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Is It Safe to Whiten My Teen’s Teeth?

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It keeps happening — Your teen is coming home telling you that all of their friends are whitening their teeth. They don’t understand why they can’t do it too! What is a responsible parent to say?

Continue reading this blog courtesy of your pediatric dentist in Spring for all of the information you need to succeed in this teenage battle we commonly see. 

Where to Start With Teeth Whitening 
We’ll always tell you that the first thing you and your teen need to do is schedule a consultation with us before you try any product promising a whiter smile. Unless your adolescent has some exceptional circumstances, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend waiting until about 14 or 15, when you’re sure all of the permanent teeth have made their way through the gum line. If you bleach baby teeth or do it when they’re still a little too young, it can cause increased sensitivity and uneven color due to a lack of adult tooth enamel. 

How’d We Get Here, Anyway?
When it’s time for your teen to whiten their teeth, how do you know what way works best and is safe? We find that the best way to solve this problem is to figure out how it all started. Our teeth can become stained in a few ways — from the inside out, the outside in, and sometimes it’s a mixture of both. Your tooth’s surface is where most stains occur and can be caused by:

  • Drinking too many carbonated beverages
  • Eating foods that stain, such as pasta sauce, berries, curry, and balsamic vinegar
  • Having one too many coffees or dark teas

Your pediatric dentist in Spring knows this can be easier said than done, but encouraging your teen to give up or at least limit consumption of some of these items can help keep teeth bright and white. Daily brushing, flossing, and drinking plenty of water will also help. 

What Types of Teeth Whitening Treatments Are Available?
You can choose from options that are generally done either in the comfort of your home or with our experienced team at the office. Common treatments can include:

  • Whitening toothpaste – Teenagers can use whitening toothpaste as part of their daily routine of brushing twice and flossing once. 
  • Trays and gels – Gel trays can be an effective way to whiten teeth that are more deeply stained. Trays are available over-the-counter and from your dentist. 
  • Whitening strips – Once or twice a day, your teen can use whitening strips containing hydrogen peroxide. Be careful not to overuse due to an increase in sensitivity.

Seeing your pediatric dentist in Spring for professional teeth whitening is the most effective way to give your teen the results they’re hoping for. Our treatments are stronger and last longer than most home remedies you’ll find. In some cases, we can lighten your teen’s smile by up to five to seven shades in as little as one hour. 

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