s It Okay to Whiten Your Kids Teeth

Is It Okay to Whiten Your Kids Teeth?

Team Pediatric

Teeth whitening is a widely popular option for improving smiles and boosting the confidence of many individuals. Teeth whitening is offered in our office and there are also many at-home options as well. Due to its ease, relatively low cost, and rise in popularity, many parents are wondering if teeth whitening is safe for their children.

Is Teeth Whitening Okay for Kids?

You might be hoping to brighten your child’s smile, or perhaps your young tween or teen has come to you and asked for teeth whitening. However, parents have concerns about using teeth whitening products on their children because they don’t know if it’s safe and what risks may exist.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), bleaching your child’s teeth shouldn’t be done until all of their baby teeth have come out and all of their permanent teeth have come in. There are several reasons for waiting, including the following:

Increased Risk of Tooth Sensitivity

The concentration of hydrogen peroxide used in most teeth whitening strips and bleaches can lead to sensitivity in any patient, but especially in kids. Performing teeth whitening at an early age increases a child’s likelihood of having tooth sensitivity and makes them more prone to developing cavities and tenderness.

Baby Teeth Don’t Require Whitening

Another reason to wait on teeth whitening is because baby teeth are naturally whiter than permanent teeth. Therefore, they don’t need any further whitening. However, when permanent teeth erupt, they risk turning yellow due to diet and other reasons, but they are strong enough to be whitened.

Instead of whitening a child's teeth when they are young, it’s highly recommended that parents should wait until the child is at least 14 before allowing them to use teeth whitening products. This will ensure the pulp in their teeth is fully formed, which decreases the risk of sensitivities and increases the likelihood of successful teeth whitening.

Additionally, suppose your child has braces or uses clear retainers for orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign. In that case, it’s recommended that you wait until their orthodontic treatment is over to have their teeth whitened. Furthermore, the first time you have your child’s teeth whitened, you should take them to the dentist for a professional whitening treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Whitening

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Colored molecules in the mouth often stick to the plaque, tartar, and the surface of the teeth, resulting in visible staining.  Regular dental cleanings can help remove plaque and tartar, but sometimes these stains still appear on the teeth in the layer below, which is known as dentin.  When a special dental bleaching solution is applied to the teeth, it combines with oxygen from the air and carbon in the dentin causing the staining molecules stuck on the teeth to break apart.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Last?

The results of teeth whitening last the longest if the patient follows a healthy diet, avoids smoking, avoids teeth-staining foods and drinks, uses a straw whenever possible, and maintains regular dental cleanings.

With that knowledge, the results of custom take-home whitening trays and bleach have the potential to last several months, and the patient can maintain them as necessary. On the other hand, in-office whitening results have the potential to last several months to a year and also be maintained at-home with custom whitening trays.  In-office whitening isn’t recommended more than once per year to protect your tooth enamel and gums.

Teeth Whitening at The Smile Architects

At The Smile Architects, we know how important white pearly teeth can be for patients of any age. If you are unhappy with the shade of your teeth or anything else about your smile, bring your concerns to our professionals. We will do whatever we can to safely give you the white, beautiful smile you deserve.

Call 704-875-1621 today to schedule an appointment.