What Teeth Whitening Options Would Work For My Child?

Posted on: 25 August 2015

Teeth whitening is often performed on adults, but if you notice that your child's teeth are not as white as he or she wants, you may want to consult with your child's pediatric dentist regarding whether he or she is a good candidate for teeth whitening. Stained teeth can lead to bullying, but most whitening treatments do not have negative effects.

When to Not Whiten Your Child's Teeth

Your child will not be a good candidate for teeth whitening if he or she has any of these conditions:

  • Sensitive teeth

  • Gum disease

  • Cavities

These conditions will need to be treated before your child can undergo a teeth-whitening treatment. If these conditions are not present, your child's dentist can create a treatment plan.

How a Dentist Can Better Whiten Teeth

Dentists are the best able to whiten teeth because they can control the amount of bleach that your child is exposed to and can also reduce the chances that your child accidentally swallows the bleach or gets the bleach in contact with the tongue or gums.

Sometimes, there is an underlying condition that leads to the teeth being darker. For example, your child might have:

  • A vitamin or mineral deficiency

  • An injury

  • A side effect from a dental treatments

By treating the underlying condition, your child's teeth are much more likely to become and remain white.

Removing Surface Stains with Whitening Toothpaste

If your child brushes with whitening toothpaste, this will prevent stains from forming in the first place. Unlike with the in-office treatment, tooth whitening toothpaste acts as an abrasive that removes the surface stains. There will still be permanent stains, but the teeth will be whiter after the prolonged use of a whitening toothpaste.

Deciding On Whether Your Child Should Use Whitening Strips

Your child might be a candidate for teeth whitening strips once he or she has permanent front teeth. If the permanent teeth have not fully grown in, the whitening treatment will produce inconsistent results, since some teeth will be whitened more than others.

You should oversee and apply the whitening strips yourself if you believe that he or she will not apply the strip correctly. Some children have used the whitening strips for much longer than instructed or accidentally swallowed the strips.

For some children, the stains are not a major concern and you may want to wait until your child is older before pursuing a treatment option. But for children who have self-esteem issues or are being bullied, there might be a teeth whitening option.

For professional pediatric dentistry, contact an office such as Children's Dental Center Of Central Iowa PLC.