If you are thinking of bleaching teeth for your teenager, consider this.
There are over-the-counter products that contain “bleaching” agents to help whiten your teeth. It might be tempting to let your kids try one of those products because well, let’s face it, they are way less expensive than getting it done professionally through your dentist office.
Bleaching Teeth has some risks
Understanding the risks and what the experts say might encourage you to think twice about letting your child use store bought products for teeth-bleaching purposes.
Bleaching teeth with whitening strips
Products like whitening strips work by coating the teeth in a hydrogen peroxide solution for anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the product. It’s no big deal, right? For kids, the answer may not be so simple. Hydrogen peroxide in low concentrations is typically safe in products that are professionally applied, but these at-home bleaching products have up to a 13-percent hydrogen peroxide concentration and are not “custom” fit to your child’s mouth. Because they are a one size fits all, there is a much greater chance that some bleach will leak out into your mouth and you will naturally swallow it. These types of strips are discouraged for kids and teens for a few reasons.
A lack of studies is one major concern. There’s simply not enough research to support that strips are safe on young teeth. The other concern is proper usage. Add that to the risk of swallowing the product, and bleaching your child’s teeth at home could be hazardous.
Tooth sensitivity is another risk. Even adults know that a high concentration of bleaching agents, when left on the teeth for a long period of time, can lead to significant tooth sensitivity. That sensitivity can be greatly increased by the presence of a cavity, even a small one.
So best thing to do if you want to whiten your teenager’s teeth is to speak to your dentist and invest in a professional whitening product which is safe and very effective. You will be glad you did!