Is My Toothpaste Scratching My Veneers?

I think I misunderstood something about whitening toothpaste and porcelain veneers. My dentist gave me free teeth whitening gel and trays. I wanted to get all my natural teeth whitening before she placed veneers. After I finished whitening my teeth, I used whitening toothpaste to keep them bright. And after I got veneers, I kept using the toothpaste. But last week, at my dental appointment, the hygienist said that I could damage the veneers with the whitening toothpaste. I thought that other whitening agents do not change the color or harm veneers. Could I really scratch them with the toothpaste that I’m using to keep my natural teeth bright? – Deynah from Long Island


Thank you for your question.

Whitening toothpaste cannot change the colors of your veneers. But if you use them long-term, their abrasiveness might scratch the glaze on your veneers. If you have not been using the toothpaste long, do not worry about it.

What Can Scratch Porcelain Veneers?

Certain toothpastes, dental materials, and dental chemicals can damage the glaze on porcelain veneers. Some of them include:

Photo of a yellow toothbrush with toothpaste being applied to it; for information on free teeth whitening in Plano, TX
Long-term use of abrasive toothpaste can scratch porcelain veneers
  • Abrasive toothpaste
  • Abrasive polishing pastes
  • Acidulated fluoride
  • Power polishing equipment at a dental office

We recommend toothpaste made for cosmetic dental work.  Supersmile is a toothpaste brand that will remove surface stains from veneers without damaging them. Be careful about types of toothpaste within a brand that claim to be low abrasion. Read the labels for specific instructions about using the brand of toothpaste on cosmetic dentistry work. Consistently rubbing your veneers can wear away the bonding between your teeth and veneers.

You can use bleaching gel from your dentist to touch up your natural teeth and keep them bright without harming your porcelain veneers.

Miranda Lacy, DDS, a female dentist in Plano, TX, sponsors this post.

I think my root canal filling is coming out

Man holding the side of his face - portraying need for an affordable dentist

In 2007, I had an injury that impacted my mouth. My dentist did root canals on two teeth. Above five years ago, the crown broke off one tooth and left a hole in the tooth, which the dentist patched with a filling. I haven’t seen a dentist in several years, but now the tooth hurts. When I eat, it is painful, and the pain travels up my cheek into my eye. The tooth doesn’t feel smooth anymore when I run my tongue over it. I think the cement is coming off. I cannot afford a new crown, but it seems that I need to see a dentist. Are antibiotics an option for delaying a new crown? Thank you. Manny T from Dallas


Thank you for your question.

 Dr. Lacy would need to examine your tooth and an x-ray for an accurate diagnosis. But your description sounds like the tooth is infected. So, yes, see a dentist right away.

Painful Tooth with a Root Canal Filling

An exposed root canal filling allows saliva to enter and wash out the dental cement, which keeps the filling material in place and seals out bacteria. Your tooth can become reinfected. Pain or swelling in your cheek or upper jaw can spread to your eye.

Although antibiotics can control the infection, they will not remove it. And taking antibiotics for an extended period can result in an antibiotic-resistant infection. Only repeat root canal treatment can remove the infection. The longer you wait, the more the infection will spread.

A dentist will examine your tooth to determine if a temporary filling is enough to preserve it or if getting a crown is the best protection.

What If You Cannot Afford a Dental Crown?

If you cannot afford a dental crown, talk with your dentist about ways to receive the treatment you need. Many dentists offer financing or payment plans. Keep in mind that if your dentist recommends a crown to protect your tooth and prevent further infection, delaying the crown can lead to more costly problems.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.