I’m having trouble getting my dentist to agree to let me pre-purchase. He says she has to come in for an exam first to see what it will entail. If I ABSOLUTELY had to, I will but I’d hate to ruin the surprise. I like seeing people’s eyes light up when they open something. She doesn’t even realize I know she wants them. Is there a way to get them without her finding out ahead of time?

Marvin G.

A woman placing in her Invisalign aligners

It sounds like you’re a thoughtful and attentive husband. I love that you noticed something your wife had on her heart without her telling you. I bet we can find a way for you to surprise your wife, but I’ll explain what your dentist is likely thinking.

It’s hard to totally pre-purchase Invisalign because so many things factor into the cost. In addition to the possibility she not a good candidate, the price is determined by the amount and type of movement needed, the number of aligners required, etc.. All of that will factor into the payment. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it ahead of time.

I’d suggest to your dentist you make an estimated pre-payment and then if it turns out she’s not actually a good candidate, you can get a refund. If he’s still resistant, you could just make up a beautiful “announcement” using a free graphic design program, like Canva, and put that under the tree for her. Then, after Christmas, she could head to the dentist’s.

Invisalign and Teeth Whitening

It shouldn’t be too hard to pay for both the Invisalign and teeth whitening. Most dentists will allow you to use the Invisalign aligners as teeth whitening trays. That actually ends up saving you money in the long run.

There is something to be aware of with the limitations of teeth whitening. If she has any other dental work, such as fillings or dental crowns, they won’t whiten with her teeth. The whitening gel only works on natural tooth structure. That doesn’t mean she can’t have it done. But, once she’s attained the level of whitening she wants, you can have them re-made to match. Today, with white fillings, it’s very easy to get dental work to match whatever shade you need, as long as you have a qualified dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.

Can I Run My Invisalign Aligners Through the Dishwasher?

I’m a germaphobe. I hate the idea of putting my aligners in my mouth with bacteria in them. All that spit that got on them (and yes I know it’s my spit) gives me the heebee-geebees. I was thinking of running them through the dishwasher as a means of disinfecting them. I do that for all my dishes and silverware. The heat gets rid of the bacteria.

Kate – San Antonio


I understand how you feel. I’m a salmonella-phobe. You should see all the precautions I take when I’m cooking chicken. However, using the dishwasher to disinfect your Invisalign aligners is a bad idea. The heat, which admittedly does disinfect, will also distort the aligners. That can derail your treatment.

Your dentist should have given you instructions on how to properly clean your Invisalign. Additionally, the Invisalign company makes a special kit you can order. If you are still concerned, you can do a vinegar soak. Vinegar is a natural and potent disinfectant. However, I would only let them soak for 30 minutes about once a week. Don’t forget to rinse them after the soak or you’ll have a nasty taste.

You may also consider asking your dentist if you can get your teeth whitened simultaneously with your Invisalign treatment. The aligners can double for teeth whitening aligners as well. Peroxide (used in whitening gels) is also a disinfectant. This way you can feel better about killing bacteria, while doing something proactive about your smile at a reduced cost. I’m all for multi-tasking (and saving money).

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone.