Is teeth whitening a good idea for children?

Is teeth whitening a good idea for children?

Parents are sometimes concerned about the colour of their children's teeth and ask us if teeth whitening might be a good idea. At Scott 72 Dental Centre we typically advise against teeth whitening for children, here's why... 


Children's newly erupting adult teeth can sometimes look yellowish or dark. Parents want to do what's best for their children so, sometimes when parents notice discolouration of their child's teeth they ask us whether teeth whitening would be helpful.

At Scott 72 Dental Centre our Surrey and Delta dentists advise against tooth whitening for children.

Tooth Structure

Adult teeth have significantly more dentin in them than the baby teeth do. Dentin is a yellowish coloured layer of the tooth structure that is located directly below the tooth's enamel.

Since there's more dentin in adult teeth they appears to be more yellow when compared to remaining baby teeth. That means, it's perfectly normal for adult teeth to be more yellow than baby teeth.

The very white baby teeth tend to make the new adult teeth appear much more yellow than they actually are.

The colour difference is no cause for concern. The darker colour of the adult teeth will be much less noticeable as soon as the remaining baby teeth fall out. 

Avoid Discolouration 

Both baby teeth and adult teeth can become discoloured from eating dark coloured foods, or drinking colas and other dark liquids. A single dark coloured tooth could be the result of tooth decay.

To keep your child's teeth healthy and white it's a good idea to limit dark sugary drinks and treats, and to begin a strong oral hygiene routine early. Children should brush their teeth thoroughly for two minutes twice a day, floss once a day, and visit the dentist at least twice yearly.

Your child's dentist will be able to spot and treat dental issues early if your child visits regularly for checkups and cleanings. 

Whitening Products and Children's Developing Teeth

When it comes to children's developing smiles, we simply don't know how whitening products might affect children's teeth. 

Limited research in this area means that there just isn't enough data for dentists and parents to be able to make an informed decision regarding the safety of teeth whitening for children. 

With that in mind, our dentists generally only prescribe teeth whitening for adults or patients in their late teens. When it comes to dental health, it's always better to err on the side of caution.

If you have questions about your child’s developing teeth or teeth whitening in general, please contact us today!

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