Can You Use Whitening Strips With Braces, Retainers, Invisalign?

Braces stains are a common problem for braces-wearer. So, to remove the stains and make teeth white again, you may want to know, can you use whitening strips with braces?

You shouldn’t use whitening strips during orthodontic treatment because they create an uneven color of teeth that you can notice after the removal of braces. Moreover, they can discolor and damage your braces by doing chemical reactions. They are also not good for your teeth.

But, can you use whitening strips with retainers?

You can use white strips for your teeth when you wear retainers. However, you may not need it because bleaching of your teeth should be done in the dental office after braces are off.

But, what if you still want to use the strips?

In this article, we’ll discuss when you can use whitening strips and why you should or shouldn’t use them with braces or Invisalign in detail.

How does white strips work without braces?

Using whitening Strips With Braces

Whitening strips are plastic strips containing gel that helps you remove stains and make teeth whiter. Certain chemical ingredients are used on the gel side of strips.

If you don’t have braces on your teeth, most of the time you have to use the strip once or twice a day. You have to keep doing it for about 2 weeks. This may vary from brand to brand.

You should follow the instructions before using whitening strips or they’ll damage your teeth.

You need to brush your teeth to remove food particles and plaques 30 min before applying. There are 2 strips, one for your upper teeth and another for your lower teeth. You have to take the correct one and attach strips with your teeth. The gel side of the strips must make contact with the teeth surface of the teeth.

After that, you have to wait around 30 mins and remove them.

Now, what’s happening here?

The Gel side of strips contains chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, or others. When they come in contact with teeth, they start chemical reactions with substances of teeth.

They remove the surface stains as well as internal stains. That means, they perform chemical reactions and penetrate enamel and dentin. After that, they remove all outer and inner stains.

Now, this may sound good and bad at the same time, especially if you wear braces.

Why shouldn’t you use whitening strips with braces?

Braces are attached almost at the center portion of teeth and other parts remain exposed. When you use whitening strips, you can only cover the exposed part of teeth with the strips. This exposed part become white, but those part covered with braces remain the same.

So, after the removal of braces, you’ll see a huge color difference between those two parts. It would be hard to make both parts the same for you and even a dentist.

Moreover, the chemical ingredients of the strips will oxidize your braces by reacting with metals, because you have to put the strips over the brackets. This changes color and damages the braces.

That’s why we don’t recommend using whitening strips with braces.

In addition, chemicals (e. g. hydrogen peroxide) used for whitening strips aren’t good for your teeth. They penetrate enamel and dentin by doing chemical reactions to eliminate intrinsic stains.

A study found this may damage the protein or collagen of dentin. Simply speaking, they are damaging your teeth to such an extent that you can’t overcome them.

These ingredients cause tooth sensitivity when you use them for a long time. You may feel discomfort due to gum irritation as well. They also make the tooth surface rough and weaken it. This may lead to tooth decay in the future.

Some strips contain an ingredient like chlorine dioxide that’s more harmful to oral health. Even if you use the strips, don’t use one containing chlorine dioxide.

Moreover, the result of using Whitestrips won’t last very long, even if you get a quick result. Your teeth may remain white for a maximum of 6 to 12 months. As it isn’t permanent and it can damage your teeth, there is no reason you should use them.

When Can You Use Whitening Strips With Braces?

You can use tooth whitening strips after removal of braces only if your orthodontist suggests you. The good thing is it gives you a quick result. You can get whiter teeth in 7 to 14 days.

They are also easy to use and can do it on your own. You don’t need any special requirements for that either. Just follow the instructions.

You don’t feel any pain or discomfort while wearing the strips. Moreover, you don’t have to wear it for a long time. It requires only 30 to 45 mins. Even, you can wear it while doing other work.

Normally it’s safe to use if you are worried about other side effects. However, if you don’t follow the proper method of applying them, it may damage your teeth and cause side effects.

Don’t use the strips for a long time or more frequently either. Wearing for a long time won’t give you better results.

If you have restoration, prosthesis, or fillings on teeth, you should be careful before using whitening strips. The strips react with the substances of the restoration or fillings and lead to erosion and damage.

Moreover, children and pregnant women can’t use the strips because of the ingredients. So, always consult with him or her if your teeth look yellow after braces and you want to make them white.

The strips can’t give you the best outcomes if you don’t maintain oral hygiene and avoid foods that cause staining. So, you should brush, floss, and rinse teeth regularly along with using whitening strips.

As a result of whitening teeth with strips is temporary, you should try other permanent tooth whitening procedures according to your dentist’s suggestion.

Why can you use whitening strips with a retainer?

Whether you can use whitening strips with a retainer depends on your orthodontist and the types of retainer you are using. So, consult with your orthodontist regarding this.

Retainers are used after treatment with braces is completed. They hold your teeth in position so that they can’t go back to the old position. A retainer can be fixed or removable. You can’t use whitening strips with fixed retainers.

Can you use whitening strips with Invisalign?

You can use in-home whitening strips with Invisalign because you can remove the aligners when you use the strips. So, they don’t affect your aligners. Moreover, whitening strips don’t make your teeth color uneven like they do with braces. However, if you have Invisalign attachments or buttons, you have to be careful before using the white strips.

In that case, I will suggest you use white strips after the removal of the attachments and buttons.


Applying whitening strips with braces not only gives you an uneven color of teeth but also discolor braces. Moreover, it can damage the normal tooth structure. So, you should avoid the strip with braces.

However, using white strips with retainers and Invisalign may not cause any issue.