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Whitening Teeth Near Porcelain Veneers

I have porcelain veneers on my front four teeth. They’re fine, but the teeth surrounding them have yellowed some. Would I be able to use over-the-counter whitening strips to whiten them without them damaging the porcelain veneers I have?


Dear Callie,

One of the problems with dentists only providing four porcelain veneers in smile makeovers is what you are experiencing right now. Most patient’s smiles are much wider than four teeth. Usually, they are six to eight teeth wide. Some broader smiles can be as wide as ten. This leads to the adjacent teeth staining, while the porcelain veneers (which are much more stain resistant than our natural teeth) staying their same white color.

If you’re going to use any over-the-counter whitening product, the only one I’d feel safe with would be the Crest Whitening. Other products often contain an abrasive, which will make your teeth look whiter in the beginning but then will quickly begin to pick up stains. Your porcelain veneers will not be damaged by them, so you won’t have to worry about that.

Whitestrips or Professional Teeth Whitening

I’m am afraid the white strips will be a bit of a hassle in your situation. They aren’t very wide themselves so will only cover your very front teeth. As these are the teeth you have veneered, that won’t be much use to you. It’s possible you could just use two different pairs of Whitestrips and put one on each side of your veneers. Or, you could cut one in half.

The other thing to consider is the whitening strength of any over-the-counter product is very weak. It will take a significant amount of applications to make a real dent. You may be better served to have professional teeth whitening done. This will work much faster and will be just as safe on your porcelain veneers. Once you reach the level of whitening that matches your veneers, you’re done. However, save the custom-fitted trays. That way in a few years, when your teeth stain again, you can just get a new whitening gel and not need to have trays made again. It will save you money.

This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.