If your child’s teeth are less than a crisp, bright white, you may be tempted to improve their appearance through whitening. But are teeth whitening procedures like whitening strips safe for kids? Let’s find out.
The Big Picture
If your child’s teeth have some staining or discoloration, there is a chance it’s due to disease, poor diet, or prolonged antibiotic use. While whitening could make teeth appear whiter, it won’t fix the underlying concerns that caused the problem in the first place. Plus there are risks and side effects to whitening that just aren’t worth it. At our Erdenheim dental office, we want to encourage our patients’ parents to learn about the potential risks associated with tooth whitening in anyone under the age of 15.
The main ingredient in most whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), whitening strips often contain around 13 percent of it. For adults, this is really no big deal. However, for children, the higher the concentration the more chance for negative side effects.
One of the main concerns of using whitening strips on kids is the large chance for misuse and user error. The AAPD’s research has found that when kids use whitening strips by themselves, there’s a high chance the strips are left on far too long. Prolonged exposure increases the likelihood of ingesting the hydrogen peroxide and often leads to painful sensitivity.
More Information Needed
There is currently a lack of research that clearly states whether whitening strips are safe for kids. Because of this, it’s typically discouraged that parents use them on children prior to any permanent teeth coming in. More studies and solid research is required in order to rule out any safety concerns for the use of whitening strips on small smiles.
The best thing to do if your kid’s smile shows signs of discoloration is to practice good oral hygiene habits, choose the right foods and drinks, and visit your dentist in Erdenheim regularly. You can always feel free to call one of our Erdenheim dental office. We will determine the true cause of the staining and work with you and your child to provide healthy solutions for a bright, white smile.
Welcoming patients from Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and nearby neighborhoods.