Posted on: 1 August 2016
Discolored teeth can affect your child's self esteem, but you may not be sure if whitening is a good option for a child. There are some concerns with certain whitening procedures, especially when performed on baby teeth or newly emerging adult teeth. The following guide can help you make an informed decision.
Rule out deep discoloration
Two common causes of discoloration on children's teeth can't be fixed with whitening procedures. Sometimes emerging baby teeth have dark spots or stains on them. This is often due to medication exposure in the womb, such as if the mother had to take antibiotics late in the pregnancy. These stains are an integral part of the enamel and cannot be lightened. Fortunately, they are usually small and they won't appear on the adult teeth.
Another common deep discoloration is a result of over-fluoridation during the formation of the adult teeth. These teeth emerge with a tan or brown mottled staining. Unfortunately, whitening procedures won't lighten these stains since they are part of the enamel. Instead, your child can get veneers placed over the discolored teeth once they are done with any orthodontic work they may need.
Treat baby teeth gently
Surface discoloration on baby teeth can usually be ignored as long as you are regularly having the teeth cleaned and polished. If your child's teeth discolor quickly, the dentist may recommend scheduling additional cleanings throughout the year. You should also minimize your child's access to food items that cause stains, such as dark juices, tea, and soda. Teach your child to rinse their mouth with water after eating anything that can cause stains to further help prevent problems.
Early adult teeth concerns
Once the adult teeth are in, you may think your child is in the clear for whitening, so you may be surprised if your dentist recommends that you wait. The reason is simple – the adult teeth need some time for the enamel to fully harden and for the healthy root and nerve system to grow. Many dentist want all of the adult teeth to have been in for some time before they will even consider a whitening treatment. Weaker home solutions may be considered safe, but you should ask the dentist first.
After you receive the all clear from the dentist, have your child brush with a sensitive tooth toothpaste for a few weeks before whitening. This will further help minimize pain and sensitivity that is sometimes felt for the first few days after a whitening procedure. Talk to a dental clinic like Crest Hill Family Dental to learn more.Share