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Considerations Before Whitening Children's Teeth

Aug 18, 2007
One of the established facts about baby teeth is that these are primary teeth and often more whiter than the permanent teeth. This whiteness becomes more prominent when the adult teeth start growing by the side of baby teeth. Children's permanent teeth are generally less white than the primary teeth. Children's teeth grow by both in size and color.

Whitening using bleaching along with light should not be used before eighteen years of age to avoid pulp damage. For Teeth Whitening of children, it is advisable to use teeth whitening tray with lowest concentration of whitening gel. Using this for more number of days under dentist's supervision will help get the desired result.

What adds to the concern is also the fact that the child's teething is not complete. As the child grows up, gradually the gingival edge will shift naturally exposing enamel which did not come in contact with the bleaching agent. More bleaching will be required on a regular basis. This is not a problem. But the guardians of children should be aware that this will occur.

Facts and findings of various studies on tooth whitening in children and adolescents shows that in every two to three patients, one may suffer from tooth sensitivity or gingival irritation after whitening treatment. This is more painful experience for children than adults.

Studies show that, depending on route, frequency, duration and dose, more and more use of peroxide may be potentially dangerous. The overuse of whiteners increases the chances of harmful outcomes and extent of toxicity, especially among minors. For children's teeth whitening, strict criteria and careful case selection is recommended. Weighing of benefits (enhanced beauty perception) vs. risks (oral health and age) is important for teeth whitening of minors.

This is a hope that current researches will lead to a better management of the impact of teeth whitening on children's health and provide guidelines for satisfactory treatment which provide better results internally (i.e. systemic health and endodontic tissues) and externally (i.e. gingival and enamel).

Question that often arises is whether teeth whitening is addictive or not, specifically in case of children. It is fact that teeth whitening are often addictive if any body does not follow the instruction of dentist and manufacturer of the whitening product properly.

People should be very cautious before teeth whitening of their children. Children under the age of eighteen have greater chance of hypersensitivity. Dentists have to cooperate with patients to set rational expectation to avoid overuse of whitening agents.
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