We all strive for that beautiful white smile. Teeth whitening is a popular dental procedure that wipes away any stains or discolorations, leaving teeth looking restored. Many of these products are even available at most stores that sell dental hygiene products.
While many adults regularly take advantage of these cosmetic procedures, are they suitable for kids?
What the Professionals Say
Because teeth whitening has become such a hot topic, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has done the research and shared its position on the use of such products on children. They stated that since there is not enough research done on the effects of teeth whitening in kids that it cannot declare it safe for kids under 15 years of age.
What’s the concern?
With elevated levels of hydrogen peroxide in store-bought kits, the increased risk of adverse effects on children’s teeth. Baby teeth are not built like adult teeth and have thin enamel and dentin, as well as a larger pulp.
Dangers of Teeth Whitening for Kids
The dangers of teeth whitening will vary based on the products used and the teeth and age of the child using them. However, some of the results that may occur include things like:
- Damage to the gums
- Injury to the nerves or pulp
- Discoloration of the teeth
- Increased sensitivity
- Harm to enamel
Teeth are still growing and changing throughout childhood and into adolescence. Utilizing teeth whitening products before adult teeth have fully erupted and enamel calcification has occurred can lead to permanent damage to the teeth.
Alternatives to Teeth Whitening
If your child or teen is worried about the color of his or her teeth -- talk to your dentist. Though, preventative care is usually the best option. This way there will be no need to turn to these products before the time is right. And it instills healthy oral hygiene at an early age.
Here are a couple of ways to help your young one keep a bright white smile:
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Brushing teeth twice a day- every day - is crucial to oral health. Using a mild whitening toothpaste is a gentle way to give teeth that extra boost. You may want to talk to your child’s dentist and confirm that the toothpaste you choose is safe for his or her teeth.
Avoid Foods That Cause Staining
Certain foods can wreak havoc on white teeth. It may not always be possible to remove them entirely from one’s diet, limiting their consumption is always advised. A few of these foods are colas, candies (and other foods) with heavy dyes, coffee, and the like.
Your child’s dentist should be able to give you a more complete list of foods and beverages to avoid.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
It is important to instill healthy habits in your children -- and routinely visiting the dentist is one way to do so. Your child should be visiting the dentist for cleanings and checkups every 6 months.
Professional cleanings will help reduce the need for teeth whitening.
Dental Buddies of Vero Beach for Your Child’s Dental Needs
At Dental Buddies of Vero Beach, we know how important it is to have a confident smile. However, we also know how teeth whitening can be damaging to young teeth. If you have any questions about teeth whitening or alternatives, we are here for you. We offer complete pediatric dental care and orthodontic treatment for complete health.