There are two main reasons our Sault Ste. Marie dentists advise against children and teens whitening their teeth:
1. Their teeth are probably not actually discoloured.
Parents occasionally observe that their children's newly erupting adult teeth may appear slightly yellow, particularly when compared to the baby teeth still present in the mouth. Consequently, they may inquire about the possibility of whitening their children's teeth.
It is important to note that adult teeth typically have a naturally more yellow hue than baby teeth, and this is considered normal. The increased yellowish appearance is attributed to the higher concentration of dentin, which is the layer beneath the enamel.
Dentin itself has a yellow color, and when adult teeth are adjacent to baby teeth, the contrast can create the perception of an unusually yellow shade.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 refrain from whitening children's teeth due to the lack of conclusive evidence regarding its safety. Limited data is available to assess the potential effects of whitening agents on teeth that are still in the developmental stage. Therefore, it is advisable to prioritize caution and err on the side of safety when it comes to teeth whitening for children.
Causes of tooth discolouration in kids
There are many possible causes of teeth discolouration in children:
- Poor dental hygiene habits
- Excessive fluoride due to 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
- 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
How to help them prevent staining
Since teeth whitening procedures are not an option, your child or teen can still help prevent staining and discolouration with the use of whitening toothpaste. Additionally, foods and drinks that cause staining, such as dark sodas, can be avoided.
If you want to learn more about teeth whitening for children, you can reach out to one of the dentists at Bay Dental Group.