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Your ultimate guide to teeth whitening

November 17, 2023

As you near the end of your orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering if now’s a good time to brighten your smile?

After all, your smile has transformed so wonderfully during your treatment that you want to make your teeth bright and white too!

The Morejon + Andrews Orthodontics Team is here to answer all your burning questions on whitening teeth after Invisalign® or braces.

Let’s dive in!

When is the best time to whiten your teeth?

Timing is everything! Dr. Morejón and Dr. Andrews both advise it’s best to bleach (whiten) your teeth after completing your orthodontic treatment.

Why? Because your teeth can experience sensitivity during your treatment as your aligners or braces system encourage healthy tooth movement. Whitening treatments can add onto that heightened sensitivity as the gel needs to penetrate your tooth enamel to break up stains. You’ll experience effective and more comfortable results by simply waiting until your braces or Invisalign treatment ends.

Is teeth whitening safe?

The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective.

It’s important to consult a dental professional (such as your orthodontist) before using an over-the-counter product as they can give you a personalized recommendation or may have access to a professional-grade kit that will give you even brighter results!

Which is better: OTC home bleaching kits or professional teeth whitening kits?

This is a question we receive a lot! Aren’t all teeth whitening products the same? Or what’s the difference between all of them?

While each option is a teeth whitening treatment, the whitening agent can differ along with its concentration. It’s important to understand the options available to you so you can make the safest and most effective choice for your smile.

Teeth whitening at home vs professional take home kits

Natural teeth whitening at home is done by practicing proper oral hygiene! Brushing twice and flossing once daily, helps prevent plaque buildup and removes extrinsic stains (stains on the outer layer of your teeth). While removing intrinsic stains (deeper stains) requires teeth whitening methods such as OTC products or professional teeth whitening kits.

While OTC teeth whitening kits and strips are all the rage, they just don’t deliver the same results as a professional kit because the concentration is lower. In fact, because of this you usually have to complete more whitening sessions or have longer wear times with these OTC kits to achieve the best possible results.

Morejón + Andrews Orthodontics offers Invisalign® professional take-home kits (powered by Opalescence™) to our patients interested in teeth whitening. This gives you the opportunity to whiten your teeth on your own time and in the comfort of your home. All while getting to experience amazing, professional results!

How often should I bleach?

Our Opalescence kits use carbamide peroxide as a bleaching agent and come with a custom-made tray. They’re extremely effective and easy to use!

When using your bleaching kit from us, you’ll bleach your teeth once a day for 10 days. How long you wear your bleaching trays for varies depending on the level of concentration our orthodontists recommended for your smile whitening needs. Your wear time can range from overnight to 15-20 minutes. Please follow the instructions given with your personalized bleaching kit.

Teeth whitening at-home vs. dentist

But what about Zoom treatments that dentists offer? Great question!

In-office teeth whitening treatments like Zoom do require 3 separate 15 minute sessions to complete (possibly a fourth depending on your level of tooth sensitivity), but they are clinically-proven to whiten your teeth up to 8 shades lighter!

The process is also a little more intensive than professional take-home whitening kits. Here’s how it works:

  1. First they cover your gums to prevent irritation,
  2. Then the specially-designed hydrogen peroxide bleaching gel is applied to your teeth
  3. They then use the ZOOM light to activate the bleaching gel. (This helps the gel to penetrate through the enamel, instead of bleaching only the outer surfaces of the teeth.)
  4. After 15 minutes, they’ll remove the gel and rinse your teeth, then continue with another session.
  5. Once you’re happy with the shade of your teeth, they’ll apply a post-treatment protective gel to support your enamel. (As high concentration whitening gels and multiple sessions can lead to tooth sensitivity if not careful.)


Because of the intensive process, Zoom treatments can be more expensive than professional take-home kits.

Still have questions about whitening teeth after Invisalign or braces?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you, and we would love to discuss the best teeth whitening options with you. Check out our full Amazon list for our favorite items to support you along your journey.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Palm Coast or Ormond Beach, come see us! Dr. Morejón, Dr. Andrews and our team would love to meet you.

Request a complimentary consultation for you or your child today.