Having a bright white smile can be a major confidence booster for anyone, including children and especially teenagers. So what if your child has yellow teeth, and could really do with improving their smile? Nowadays an increasing number of parents are looking towards professional teeth whitening treatments to help their children look and feel their best.
At What Age Can Children Have Their Teeth Whitened?
It’s important not to whiten children’s teeth too soon, as they need to have all their permanent teeth before our dentist will consider this treatment. Your child may need to wait until they are in their mid-teens or even later before having tooth whitening. By this stage all their teeth will have fully erupted, and the pulp of the tooth will be fully formed, reducing the risk of any unwanted tooth sensitivity.
What Are the Factors That Need to Be Considered before Whitening?
Anyone considering whitening their children’s teeth is best off consulting our pediatric dentist, as the bleaching agents used can be quite strong. If misused, there’s the possibility that bleaching your children’s teeth could harm their gum tissue, and the nerves and pulp in the tooth, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity. Our pediatric dentist will be able to tell you whether or not your child will be a good candidate for tooth whitening. They will thoroughly examine your child’s teeth and gums to make sure there aren’t any issues that could cause problems during whitening.
Any cavities, cracked teeth or signs of gum disease will need to be treated before bleaching can be carried out. Our dentist can also diagnose the reason why their teeth don’t look particularly white. Teeth can be darker due to antibiotic treatments, injuries, or due to taking certain vitamins and iron supplements. There’s also the possibility that the teeth aren’t particularly discolored, as there are many different variations in tooth shades and natural teeth are not normally a perfect shade of white.
It Might Not Be Necessary to Whiten All Their Teeth
Quite often, tooth discoloration will only affect one or two teeth, and in this case our pediatric dentist may suggest only treating these teeth, either with single tooth whitening, or with abrasion. Abrasion is where a tiny amount of the top layer of tooth enamel is removed or abraded away, helping to lift surface stains. The tooth enamel is then re-hardened with fluoride. These types of treatments can reduce the impact on surrounding teeth and gums, and it may cost less than unnecessarily treating their entire set of teeth.
When properly used, mild over-the-counter options such as whitening toothpaste and mouth rinse can help lift the color of children’s teeth. It’s important to discuss these options with our pediatric dentist before you buy them, as all whitening options for children should only be used under proper supervision.
Our dentist is trained to ensure all treatments are safe for your children’s teeth, and they can resolve any issues that might arise during treatment. Even though a whiter smile can look gorgeous, the main thing is to ensure your children’s teeth remain healthy and strong.