Why Can Teeth Become Yellow with Invisalign?

invisalign yellow teeth
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Are invisible aligners making your teeth yellow? The answer is yes, they can, but only if you don’t take proper preventive measures.

Invisalign and other aligner brands are popular among those who want to straighten their teeth without having braces. While these aligners can transform your inconsistent smile into a straighter version, discoloration due to yellowing may occur if oral care isn’t up to par.

This article will explore the potential problems that stem from improper maintenance of aligners and provide advice on how to prevent tooth discoloration from aligners. With a few simple lifestyle adjustments, you’ll be able to achieve optimal oral health with a perfect smile, without any unnecessary yellowing.

Why Can Teeth Become Yellow with Invisalign?

Teeth can become yellow with Invisalign because of nutrition habits, lifestyle choices, and other factors that can cause staining.

Normally, it is not the Invisalign itself that causes the yellowing; however, since the aligners are still semi-permeable and fit snugly to each tooth’s surface they can trap in any stains already present or created while wearing them.

Furthermore, certain drinks such as coffee, tea, wine, and soda can stain teeth faster when you are wearing Invisalign due to its tightness against your teeth causing them to more easily absorb color.

Ultimately, it depends on how well you take care of your teeth while wearing Invisalign, so it is important to maintain proper dental hygiene to reduce yellowing and staining on your teeth and remember to always remove your clear aligner when eating or drinking.

See our article: Can You Drink Coffee With Aligners?

How to Prevent Teeth Discoloration With Aligners and Invisalign?

Keeping your oral health top of mind can help you avoid unwanted yellowing on your aligners or excessive tartar build-up on the trays. Thankfully, with the right preventive measures and drilling down the basics of proper oral hygiene, you can keep your pearly whites looking their best.

Here are some things you should do when using aligner treatment to avoid any discoloration issues:

Dental hygiene

Maintaining good dental hygiene while wearing Invisalign or other clear aligners is essential for reducing the discoloration of your teeth.

Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as using mouthwash, will help to remove any plaque and bacteria build-up that can lead to the yellowing of your teeth.

Additionally, using an anticavity fluoride toothpaste regularly can keep teeth cleaner and whiter even with clear aligner wear.

Remove Your Aligners Before Eating or Drinking

Removing your aligners before eating or drinking can prevent the teeth from yellowing; foods and drinks like coffee, red wine, sports drinks, and many fruits contain stain-causing tannins which bind to the surface of teeth if aligners are left in place.

Taking out your aligners every time you eat or drink anything other than water is an investment in keeping your smile sparkly white for years to come.

See our article: Can You Eat with Clear Aligners?

Remember to Clean Your Teeth Before Putting Aligners Back In

It is important to remember to clean your teeth before putting aligners back in, especially after eating foods that are highly pigmented, like beets.

Cleaning teeth not only removes food particles and other debris but also helps remove color pigments that can cause staining. Eating dark-colored foods while wearing aligners should be avoided throughout the treatment as it could result in yellow or discolored teeth.

Visit your Dentist Regularly for Professional Dental Care

Visiting your dentist regularly for professional dental care is essential to prevent yellowing teeth, even when wearing clear aligners and Invisalign.

Regular cleanings help remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria that can build up over time, which contribute to enamel discoloration. Additionally, regular visits ensure that your mouth is structurally healthy and can prevent larger problems like cavities before they occur.

A dentist can check that your clear aligners are correctly positioned so you get the best aesthetic and structural results. Visiting a dentist for regular checkups is important and should be done at least once every six months.

Keep Your Aligners Clean

As invisible aligners can trap food particles, plaque, and bacteria in their crevices, it’s very important to keep them clean to avoid staining on the teeth.

Daily brushing with a soft toothbrush and mild hand soap is the most effective way to prevent discoloration; for extra cleaning, you can dip your aligners in denture or retainer cleaner every day.

An article on Healthline states that there is a difference between cleaning and rinsing clear aligners and that rinsing them is not enough as it does nothing to address unseen bacteria that can build up, so they should be brushed gently too.

Keep Your Aligners Safe

To ensure your aligners stay looking their best, take extra care when you clean them.

Aligners should be removed when taking part in sports activities and always remember to store your aligners back in their case whenever you’re not wearing them, this will prevent any bacteria build-up and keep them safe from stray objects such as dust or dirt.

Avoid smoking 

Smoking while wearing clear aligners can do serious damage to your oral health. Not only is there the obvious risk of staining the aligners yellow or other colors from nicotine, but cigarettes contain lots of chemicals, many of which are toxic and can corrode the delicate plastic material making up the aligners. This corrosion can disrupt the fit of your tray, reducing its efficacy and delaying progress in straightening teeth, prolonging treatment, and increasing costs.

Whitening Teeth with Aligners and Invisalign

Many people wonder if it’s possible to whiten their teeth while wearing aligners, and the answer is generally yes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the whitening process can only be done after consulting with your dentist and receiving their approval. This is because certain types of teeth whitening products can interfere with the alignment process of your aligners treatment. Your dentist may recommend a specific type of whitening product that is safe to use with clear aligners or suggest waiting until after your treatment is complete to undergo teeth whitening. It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully to avoid any potential complications or setbacks to your orthodontic treatment.

See our reviews of the best invisible aligners available

Byte Review – The top pick of the aligners has a lifetime guarantee and is the most affordable option.  A free HyperBite and whitening kit is a bonus too.

NewSmile Review – Low cost and premium quality this product comes with a tooth whitening kit and retainer included. A no-deposit monthly payment plan is available too.

SmileDirectClub Review – This top-selling product has the best 3D scanning and comes with a lifetime guarantee. They also offer a free one-time replacement set should they be lost or broken.

Candid Review – This one is the most similar to Invisalign and offers a hybrid in-office care procedure. This product has lots of positive reviews.

ALIGNERCO – The cheapest option that also has a zero deposit monthly payment plan option. This product is available for as little as $945.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Keep My Teeth White with Invisalign?

You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day to remove food and plaque buildup and ensure that you get rid of bacteria that can discolor your teeth.

You should also avoid consuming drinks that stain your teeth, such as coffee and tea, as well as acidic foods like citrus fruits whilst wearing your Invisalign.

What Happens if I Don’t Clean My Teeth Before Putting Invisalign Back?

Bacteria can build up in your mouth much faster when you don’t brush before wearing your aligners, and this can lead to an increased risk of infection and even tooth decay.

Not only this, but the aligners themselves may suffer from damage too if not enough plaque has been removed.


National Library of Medicine

American Association of Orthodontists


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