As kids and young adults progress through their orthodontic treatment, they often ask about teeth whitening. Everyone wants their teeth to be whiter, but certain factors need to be considered before beginning a whitening treatment, especially for children. If treatment is done too early or you try to use over-the-counter whitening strips on your child’s teeth before they’re ready, it could lead to more trouble.
Children will be ready for whitening once they’ve met all three of the following criteria:
- All of their permanent teeth have come in.
- The enamel of their permanent teeth has fully calcified.
- All orthodontic treatments have been entirely completed.
If your child meets all of the criteria and you decide that they should whiten their teeth, you need to choose the correct form of treatment. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents against over-the-counter teeth whitening products since they are still relatively new and need more studies to form a consensus among experts. Additionally, many teeth whitening strips contain a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which does whiten teeth but can also cause tooth sensitivity.
At our office, we offer take-home whitening using office-grade products for those that meet the necessary criteria. If your child starts teeth whitening, there are some important reminders to keep in mind. They should avoid consuming stain-causing foods and drinks while attempting to whiten their teeth, as they will reduce the effectiveness of the whitening procedure. Your child also needs to brush and floss their teeth after eating. This will help maintain the whiteness of their teeth.
If your child does not meet the criteria or needs minor whitening, try incorporating whitening toothpaste into their daily routine. Whitening toothpaste will help prevent staining and discoloration.
If you have any questions about teeth whitening or are interested in whitening your or your
child’s teeth, we would love to meet you and talk more about the smile you want! There’s never been a better time to go after the smile you’ve always wanted, so contact our San Mateo or Half Moon Bay office today to schedule your FREE consultation!