Most parents want their children to have healthy and beautiful smiles. With the increasing popularity of teeth whitening treatments, you may wonder if these are suitable for children. In this blog, we will explore whether whitening children’s teeth is the right move and all the other important considerations parents should keep in mind about their kid’s oral care.
Consider dental development and age.
When it comes to teeth whitening, a child’s dental development and age play a significant role. Children’s teeth are still developing, and their enamel is typically thinner and more porous compared to adults. Whitening products that are safe for adults may not be suitable for children as their teeth and gums are more delicate.
You may have to wait until your kid’s permanent teeth have fully erupted, which typically occurs around the age of 12 or 13. At that age, the dental enamel is more mature and less susceptible to potential damage from teeth whitening treatments.
What can you do if your child is too young for a teeth whitening treatment? Focus on helping your child to develop good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing and flossing. Those habits alone can help promote a naturally bright smile.
Seek professional guidance.
Professional guidance is vital when considering teeth whitening for children. Consulting with a qualified paediatric dentist is crucial to assess the child’s dental health and determine if teeth whitening is necessary or appropriate. A dental professional can evaluate factors like tooth discolouration causes, oral hygiene habits and overall dental health before recommending any treatment. In some cases, tooth discolouration in children may be a result of factors that require specific dental treatments rather than professional teeth whitening methods.
So schedule regular dental visits for your child, starting at an early age, to ensure their dental health is monitored, and any concerns can be addressed promptly.
Try natural approaches.
If you’re adamant about learning how to get your children’s teeth whiter, try exploring natural approaches to maintaining a bright smile. For one, encouraging proper oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, can help prevent tooth discolouration. Also, a balanced diet that limits sugary and acidic foods can contribute to healthier and naturally brighter teeth.
Did you know certain foods like apples, carrots & celery can act as natural teeth cleaners? They can stimulate saliva production and gently remove surface stains. Include these foods in your kid’s diet to promote oral health and help them maintain a brighter smile. And limit those that can cause stains, like sodas & sugary snacks.
Learn about the risks and side effects.
Is professional teeth whitening safe? For adults, the answer is usually yes. Even so, teeth whitening treatments designed for adults may carry risks and potential side effects. Children may be more susceptible to these risks due to their developing teeth and gums. What are the potential side effects for kids? These may include tooth sensitivity, gum irritation or even damage to the dental enamel.
In-office professional teeth whitening treatments are generally considered safer and more effective than at-home options. If teeth whitening is deemed necessary for a 12-year-old kid or a teenager, professional supervision and application by a qualified dental professional are recommended to minimise potential risks.
Be cautious about whitening toothpaste for kids.
A common question parents have is this: can their children use whitening toothpaste to achieve a brighter smile? While some toothpaste brands offer whitening variants specifically marketed for children, it’s important to exercise caution.
Whitening toothpaste typically contains mild abrasives or chemical agents to remove surface stains. But they won’t alter your child’s teeth to make them appear drastically whiter. Plus, they may not be suitable for young children due to the potential risk of enamel erosion or tooth sensitivity. It’s best to talk to a paediatric dentist to determine if whitening toothpaste is appropriate for your child based on their age, dental health and individual needs.
Instead of buying whitening toothpaste for kids, choose a toothpaste formulated for children that focuses on effective cleaning & cavity prevention. Fluoride toothpaste with a flavour your child enjoys can encourage consistent brushing habits.
The bottom line
While we all want our children to have radiant smiles, it’s important to approach teeth whitening for children with caution. Consider the factors mentioned above. And remember that each child’s dental needs and circumstances are unique.
Instead of focusing on whitening children’s teeth, bring your kids to a trusted paediatric dentist who can help determine the cause of tooth discolouration. They have the expertise to recommend treatments suitable for your kid’s dental needs.