Is tooth whitening something you have wondered about for your child? Parents often ask about tooth discoloration and safety of treatments. Here are some things to think about before you try any whitening treatments on your child.

Do not try this at home

The AAPD does not support use of at-home treatments (like white strips) for children under age 15. Over-the-counter whitening products are deemed safe for older teens and adults, but do not use these on younger children. There is simply not enough research to support that these products are safe on young teeth.

Tooth sensitivity causes discomfort

Discomfort is a common side effect of tooth whitening treatments. Studies are not definitive on whether child sensitivity is more or less severe. However, it is an important consideration for baby teeth. Teenagers who are considering treatments can brush with desensitizing toothpaste for several weeks prior to help alleviate the discomfort.

Wait for adult teeth before whitening

Baby teeth are temporary, so professional treatment to remove stains is not necessary. If your child has discoloration at a young age, consult with a dentist to determine the cause. This will help to identify any concerns beyond the cosmetic – like a poor diet or disease. Baby teeth fall out as permanent teeth grow in, so wait for any whitening treatment until your child has adult teeth.

The dentist will address any specific questions or concerns about discolored teeth. There is no set age for stain removal, but it is important to get a professional evaluation and plan of action.