Teeth whitening is not recommended for children and teens by our Etobicoke dentists because this cosmetic procedure is not appropriate for them. This is due to two main factors:
1. Their teeth are probably not actually discoloured.
Parents sometimes notice that their children’s erupting adult teeth look a bit yellow, especially when compared to the baby teeth that remain in the mouth. As a result, they ask whether it would make sense to have their children’s teeth whitened.
Adult teeth, on the other hand, are perfectly normal to appear yellower than baby teeth. Adult teeth have significantly more dentin than baby teeth (the layer of the teeth directly beneath the enamel). Dentin is yellow in colour, so when adult teeth are placed next to baby teeth in the mouth, they can appear unusually yellow.
This perceived discolouration typically sorts itself out once all the baby teeth have fallen out. For this reason, whitening is usually completely unnecessary for children and young teens.
2. We don’t know if whitening is safe for developing teeth.
The majority of dentists will not whiten children's teeth because we simply do not know if it is safe to do so. Because there is little information about the effects of whitening agents on developing teeth, it's best to be cautious.
Causes of tooth discolouration in kids
There are many possible causes of teeth discolouration in children:
- Poor dental hygiene habits
- Pigmentation due to food and beverage stains
- Intake of medications that contain iron (vitamin supplements)
- Decalcification of enamel due to the removal of braces
- Nerve damage or tooth trauma
- Excessive fluoride due to the use of infant formula combined with fluoridated water
- Tooth decay
- Mother is taking tetracycline while pregnant or breastfeeding
- Medical conditions that hinder teeth development during infancy
How to help them prevent staining
Because teeth whitening procedures are not an option, your child or teen can use whitening toothpaste to help prevent staining and discoloration. Foods and beverages that stain, such as dark sodas, should also be avoided.
If you want to learn more about teeth whitening for children, you can reach out to one of the dentists at West Mall Dental.