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Teeth Whitening for Children and Adults

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Image credit: http://www.homeremediesorg.com

Parents frequently become concerned about the color of their children’s teeth with the eruption of the permanent teeth. The primary or “baby” teeth are much whiter than the naturally more yellow, newly erupting permanent teeth. The stark color contrast causes concern that there may be a problem with the permanent teeth. As a result, pediatric dentists are frequently asked about teeth whitening for children to address their concern.

It is recommended to wait until age 15, after all the permanent teeth have erupted to seriously consider whitening treatment. Tooth sensitivity is common with whitening and should be a decision made between parent and teenager that can understand risks. Toothpastes with whitening agents are not likely to cause sensitivity and can be used in children under age 15.  Toothpastes, however, are limited to removing only surface or extrinsic staining and will not lighten the natural color of newly erupted permanent teeth.

Subsurface or intrinsic staining can be caused by many food products or naturally darker shade in children’s teeth. The main culprits in adulthood are coffee, tea, red wine or tobacco products.  These types of stains would be better suited with bleach trays and whitening gel. This method infiltrates the tooth and will help lighten these teeth with the darker internal stains. Typically this is with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gels. Bleach trays are made by taking an impression or mold of your teeth to make a tray that allows room for the gel but fits to your teeth.

Whitening strips is another option that does not require a bleach tray made by a dentist.  Whitening strips are made to fit the front 6 teeth (that is canine to canine), if you have a wide smile and show more teeth this method may not be the best choice. Another option is to do 2 strips this allows the bleaching strips to reach back further in the mouth. Make sure you use as directed by your dentist or manufacturer instructions. This form of whitening can make teeth sensitive to air, cold drinks and food. Recommend using a fluoridated toothpaste after to allow fluoride to help with sensitivity.

 

One of the newest ways to whiten teeth is bleaching gel applied to teeth in the dental office and use of a UV light for about 15 minutes and typically for multiple sessions. This is even faster than with bleaching trays. Sensitivity is still a high possibility with this method and fluoride gel is typically applied after the procedure to help. Not all dental offices provide this service be sure to check with them.

 

Whitening does not last forever and may need to be re-done after the intended shade has been reached. Discuss this with your dentist on the best course of treatment for your child.

Parents frequently become concerned about the color of their children’s teeth with the eruption of the permanent teeth. The primary or “baby” teeth are much whiter than the naturally more yellow, newly erupting permanent teeth. The stark color contrast causes concern that there may be a problem with the permanent teeth. As a result, pediatric dentists are frequently asked about teeth whitening for children to address their concern.

Parents frequently become concerned about the color of their children’s teeth with the eruption of the permanent teeth. The primary or “baby” teeth are much whiter than the naturally more yellow, newly erupting permanent teeth. The stark color contrast causes concern that there may be a problem with the permanent teeth. As a result, pediatric dentists are frequently asked about teeth whitening for children to address their concern.

It is recommended to wait until age 15, after all the permanent teeth have erupted to seriously consider whitening treatment. Tooth sensitivity is common with whitening and should be a decision made between parent and teenager that can understand risks. Toothpastes with whitening agents are not likely to cause sensitivity and can be used in children under age 15. Toothpastes, however, are limited to removing only surface or extrinsic staining and will not lighten the natural color of newly erupted permanent teeth.

Subsurface or intrinsic staining can be caused by many food products or naturally darker shade in children’s teeth. The main culprits in adulthood are coffee, tea, red wine or tobacco products. These types of stains would be better suited with bleach trays and whitening gel. This method infiltrates the tooth and will help lighten these teeth with the darker internal stains. Typically this is with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide gels. Bleach trays are made by taking an impression or mold of your teeth to make a tray that allows room for the gel but fits to your teeth.

Whitening strips is another option that does not require a bleach tray made by a dentist. Whitening strips are made to fit the front 6 teeth (that is canine to canine), if you have a wide smile and show more teeth this method may not be the best choice. Another option is to do 2 strips this allows the bleaching strips to reach back further in the mouth. Make sure you use as directed by your dentist or manufacturer instructions. This form of whitening can make teeth sensitive to air, cold drinks and food. Recommend using a fluoridated toothpaste after to allow fluoride to help with sensitivity.

One of the newest ways to whiten teeth is bleaching gel applied to teeth in the dental office and use of a UV light for about 15 minutes and typically for multiple sessions. This is even faster than with bleaching trays. Sensitivity is still a high possibility with this method and fluoride gel is typically applied after the procedure to help. Not all dental offices provide this service be sure to check with them.

Whitening does not last forever and may need to be re-done after the intended shade has been reached. Discuss this with your dentist on the best course of treatment for your child.

smileshop-dentists-Dr Garol

About Dr. Garol
Dr. Whitney Garol attended Galena High School, then the University of Nevada, Reno where she graduated with distinction, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in psychology. Dr. Garol graduated magna cum laude with a doctor of dental medicine degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. Always having a passion for treating children, she decided to further her training with a pediatric dental residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. At one of the premier children’s hospitals in the nation, she received extensive training to provide excellent dental care to infants, children and adolescents. She is a board candidate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

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