Everybody loves to have a big white smile. However, sometimes the tooth enamel can be stained due to what we eat or drink, causing it to look duller. Many dentists are now providing more professional teeth whitening or teeth bleaching services to meet the demands of patients. However, there are many parents and individuals that are concerned about the minimum age for teeth whitening and whether it will have any implications on their teeth after doing so at a young age. Some dentists impose a minimum age for teeth whitening services because children should undergo teeth whitening services only after their permanent teeth have been fully developed.
The permanent set of teeth would be fully grown at the age of 12 or 13. Do note that all children are unique, and the time it takes for their permanent teeth to grow may differ from one child to another child. Usually, a general guideline that dental clinics often follow is to have a parent escort the patient who is at least 16 years old before they can perform the procedure. Sometimes children aged 10 years old can have fully matured teeth which can allow them to undergo teeth bleaching.
Teeth bleaching is the process where bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide are used on the teeth to whiten the inner parts of the enamel. This facilitates the whitening of the teeth from the inside out. However, there are still reasons for imposing a minimum age for teeth whitening.
Suffering from Sensitive Teeth
One of the main reasons why parents may hold back or delay teeth whitening for their children is due to the chemicals and agents being applied to their teeth. These agents can be very strong, which can be abrasive to the enamel, causing it to deteriorate over time. Additionally, self-teeth whitening kits may not be advisable because the peroxide used in these whiteners can damage soft tissues if you are not careful with it. As such, it is not recommended for young children to try and do them on their own for cost-saving measures. After the teeth whitening process, you may experience some post-treatment sensitivity. You can opt to use toothpaste that can reduce the sensitivity of your teeth.
Results are not Permanent
The results of the teeth whitening process are often not permanent. The choices of what you eat and drink can affect the color and brightness of your teeth. For a patient that drinks coffee often, the likelihood of their teeth being stained again will be higher. The results often last for about six months to 24 months. It is also dependent on the oral hygiene of the patient. If the patient brushes twice a day, flosses daily, and uses mouthwash every day, it is more likely to retain the brightness in their teeth. Some experts suggest that patients use a mouthguard and reduce their intake of coffee and tea for a more prolonged result. Additionally, having teeth whitening treatment can be too expensive for teenagers. As such, even if teenagers have fully matured teeth and are ready to undergo the procedure, they may not have the resources to do so.