By Kate Ranta on Jul 12, 2020 @ 02:35 PM
Your teenager comes home saying all of their friends are whitening their teeth and they want to do it too. What should you do?
It's highly recommended to consult with a dentist before allowing your child to try any whitening products. For teens under the age of 16, bleaching teeth isn’t recommended because it can cause tooth sensitivity. However, the question still stands if your teenager is older than 16. Which method is the best and safest when it comes to whitening teeth?
The best way to solve a problem is by knowing how it started.
Our teeth can be stained from the inside out, from the outside in, and sometimes both at the same time. Most stains occur on the surface of your tooth, so they are fairly easy to resolve. and has a variety of causes, including.
- Foods and spices such as pasta sauce, berries, curry, and balsamic vinegar
- Coffee and dark teas
Encouraging your teen to give up some or limit the consumption of the items listed above can help prevent staining as they get older. Stains are a big challenge to overcome, so it's best to prevent them with a daily oral routine care and plenty of hydration.
For a brighter smile, common teeth whitening treatments include:
Whitening Toothpaste: All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Mild stains caused by coffee or other dark beverages, can often be removed with whitening toothpaste. Unlike bleaches, these products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth. Teenagers should use whitening toothpaste at least twice a day during their regular brushing and flossing.
Teeth Whitening Trays and Gels: Gel trays can be used for faster brightening of teeth with deeper staining. Although the amount of over the counter gel trays products are increasing, this treatment can still be done at a dentist office. To get the best results, it is best to have a custom fit tray, which over the counter products may not have.
Whitening Strips: Whitening strips can be obtained over the counter and are to be applied to teeth once or twice a day. Most of these products contain hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent. It is safe to use but should be used with care, as overusing can result in teeth sensitivity and gum irritation.
Visiting Your Dentist: In general, professional methods tend to be stronger and longer-lasting than home remedies. They're also more effective in whitening deep, intrinsic stains on teeth. The method used will vary based on the stain type and your overall diet. In some instances, the dentist may suggest surface bleaching, prescription products and frequent deep cleanings. In others, they may use LED light technology where your teeth can lighten by 5-7 shades in one hour!
Home and professional whitening methods both have their own pros and cons. As a parent, you may be hesitant to allow your teen to whiten their teeth, so it's best to consult with your dentist. They will be able to review your child’s records and help determine the most efficient and effective whitening treatment.