Can Children and Teens Get Their Teeth Whitened?

For a few important reasons, our Deep River dentists advise against teeth whitening for children and young teens.

Because teeth whitening is an adult cosmetic procedure, our Deep River dentists do not advise it for kids or teenagers. There are principally two causes for this:

1. Their teeth are probably not actually discoloured.

Parents sometimes notice that their children’s erupting adult teeth look a bit yellow, especially when compared to the baby teeth that remain in the mouth. As a result, they ask whether it would make sense to have their children’s teeth whitened.

Adult teeth, however, typically appear more yellow than baby teeth, which is completely normal. This occurs as a result of adult teeth having significantly more dentin, which is the layer of the tooth that lies beneath the enamel. When adult teeth are in the mouth next to baby teeth, the dentin, which is yellow, can make the adult teeth appear unusually yellow.

This perceived discolouration typically sorts itself out once all the baby teeth have fallen out. For this reason, whitening is usually completely unnecessary for children and young teens.

2. We don’t know if whitening is safe for developing teeth.

Because it is currently unknown whether teeth whitening procedures on children are safe, the majority of dentists will not perform them. It's best to err on the side of caution because there isn't much information available about how teeth that are still developing would respond to whitening agents.

Causes of tooth discolouration in kids

Kids' teeth discoloration can have a variety of causes, including:

  • Poor dental hygiene habits
  • Pigmentation due to food and beverage stains
  • Intake of medications that contain iron (vitamin supplements)
  • Decalcification of enamel due to the removal of braces
  • Nerve damage or tooth trauma
  • Excessive fluoride due to the use of infant formula combined with fluoridated water
  • Tooth decay
  • Mother is taking tetracycline while pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Medical conditions that hinder teeth development during infancy

How to help them prevent staining

Your child or teen can still help prevent staining and discoloration if teeth whitening procedures are not an option by using whitening toothpaste. Additionally, stains-causing foods and beverages like dark sodas can be avoided.

If you want to learn more about teeth whitening for children, you can reach out to one of the dentists at Wellspring Dental.

If you have questions about teeth whitening or about your children’s oral development, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our Deep River dentists. Or find a location near you.

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Looking for a dentist in Pembroke or Deep River? We are always accepting new patients at our two dental clinics! Contact us today to get started. 

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