Americans have always been keen to go for teeth whitening procedures, with some enthusiastic DIY fans even buying their own teeth whitening products ever since the first in-home teeth whitening system was introduced to the public in 1989. Teeth whitening has since become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures in the nation.
Not all people are good candidates for the procedure, though. Pregnant and lactating women are advised to hold off on teeth whitening until otherwise given an all-clear by their dentist or doctor. People with allergies, gum disease and oversensitivity, cavities, and those requiring dental work, such as fillings, crowns, and restorations, are also advised to wait until pending medical or dental issues are resolved. The patient’s age may also be a factor.
Parents have asked whether it’s safe for their kids to go for teeth whitening. Dentists are in agreement about eschewing altogether buying over-the-counter products like whitening gels, strips, and pens for do-it-yourself teeth whitening. However, some dentists allow for safe professional whitening procedure for older children no younger than 12 when their permanent teeth would have set in by then. Dr. Carolyn Taggart-Burns of the Academy of General Dentistry even favor a later age, advising that parents should wait until their children reach their mid-teenage years when their teeth would have fully erupted, and the pulp completely developed.
Recommendations continue to vary, however. According to PediatricSafety.net contributor Dr. Bill Williams, the earliest recommended age for professional teeth whitening is 18 years old. At this age, the pulp inside the tooth, as well as the surrounding gum line, can better hold their own against whitening chemicals and the procedure itself. Any younger, and all related whitening processes can cause irritation or even damage.
Consult with your local cosmetic dentist in Atlanta, such as Buckhead Esthetic Dentistry, for situation-appropriate recommendations on teeth whitening, or the need for teeth alignment using the latest technology, such as Invisalign. Your dentist should also be able to help with your child’s anxieties about dental visits and undergoing a procedure. Follow your dentist’s advice to minimize (or eliminate altogether) the risks of complications.
Is Your Teen Too Young For Teeth Whitening? HowStuffWorks.com
Teeth Whitening, WebMD.com
Who Are And Are Not Good Candidates For Teeth Whitening Procedures? ClevelandClinic.org
Has My Child Reached Teeth Whitening Age? PediatricSafety.net, May 9, 2011
Bleaching Age? When To Start? Opalescence.com
Teeth Whitening: Facts On Teens And Bleaching, MetroParent.com, January 9, 2015