Teeth bleaching, or teeth whitening, is a procedure performed by a cosmetic dentist that can remove stains from the surfaces of your teeth, restoring your bright, white smile. This type of treatment is safe and effective, but is not generally recommended for children under eighteen years old.
How Teeth Bleaching Works
Teeth whitening uses a strong bleaching agent to remove signs of discoloration from the tooth surfaces. When performed by a cosmetic dentist at the dentist’s office, it can lighten your teeth significantly with a single visit lasting about an hour. Other treatments, such as over-the-counter teeth whitening kits, are less effective and more likely to cause irritation to the gums and oral tissues. Take-home whitening kits provided by your dentist are also highly effective and often used for teeth that do not respond well to in-office whitening.[pullquote]This type of treatment is safe and effective, but is not generally recommended for children under eighteen years old. [/pullquote]
The whitening agent used in the dentist’s office is powerful, and it’s important to protect the gums and lips to prevent irritation. Your dentist is best equipped to ensure the oral tissues are protected. For this reason, over-the-counter treatments are more likely to cause irritation because they are more likely to make contact with the soft tissues in your mouth.
Teeth Bleaching for Younger Patients
In general, teeth whitening is not recommended for patients under the age of eighteen. The concentration of the active whitening ingredient in typical treatments is higher than that recommended for younger people. Little scientific research has been performed to determine if this concentration of whitener is dangerous to younger patients, but because children are still growing, there is more likelihood that problems could occur.
If your child has a compelling reason for having his or her teeth whitened, your cosmetic dentist might suggest a solution that will help. This could include a whitening treatment or another cosmetic treatment that he considers safe for your child. If your child is very unhappy with his appearance, or has experienced severe discoloration, a consultation with our dentists at Kemp and Borovac Dentistry can help you determine if a whitening or cosmetic dentistry option will be helpful.