Who Should Not Get Teeth Whitening?

Chris Weber
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Crowns and Other Dental Work

If you’ve already had expensive dental work such as crowns or tooth implants, then you probably don’t want to spend another fortune on tooth whitening. You may also be in the market for an inexpensive solution for occasional bleached-looking teeth. If so, check out a good peroxide gel or trays.

These are great options for people who have been told that they can’t bleach their teeth (where too much bleaching would damage their dental work) or for people with extremely sensitive teeth. So if it’s your problem, keep on reading here.

Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Many women find that their teeth have become stained as soon as their pregnancy begins. This is caused by the combination of hormonal changes and increased salivation, and it’s completely natural.

Many women find that their teeth have become stained as soon as their pregnancy begins. This is caused by the combination of hormonal changes and increased salivation, and it’s completely natural.

Even though the whitening treatment application is completely safe and has shown no side effects, it’s not something you should consider during your pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are likely to go through significant hormonal changes that may affect the way the whitener reacts with the enamel and create an environment where bacteria growth is promoted.

Some women have found that the chemicals contained in compressed tooth-whitening strips temporarily discolored their teeth, so you’ll want to avoid that.

If you want to whiten your teeth during that time, it’s best to opt for a do-it yourself solution. You can apply a whitening toothpaste to your toothbrush and brush and then wait at least 30 minutes before brushing again. This way you will prevent any negative reaction.


Braces and dental surgery may be suitable for some people, but teeth whitening is most effective when applied to young enamel, which is usually referred to as dentin.

Dentin can be found right below the enamel layer of the tooth. Teeth whitening works by penetrating the dentin throughout the entire structure of the tooth. As people age, their dentin density thins out and makes it more difficult to obtain the desired results from a whitening treatment.

Health-Related Issues

For people with certain health issues it is not always a good idea. There are certain situations when you might have to think twice and talk to your dentist beforehand.

Tooth Sensitivity

Teeth whitening procedure involves bleaching agents and sometimes some kind of abrasive substance. If you have a tooth sensitivity you should consult your dentist in the first place.

After bleaching your teeth they can become extra sensitive and you won’t be able to cope with that.

Teeth Grinding

Grinding your teeth is a no-no as well. Bleaching can not only damage your enamel it can also worsen this condition. You can’t imagine how painful it is.

If you have severe teeth grinding habit you should focus and resolve that problem first before you get teeth whitening. Normally it takes health practitioners few months to fix teeth grinding problem.

After teeth grinding is resolved you can safely get teeth bleaching.

In some cases teeth grinding can be extremely painful you may require special appliance.

Excessive Brushing

While teeth whitening if done regularly can brighten your teeth naturally you should learn to take care of your teeth. Teeth whitening is supposed to help you with that but excessive brushing and whitening can actually do opposite and harm your teeth.

So make sure you are using every procedure in moderation. Make sure you are not overdoing things.

Sensitive Teeth

Know you are going to need to avoid white strips and whitening pens if you’re teeth are sensitive.

You have sensitive teeth and can’t stand to have anything cold against them.

You have courser enamel on your teeth.

You are concerned about staining on your teeth from whitening.

OTC whitening options are have not worked for you in the past.

Do you have an upcoming wedding or special event coming up that you want to look your best for? Has your bathroom mirror become your best friend lately because you can’t stand the sight of your dull, yellowish teeth.

As mentioned above, you should be aware that teeth whitening is not the best idea for everyone. In fact, you may find that you are better off making other lifestyle changes, investing in procedures like dental bonding, or learning to accept your smile lines.

Whatever you do, do not start with any over the counter products, but do talk to your dentist about the best way to improve your smile.

Smoking Habits

Smoking, chewing tobacco, and other behaviors that lead to the inhalation of smoke have been found to be one of the biggest factors preventing users from achieving satisfactory results from teeth whitening.

Smoke has the ability to react with and actually change the chemicals that are used in the whitening pens.

Many success stories of patients who kicked their cigarettes for a month or two before going in for their treatment, only to find out that the treatments were ineffective. They had to go through everything all over again.

"Smokers beware," says Whitening Lightning's Dr. Colin Carter.

"If you smoke one day before your treatment and one day after your treatment, you won't get the results that you want."

At the very least, if you are a smoker, you can expect to need to get a touch-up treatment the following week to make sure that you get the results that you desire.

Timing Is Important

While you need to start taking better care of your teeth as soon as possible, it is important to not start treatment too quickly after you stop.

Even if you are not a smoker, you still have to make sure that the teeth whitening pen has a suitable amount of time to adjust to your oral chemistry.

The company that makes your teeth whitening pen has a recommended length of time, usually one to four weeks.

Teeth Whitening Alternatives

If you are looking to get a brighter smile, then you may want to consider teeth whitening. However, there are some patients that should probably steer clear of teeth whitening and find an alternative instead.

Peroxide is the active ingredient in most teeth whitening treatments. Studies have shown that if you have taken large amounts of peroxide in the form of an antiseptic or if you have used products like bleach or hydrogen peroxide, then you have an increased chance of developing a sensitivity to the chemical.

If you have severe gingivitis, which occurs when the gums aren’t healthy due to infection, then you will have a hard time getting reliable results from teeth whitening.

Patients that have gum recession, where the gums have recessed, will likely not see the same results from as patients that do not have it.

It’s easy to see how teeth whitening results will be significantly different for patients stricken with periodontal disease than it will for patients that do not have it. The best way to maximize teeth whitening results is to visit your dentist and have them examine your teeth to determine how much and what kind of help your teeth need.

If you are not a good candidate for teeth whitening, then you may have to look for alternatives.


Teeth whitening is a favored treatment among celebrities and models. While it may not greatly change your looks, it’s a great option for people who are self-conscious of their smile.

Severely Crooked Teeth

If you’re teeth are extremely crooked, you’re not a good candidate for teeth whitening. Teeth that are crooked won’t benefit noticeably from whitening. However, minor crookedning can be corrected through orthodontic treatments like veneers.

Advanced Teeth Wear

Teeth wear because of constant exposure to acids and bacteria in the mouth. The longer they have been worn, the less likely they are to benefit from teeth whitening.

Lack of Proper Care

If your teeth are not properly taken care of, they will not be able to get as much out of teeth whitening as they could. Brushing at least 2 times a day, flossing at least once a day, and getting regular dental care is the best way to care for your teeth. This puts you in a better position for whitening.

Smoking and Teeth Whitening

Like we mentioned earlier, smoking is very bad for your teeth, even if you whiten them. A lot of people believe that the nicotine in cigarettes is the only thing bad for your teeth.