Our Family Dental Care - Specialty location dentists in Prince George will never recommend teeth whitening for children and teens because this cosmetic treatment does not have enough data to be determined as safe or appropriate for young people. There are two main reasons for this:
1. Adult teeth and baby teeth are not the same colour
When your child's adult teeth first come in alongside their baby teeth they may seem to already be stained. Because of this, some parents may begin to think about whether or not their child should have their teeth whitened.
Something that most parents are unaware of though is that adult teeth naturally look yellow compared to baby teeth. This happens because adult teeth contain significantly more dentin (the layer of the teeth directly beneath the enamel). Dentin is yellow in colour and can make the adult teeth appear unusually yellow when they’re next to baby teeth in the mouth.
Once all of the baby teeth have fallen out their teeth will no longer look yellow. For this reason, whitening is usually completely unnecessary for children and young teens.
2. There is insufficient data to determine that whitening is safe for children
It is extremely unlikely that you would be able to find a dentist that would willingly whiten a child's teeth. There is little data available to tell us what the effects of whitening agents would be on teeth that are still developing, and so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Why the teeth of your child may be discoloured
Soe of the most common causes of stained teet in children are::
- 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 prevent staining on your children's teeth
While your child won't be able to undergo professional teeth whitening, they can still help prevent staining in their teeth through the use of whitening toothpaste and avoiding 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 our Family Dental Care - Specialty location dentists in Prince George.