Do you have a child who’s making that tricky transition into their teenage years? Have they asked you about teeth whitening before? Have you ever tried buying over-the-counter products, but they seemed like they were a waste of time and money?
Maybe as a parent, you’re a little unsure if smile whitening is even a good thing for a teenager? At our pediatric dental office in Spring, TX, we love to educate and provide valuable information to our patients and parents alike. So, let’s dive into smile whitening in Spring and see if it’s something a teenager should pursue.
And the Research Shows…
Over the years, you’ve probably noticed how much easier it’s become to find options for over-the-counter white strips increases, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) began researching the safety of children and teens using the products. Here are some of the most significant results from their research that could be relevant to you and your family:
1) Following Step-by-Step Instructions
Although whitening strips come with instructions, the AAPD’s research found a high user error when kids or teens tried using the product independently. While this may seem like no big deal, if misused, teens expose themselves to the risks of leaving the strips on for too long or even swallowing the product.
2) They Contain How Much Hydrogen Peroxide?
The active ingredient in whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide. While the amount of hydrogen peroxide differs from product to product, some strips can contain as much as 13 percent. This isn’t usually a problem for adults, but the higher the hydrogen peroxide content, the more risks to kids and teens.
3) The Sensitive Side of Smile Whitening in Spring, TX
As you may know, a common side effect of using whitening strips is increased tooth sensitivity. This side effect isn’t limited to just teens or children either, as many adults report sensitivity after using them. While it’s not clear if teens are at greater risk for more sensitivity than adults, it’s still a concern for you and your Spring pediatric dentist.
What’s the Final Verdict? Are Whitening Strips Safe for Teens?
According to the AAPD and our knowledgeable team at our pediatric dental office in Spring, more research is needed to truly take a position on whether whitening strips are safe for kids or teens. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean your child can’t do anything to brighten her smile.
Try These Alternatives to Smile Whitening Strips
Some surprisingly easy ways help get, and keep, teeth nice and white:
- Make sure your teen is brushing her teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
- Avoid foods known to stain smiles, including soda, coffee, berries, and pasta sauce
- Have her see the dentist twice a year
Everyone at our Spring pediatric dental office remains committed to perfecting your child’s oral health — for a healthier, more confident life. We welcome all children, teens, and smile-savvy parents like you to talk with us about any concerns she may have about her smile so we can work together to resolve them.