Is teeth whitening safe for teens and children?

Is teeth whitening safe for teens and children?

Parents are often concerned that their child's teeth are yellow or discoloured, and wonder if teeth whitening could help to address the apparent discolouration. Here, our Surrey dentist explains why we advise against teeth whitening for children and young teens.


Parents are often concerned that their child's adult teeth appear to be dark or yellowish in colour. Looking for a way to address this apparent discolouration, parents may wonder if teeth whitening could help to brighten their child's smile. 

Our dentists do not recommend teeth whitening for young teens or children for a couple of reasons.

1 - Primary Teeth and Adult Teeth are Different Colours Naturally

Just under the tooth's enamel, a yellowish substance called dentin makes up the tooth's second layer. There is considerably less dentin in baby teeth than adult teeth. This is why adult teeth are naturally darker than baby teeth, and may appear to be discoloured. This effect is most noticeable when a child's adult teeth are compared to the remaining baby teeth. 

The darker colour of the adult teeth will be much less noticeable once the child's remaining baby teeth fall out.

2 - Not Enough Scientific Data on Teeth Whitening for Children

Your child's safety is our primary concern. When it comes to whitening children's teeth, the scientific community doesn't really know if the whitening solution will negatively affect children's developing smiles. Not enough scientific data is available on the subject for us to make an informed decision about whether teeth whitening is safe for young teens and children. 

Our Surrey dentists will only recommend teeth whitening to brighten the smiles of adults and older teens.

If you have questions about your child’s developing teeth, or would like to find out more about teeth whitening options for adults, please contact our Surrey dental office today!

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