Should I Let My Child Whiten Their Teeth?


August 16, 2021

As your child begins to lose their primary teeth and their permanent teeth erupt, you may notice that this second set of teeth is not as white as your child’s primary teeth. This is nothing to be concerned about; it is very natural as primary teeth are always much whiter in appearance. However, this change in tooth color often leads parents to wonder whether they should allow their child to whiten their teeth. As teenagers grow older and become more conscious of their smiles, they may be asking their parents about their options for teeth whitening in New York as well. In this blog post, our team at Underhill Dental takes a closer look at when it is okay to allow your child to get their teeth whitened and offers some alternatives to teeth whitening.

Dental Professionals Suggest Holding off on Teeth Whitening

While there is no one specific age for when a child can undergo teeth whitening, our dentist near you recommends that you wait until your child is at least sixteen years old. This is because it is beneficial for the tooth pulp in permanent teeth to be fully formed before you attempt whitening, as this can prevent complications such as tooth sensitivity. For most teenagers, the pulp usually finishes developing around the age of sixteen.

You should also ensure that your child doesn’t use over-the-counter whitening products either. Most over-the-counter whitening products use hydrogen peroxide, and while it is typically safe for adults, it has not been proven to be safe for children. Additionally, teenagers are more likely to use these products incorrectly, increasing their chance of adverse effects such as irritated gum tissue and tooth sensitivity.

Alternatives to Tooth Whitening

Some teenagers may ask if they can undergo teeth whitening near you simply because they are conscious of their smile. Until a dentist in North York approves professional teeth whitening for your child, there are a few other safe methods you can use to help your child’s smile look bright and white:

Skip out on foods and beverages that stain teeth – if your child wants whiter teeth, teach them to avoid foods and drinks that can stain their teeth. A lot of teens love drinking sodas and sports drinks, but both of these options are loaded with sugar and can both darken the teeth and lead to cavities. Coffee, tea, and other sweets can also lead to discolored teeth.

Attempt a whitening toothpaste – while most over-the-counter whitening products such as strips and gels may not be the best choice, whitening toothpaste can be a safer option. They are very gentle on the teeth and can give your child’s smile that extra shine they are looking for.

Ensure your child never misses a routine dental visit – one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your child maintains a bright and healthy smile is to ensure that they are seen for routine dental cleanings and checkups. Your child should visit the dentist at least once every six months, and at their appointment, their dentist can provide them with more tips on how to brighten their smile.

The Bottom Line

If your child wants whiter teeth, speak to your dentist about the best age for your child to begin whitening treatments. When your child is old enough to have their teeth whitened, ensure that you take them for professional teeth whitening instead of opting for over-the-counter options. Having whitening done by a dental professional ensures that your child’s smile remains healthy and that they get stunning results.