Pediatric teeth whitening is the use of special dental-grade bleaching agents such as peroxide to lighten the shade of the tooth enamel to improve discoloration in young patients.
While teeth whitening is often thought of as an adult cosmetic procedure, it can also be administered to older teens and even some younger children in certain cases. Children with severely stained or discolored teeth can deal with a lot of insecurity, teasing, and social anxiety because of the appearance of their teeth, but they don’t need to continue to suffer.
We can help them take control of their smile by lightening the shade of their enamel with professional products that protect their tissues. Contact us at Sasco Pediatric Dentistry to schedule a consultation.
Teeth whitening can last for 6 months to 3 years.
To fabricate custom-made whitening trays for your child to wear, we will take physical impressions of their teeth and send them to a dental lab in charge of creating the trays.
It can take a few weeks to create your child’s custom-made trays, but once they’re ready you can return to the office to pick them up and begin whitening right away.
You will need to follow the instructions provided to you by the pediatric dentist in Fairfield. This will inform you of how to apply the whitening gel inside of the trays, how long to wear them for, and how many times you will need to wear the trays.
Once your child’s teeth have been whitened, it’s important to practice proper aftercare to prevent discoloration. Avoid staining foods and drinks and attend regular dental cleanings.
While over-the-counter whitening products such as whitening strips can be harmful to your child’s teeth and gums, leading to irritation, sensitivity, and damage due to the untested chemicals in these products or improper usage, professional whitening products used by a pediatric dentist are FDA and ADA-approved.
By taking impressions of your child’s teeth, we are able to create tailor-made whitening trays that will perfectly fit the size of your child’s teeth. This ensures effective whitening and protects their soft tissues from contamination with the whitening product.
Your child will apply the whitening gel to the inside of their trays and wear them over their teeth for the directed amount of time. It’s important to carefully follow the length of time in the instructions.
The whitening gel is a lower concentration than what is used for adult in-office patients. This protects the tooth enamel and prevents sensitivity but it also means that they will need to wear the trays each day for 1 to 2 weeks to achieve the same results.
Teeth whitening can cause temporary tooth sensitivity because it demineralizes the tooth enamel which exposes microtubules connected to the tooth’s nerves.
A good candidate for pediatric teeth whitening is a child whose quality of life is being reduced because of tooth discoloration. Children with significant discoloration face considerable emotional and social disturbances.
However, because more research needs to be done on the effects of teeth whitening on young children, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry does not recommend it to children under the age of 14 or 15, when all of the permanent teeth have erupted.
It’s also important that your child’s teeth have fully calcified and that any orthodontic problems have already been corrected.
Children will use a lower peroxide concentration compared to adults to protect their tooth enamel and prevent unwanted side effects like sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening, more so with in-office whitening because of the higher concentration of peroxide.
Over-the-counter products are also prone to causing sensitivity and irritation. We help prevent this by taking accurate impressions of your teeth so the whitening gel doesn’t come in contact with your gums and the lower concentration of peroxide reduces the porosity of your child’s teeth which means the dentin that becomes exposed is less hypersensitive.
Sensitivity is minimized this way, but if your child still feels discomfort from sensitivity, they can use toothpaste for sensitive teeth, apply a desensitizing gel, or take age-appropriate anti-inflammatory pain medication. Have them avoid foods and drinks at extreme temperatures for a few days.
Dental cleanings can maintain whitening results by removing surface stains and plaque buildup.