Nowadays, many people seek ways to maintain a perfect, sparkling white smile. But what about children?
You may have seen some children with discolored teeth, and as a parent, it’s natural to be concerned about the future of their oral health. So, is teeth whitening safe for kids? Let’s dive in and explore this topic.
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Permanent Teeth vs. Baby Teeth
Primary teeth, more commonly known as baby teeth, differ from adult teeth in several ways. Baby teeth have thinner enamel, the outer layer of the tooth that protects the inner tooth pulp. As a result, primary teeth are more prone to tooth discoloration and staining.
Children usually start losing their baby teeth around the age of six. The process of losing baby teeth and growing permanent teeth continues until they are around 12 to 14 years old.
For more information on why looking after your child’s baby teeth is important, read the blog, The Importance of Baby Teeth: Exploring the Benefits of Maintaining Healthy Baby Teeth.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe for Kids?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), teeth whitening is generally safe for adolescents with all their adult teeth when part of a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan. State regulations limit bleaching services to trained dental professionals, ensuring professional teeth whitening.
Teeth bleaching is strongly discouraged for young patients who still have their primary teeth or a mixed dentition. This is because their teeth are still developing and undergoing mineralization, and the bleaching agents may interfere with this natural process.
Parents should prioritize the long-term health and integrity of their kid’s teeth by avoiding unnecessary procedures during this crucial stage of dental development.
Potential risks of teeth whitening in kids can cause:
- Teeth sensitivity
- Gum irritation
- Tooth damage when done incorrectly
Therefore, it’s best to wait until their adult teeth have fully developed before considering teeth whitening options.
Best Teeth Whitening for Kids
Several safe and effective ways to keep your child’s teeth clean and white without harsh chemicals include:
- Regular brushing and flossing: Practicing good oral hygiene is the most effective way to keep teeth white. Ensure your child brushes their teeth twice a day and flosses at least once daily.
- Healthy diet: Foods such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are rich in vitamins and minerals that naturally help whiten teeth. Limit sugary, acidic foods and drinks to prevent tooth discoloration.
- Professional dental cleaning: Book your kid’s teeth cleaning regularly, every six months, to remove plaque and stains from their teeth.
- Home remedies: Natural remedies such as baking soda have been known to help remove surface stains. However, it’s best to consult a dentist before trying home remedies.
A pediatric dentist may recommend professional teeth whitening if your child has severely discolored teeth due to medication or a medical condition. In this case, the procedure will be closely monitored by a dentist and done safely.
Can Kids Use Whitening Toothpaste?
Whitening toothpaste is a standard option for adults looking to brighten their smile, but can kids use it too? The answer is yes, but with caution.
Most whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasives and polishing agents that can help remove surface stains. However, some products may contain hydrogen peroxide, which can harm developing teeth. It’s best to consult your pediatric dentist before using whitening toothpaste on your child.
Teeth whitening for children, especially those with primary or mixed dentition, should be cautiously approached due to potential risks. Instead, focus on maintaining good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular dental cleanings. Consult a pediatric dentist before introducing whitening products to your child’s oral care routine.
Healthy Smiles Begin With Big Apple
As parents, we want our kids to have healthy and beautiful smiles. Ensuring our kids have bright white teeth can be a challenge, from their love for sugary snacks to the fear and anxiety they experience during dental visits. Stained or discolored teeth can affect their confidence, but Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry can help!
At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, we understand your child’s oral health is a top priority. With our expertise, we can restore their smiles, boost their self-esteem, and give them a reason to show off their pearly whites proudly.
If you are searching for a pediatric dentist in Phoenix or Chandler, AZ, we can help. Call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
At What Age Can Children Begin Teeth Whitening Treatments?
Children should have all of their adult teeth before considering teeth whitening treatments. It is best to wait until they are at least 14, as their adult teeth will be fully developed by then.
Are There Any Natural Teeth Whitening Options Available for Children?
Yes, there are a few natural teeth whitening options available for children. These include maintaining good oral hygiene, eating a healthy diet, and using home remedies such as baking soda. Always consult with your dentist before trying any of these methods.
Can Teeth Whitening Damage Children’s Teeth?
If done incorrectly or too young, teeth whitening can cause damage to children’s teeth. We recommend you wait until their adult teeth have fully developed before considering any whitening options, and always consult a dentist before proceeding.
If you are searching for the top pediatric dentist near me, visit us at Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry.