Feelings of self-consciousness during teen years are nothing new. But a 2021 study found that teens are spending an average of 87 minutes on social media each day. All of that exposure is making more teens feel self-conscious and look for ways to improve their appearance. So don’t be surprised if your teen – or even tween – asks if they can bleach their teeth. Your mind might start racing with hundreds of questions, but don’t worry. Your Colleyville pediatric dentist is here to allay your concerns. Let’s explore the question, “is it safe for teenagers to bleach teeth?” so you’re prepared with your answer.
Is It Safe for Teens to Bleach Teeth?
Teeth bleaching – whether it’s trying to whiten dark spots or achieve a more even appearance – is part of life for many of us these days. Many dentists’ offices offer it and there are lots of DIY kits available in stores and online.
Is it safe for a teenager to go ahead and use these without the supervision of a dentist? It may not be. It’s always best to seek professional advice first.
For safety, a pediatric dentist should supervise any teenager who wants to bleach their teeth. The dentist will ensure that they understand how to use the product responsibly. They will also monitor their progress and look out for any side effects.
The American Association of Pediatric Dentists has a policy on dental bleaching in children and adolescents. They do not advise teeth bleaching in children before their mid to late teens. This means that teeth bleaching for tweens (aged 8 to 12) is definitely not recommended.
Pediatric dentists have your child’s long-term dental health in mind and always want to avoid damaging their teeth.
At-home whitening may be cheaper, but it is not as effective as in-office treatments. The policy highlights some of the advantages of in-office whitening:
- Initial professional consultation to determine causes of discoloration
- Opportunity to discuss treatment concerns, including side effects
- Professional oversight and soft-tissue protection
- Greater patient compliance
- Faster results
- Treatment available for side effects
Considerations for Teeth Whitening in Teens
By their teens, most children have lost all of their primary teeth and now have their adult teeth. Only adult teeth should be whitened. If your child has a single discolored tooth, get that checked out by your dentist first.
What’s Causing Discoloration?
Your Colleyville dentist will be able to check for any issues that could be causing teeth discoloration. For example, there could be an issue with the pulp of the tooth. Discoloration can be a sign that something is not right inside, not outside, the tooth.
It could also be an enamel defect, a diet-related issue, or due to poor dental hygiene. This is why it’s so important to have a professional examination before starting teeth whitening treatments.
If teens don’t bleach their teeth correctly, they could develop gum problems.
This is especially true if they use over-the-counter trays that are not custom-made. The types of trays that dentists make for teeth whitening create an incredibly snug fit. This means that much less of the powerful bleach leaks out and it stays in contact with the teeth for longer.
This benefits teens’ gums as they don’t get irritated as easily. It also means that they get better whitening results because saliva can’t enter the trays and water down the bleach as easily.
Teens are still learning and most don’t live by the maxim “less is more.”
Rather, they can tend to be a little overzealous when trying to get the results they want as fast as they can. Over-treatment can harm the structure of the tooth and causes irritation to the soft tissues in the mouth.
Your Colleyville pediatric dentist will make sure that this doesn’t happen. They’ll talk through exactly how to use the trays and gels with your teen and make them aware of the side effects if they overdo it. Regular checkups will ensure that they’re getting the right results without doing damage to their teeth.
Deal with Sensitivity
There’s a well-established link between teeth whitening and tooth sensitivity. A large number of patients experience sensitivity at some point during their treatment journey. It is especially common during the early stages.
This can be very uncomfortable and disconcerting for younger patients. That’s why you need your pediatric dentist on hand to provide treatment and draw the whitening treatment to a halt if the issue is not improving.
How to Get Safe Teeth Whitening for Teens
If your teenager is 14 years of age or older, has all their adult teeth, and desperately wants whiter teeth, schedule an appointment with your Colleyville pediatric dentist.
The first stage is a thorough dental examination. The dentist will look at what’s causing the discoloration and talk to you and your teen about their dietary and oral hygiene habits.
Then they will talk you through treatment options. They’ll be candid about the potential side effects, including increased tooth sensitivity. They’ll tell you about how to get the best out of the treatment and how to avoid over-treating your teeth.
When you’re both happy with the treatment plan, they’ll start creating your trays. You will achieve better and faster results by getting teeth whitening with your dentist that using an at-home method.
Schedule Your Teen’s Teeth Whitening Consultation Today
If your teen wants to bleach teeth, there’s no need to panic. It can be safe, as long as they do it responsibly. The very best way to make sure they get the best results and are well cared for is by arranging treatment with your Colleyville pediatric dentist.
The team of dentists at Colleyville Children’s Dentistry has one goal – providing your child with the very best dental care. Their examination and treatment plan will give you peace of mind and give your child great results.
Why not schedule an appointment online today?