Who Should Not Get Teeth Whitening?

But did you know there are circumstances in which teeth whitening might not be ideal for certain people? In this article, we are going to go over who might want to steer clear of teeth whitening and offer a few alternatives.

Let’s talk about candidates who might have a harder time getting dentist-approved teeth whitening. There are a few different circumstances that may prevent some people from performing a teeth whitening treatment, including…

Crowns and Other Dental Work

While whitening treatments do wonders on yellow teeth, the whitening agents have zero effect on crowns, bridges, veneers and other dental restorations. It is recommended that you have your teeth whitened prior to getting any dental work done (if possible) so that your veneers or crowns can be matched to the color of your newly whitened teeth.

Although more costly, one alternative is to replace any veneers, crowns or caps with whiter ones to match your teeth post-whitening treatment.

Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

Ah, the rules of pregnancy. Although a lot of pregnancy-related restrictions are yet to be scientifically proven, it’s always best to run on the safe side. For this reason, most medical professionals recommend that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding refrain from teeth whitening procedures. Because whitening treatments contain agents with various chemicals, it’s important to avoid any risk that may harm or damage the baby.


Overtime, age can haves major effect on the strength and overall quality of your teeth. It is advised that children (essentially anyone under the age of 16) do not undergo any whitening treatments because they have teeth that are still growing and changing.

By the same token, some people over 65 may be advised against teeth whitening. Teeth become brittle and more sensitive overtime, and the agents in the whitening treatments may be too harsh on older teeth.

Health-Related Issues

If you have unresolved cavities, receding gums, damaged nerves or any other teeth-related issues, teeth whitening may not be the ideal solution for you. When your teeth are damaged or prone to more sensitivities, they are more likely to be irritated by whitening treatments, which could lead to an uncomfortable and even painful experience.

Sensitive Teeth

Speaking of sensitivities, some candidates may have teeth that are too sensitive to withstand a whitening treatment.

We all have teeth with different levels of sensitivity – some with very little and some who coil at the thought of something hot or cold coming into contact with their teeth. If it could cause you pain, it may be best to forgo the treatment or seek advice from your dentist.

Smoking Habits

While there definitely isn’t anything unsafe about smokers having a whitening procedure done, there is a high chance the treatment will not yield drastic results.

Teeth whitening is ideal for people with yellow, discolored teeth. Smoking can lead to teeth with a dark, grayish color, which can be difficult if not impossible to fix with whitening treatments.

Of course, this all depends on how often you smoke and the degree at which your teeth have started to turn gray. In some cases, whitening may work, but it’s important to have realistic expectations.

If you are a smoker you might want to check out the best toothpaste for smokers

Teeth Whitening Alternatives

Certain dental restorations can be great alternatives to teeth whitening if you find you are not an ideal candidate for a whitening treatment.


Rather than whiten your discolored teeth, consider veneers as an alternative.

Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth, which can help improve the overall appearance of the teeth.

Not only can veneers change the color of your teeth, they can also help cover up any cracks, chips or other deformities.

Porcelain veneers are considered the best option over those made from resin material because they:

  • Cooperate with gum tissue
  • Are stain resistant
  • They look natural compared to other alternatives

Dental Bonding

Another alternative is dental bonding. It is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material is applied and hardened with a special light, bonding the material to the tooth. While this material is not as stain-resistant as the porcelain veneers we discussed above, the process of dental bonding tends to be a lot shorter. In fact, most dental bonding can be done in one office visit.

Dental bonding is ideal for fixing small imperfections including cracks, teeth spacing, chips and, of course, discolored teeth.

Talk to your dentist about these (or others!) alternatives. We all deserve to have the sparkly white teeth of our dreams!