Here at Bay View Pediatric Dentistry, we are proud to offer whitening services to our patients.
The most common complaint people have about their teeth is their color. There are a lot of whitening products on the market, so it is important to discuss the options with your child’s dentist.
There are many things that can affect the color of your child’s teeth. Most people believe discoloration is due to plaque and dirt, but that is not always the case. Teeth may become discolored by
- certain food and drinks
- medications (tetracycline, etc.)
- injuries to the tooth or mouth
- Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
It is really important for us to understand why your child’s teeth are discolored so that we can find the best way to treat them.
Teeth-whitening products use bleach, either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which breaks up stains into smaller pieces. This makes the stains harder to see, making your teeth brighter. However, bleaches do not work on all teeth, so it is important to talk to the dentist before bleaching your child’s teeth.
It is also important to understand that whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings that were originally made to match your child’s natural teeth color. They do not always work on discoloration caused by certain medications either.
At your child’s first appointment, we will make impressions (molds) of his or her teeth and fabricate custom clear plastic trays.
During the second appointment, your child will try the trays on to check their fit to see if any adjustments will be necessary. For approximately 2 weeks (depending on the degree of staining and the preferred level of whitening), your child will use the trays either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight.
There are times when the bleach in the product can affect the enamel. This irritates the nerves, making teeth really sensitive. This usually goes away, but overusing whiteners can cause lasting damage. So if your child is having any problems, you should take him or her to see the dentist.
There are many options when it comes to whitening methods, including toothpastes, at-home bleaching, and bleaching in our office. Each one works differently and varies in effectiveness and safety. For this reason, you should talk to us before you decide to bleach your child’s teeth.