How To Make Teeth Whitening Safe For Children
Kids are delicate right from when they are born until they become adults. Everything about them needs to be handled with a certain level of care, until they are grown enough to make such decisions by themselves.
With dental care, a high level of care is accorded to treating and managing the oral needs of children. It is why there are dental experts specifically for catering to children’s oral needs.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
It is an oral procedure done to whiten and brighten the appearance of teeth. Many times, the whitening process involves bleaching the surfaces of teeth directly. Whitening of teeth is done for cosmetic benefits. However, some patients need this procedure because of how badly stained their teeth are.
Teeth Whitening for Children
A pediatric dentist near you will tell you that the whitening of teeth is not a service set aside for adults only, even though it is common among them. Ideally, children do not care that much about their aesthetic appearances, until they get older.
Still, there is a need for whitening teeth for children, for reasons such as:
- To boost their self-confidence – the last thing you want is for your child to get bullied by other kids because of the color of their teeth. Besides, when your child feels good about how they look, their self-confidence is improved right from a young age.
- To prevent permanent stains – some stains on teeth attach only to the surfaces thereof. However, other stains can be stubborn and be permanently embedded in your child’s teeth. Knowing this, the sooner you see a kid’s dentist, the lesser the chances of getting permanent stains on your child’s teeth.
- To boost oral hygiene – part of the reason why your child may have discolored teeth have to do with poor oral hygiene. Once a dentist points that out and addresses the issue, your child can learn to practice better oral hygiene.
- For healthy teeth – overall, a dentist has to check the health of your child’s mouth before the whitening procedure for teeth. This way, you can be sure that your child has excellent oral health and a bright smile to go with it.
Safety Measures for Whitening Teeth for Children
There are particular cautions and considerations when it comes to brightening the teeth of children. Before you even consider getting your child’s teeth whitened, ensure you observe the following considerations:
- They have completed any orthodontic treatment.
- The enamel on their teeth is fully calcified.
- All the permanent teeth have erupted.
Once you have ascertained those three factors, the next step should be about choosing a suitable whitening method for your child. Technically, the whitening agents used to whiten teeth contain hydrogen peroxide. The concentration levels found in each whitening approach differ. In that case, be sure you are operating under the advisement and supervision of a pediatric dentist when it comes to whitening your child’s teeth. Some precautions to take include:
- Don’t leave the whitening products on teeth for too long – they can cause tooth sensitivity and even erode the enamel of teeth.
- Protect the gums of your child before starting the bleaching process.
- Check the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the products you buy – many dentists for kids advise against buying over-the-counter whitening agents because they are not tested and approved, especially for kids. In that case, purchase your whitening products from a dentist, and inquire about the concentration of hydrogen peroxide and the suitability thereof for a child.
- Supervise your child during the process – this will help you control the amount of time they let the strip or gel sit. It will also help you ensure they do not swallow the whitening products, which can be detrimental to their health.
- Use moderation – while there is the temptation to keep going until you achieve excellence in the brightness of teeth, moderation is necessary. Most of the whitening approaches you use at home will take time before you can realize the desired results. Ensure you use moderation even as you work toward a certain goal.
- Incorporate lifestyle adjustments – the staining of teeth for kids is mostly a result of foods they eat, ranging from candies and sodas. If you can make changes in what your child eats, then you have a better shot at achieving a bright smile.