Orthodontics LA

Can Children Use Teeth Whitening Products?

Posted on March 4, 2021

kids braces

At the earliest stages of their development, kids’ teeth are much whiter than when they are older. The enamel is thinner and more brilliant when young. But some factors can cause the teeth to become discolored.

While teeth whitening products are generally safe, it is advisable to consult a dental professional. In this article, we’ll explore the viability of using whitening strips and other products to address discoloration.

What Causes Tooth Discoloration?

Teeth discoloration can either be intrinsic which is caused by something inside the tooth, extrinsic which is caused by external agents, or age related.

Occasionally, children can have discolored teeth due to several reasons. Poor dental hygiene is one of the top factors. It could also be because of environmental factors such as the presence of excessive fluoride in water or other sources that the child uses. But there could be staining as a result of consuming certain beverages and foods.

Other common factors include medication and injury. Certain prescriptions that a child is taking can cause the enamel to stain. Trauma on the teeth or gums may trigger complications that will cause discoloration on the surface.

Kids Braces and Enamel Decalcification

Another prevalent factor causing the teeth to stain is decalcification. The condition is common with children with kids’ braces. Poor dental hygiene, eating foods with lots of sugar, and buildup of plaque are the most common factors that can cause discoloration of the teeth during orthodontic treatment.

The enamel may also be thinner than normal making it prone to discoloration. This condition is referred to as enamel hypoplasia and is caused by hereditary factors. An orthodontist will evaluate such issues before recommending kids braces.

Risks of Using Whitening Strips

Before you use whitening products, you must understand the risks. The products can cause tooth sensitivity, especially when the enamel is still thin and growing. If the positioning of the strips is not correct, it can irritate the gums.

Children may also experience tooth erosion and demineralization. That’s why it is advisable to consult a professional before attempting home remedies.

Preventing Discoloration

Like with all conditions, it is better to prevent discoloration rather than treat it. Dental professionals advise parents to avoid carbonated drinks which can cause staining. Sugary foods also facilitate the growth of plaque and tartar, which is responsible for cavities in children. Again, if you suspect that the water you are using contains excess fluoride, try and find an alternative.

Dental hygiene is critical when the child has braces. Braces have many crooks and crannies where food particles can hide. An orthodontist will offer lessons on proper hygiene and diet to keep teeth and healthy after getting kids braces.

When Can Children Teeth Be Whitened?

It is possible to whiten children’s teeth when they are discolored. However, the enamel must be fully calcified to reduce the risk of sensitivity. Another criterion is that the permanent teeth must have erupted. Additionally, all orthodontics treatments such as getting braces for kids must be complete.

Tooth whitening products have the potential to address the staining of teeth. However, they come with potential risks. If the application is incorrect, it can cause tooth and gum sensitivity. Additionally, some people have thin enamels that are prone to sensitivity and cavities. That’s why both adults and children need to visit a dental professional before teeth whitening procedures.