Question

Teeth Whitening

Is tooth whitening safe for children?

A Answers (3)

  • ADe Vizio, DMD, Dentistry, answered on behalf of Colgate
    Tooth whitening is not recommended for children until their adult teeth are fully developed. At about the age of 14, the pulp in a child’s permanent teeth has finally developed, making them less sensitive. In some situations, teeth whitening may be the best option for restoring and correcting tooth problems. However, limited research has been done on teeth whitening in children. Your dentist will be your best source of advice and information in this area.
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  • AThomas Connelly, Dentistry, answered

    My specialty is cosmetic dentistry, and I do my share of tooth whitening. I will say that it's not recommended for children. Wait until they are in their mid-teens, at least. This way, their adult teeth have had a chance to fully develop, and they can decide for themselves if they want a whitening treatment.

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  • We don't really know, and wouldn't recommend it.  Teeth whitening has generally been considered a safe practice in adults. However, it should still be approached with caution in children, as there are no studies that confirm the long term safety of teeth whitening in children. While teeth whitening in children and adolescents is a common practice, there are risks that need to be weighed out prior to the procedure.  The enamel in children's teeth tends to be easier to penetrate, which makes the pulp of the tooth more susceptible to whitening chemicals, causing increased sensitivity. Furthermore, as noted earlier, there are no studies that look at the body-wide toxicity of tooth whitening in children. In general, if you decide to pursue teeth whitening in your child, over-the-counter products should be avoided, and consultation and close follow-up with a dentist is recommended.
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What is the process for tooth whitening at the dentist office?