If you notice that your child's teeth have yellowed or don't appear to be as white and bright as they once were, you may be tempted to whiten them, but is this really the best thing for your child? Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure, and because certain risks are associated with the process, it is in your best interest to hold off on whitening until your kids are older.
What Do the Professionals Say about Tooth Whitening for Kids?
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, parents should hold off on whitening their child's teeth until that child is at least 14 years of age. Once they reach 14 years old, the pulp of the teeth will be fully formed, so your child's teeth will be less likely to experience sensitivity. However, many parents choose to wait even longer, holding off until 17-18 years of age before approving whitening treatments.
How Can Older Children Whiten Their Teeth?
Once your teen is old enough to safely whiten his teeth, he can choose from a variety of options. At-home tooth whitening systems often bring good results, but whitening toothpaste tends to be gentler. There are a variety of toothpaste bands with polishing agents or mild abrasives that can help to break up stained and whiten the teeth during the cleaning. Even without the whitening properties of the toothpaste, regular brushing can scrub food particles away in order to prevent stains before they begin.
Your teen can also avoid certain foods in order to retain a white and bright smile. Soda is especially important to avoid, as it can stain the teeth. Additionally, your teen should always be sure to brush after drinking coffee or other dark beverages or following a meal that includes berries or citrus fruits. Regular dental checkups can also give you advice on how to keep your teen's teeth white.
Please contact us if you have any questions about teeth whitening.
Century Dental Dr. Jefferson Call, DMD & Dr. Dix Densley, DDS