We can effectively whiten your teeth using whitening trays. Patients often ask when is the right time to whiten their teeth or the teeth of their children.
In reality, no age limitations on teeth whitening exist. However, many dental professionals have expressed concern about whitening the teeth of young children. A child as young as five can receive teeth whitening, and some dentists (trying to please the parents) have performed this procedure on children of that age. However, there is usually no need for this at such a young age.
Younger Teeth are Resilient
Several scientific studies have shown that there are no age restrictions for teeth whitening. No one is too young, and no one is too old. Multiple studies have proven that younger teeth have fewer sensitivity issues due to whitening treatments.
Whitening gel contains molecular hydrogen peroxide that penetrates the pulp no matter how old the patient is. Younger patients have pulps with increased pulpal size, vitality, and blood circulation. As a result, they can handle the transitory influx of hydrogen peroxide more effectively than pulps that are narrower, older, less vital, less vascular, and more fibrous.
All the tissues in your body contain antioxidant enzymes that provide a natural defense. In pulp tissue, the antioxidant enzymes protect your pulp by causing hydrogen peroxide to rapidly breakdown into water and molecular oxygen (O2). This process stops the hydrogen peroxide from breaking down to damaging free radicals.
What is the Best Age to Whiten your Teeth?
Dental experts have concluded that the teeth of young people, particularly between ages 14 and 16, whiten faster and highly effective. Usually, all of a youth’s permanent teeth have finished erupting at age 14. Because teeth whiten better the younger they are, experts consider age 14 the best time to whiten them.
Some individuals have expressed concern that the teeth continue erupting between age 14 and 18, exposing darker areas in the cervical. However, this is not true. When peroxide bleaching is used, it will penetrate the enamel and move in each direction within it. The peroxide will even move laterally within enamel underneath the gingival tissues. Therefore, the peroxide will have whitened the exposed cervical structure once the teeth keep erupting.
Is it safe to Whiten the Teeth of Preteens?
If we whiten the teeth of someone younger than 14, that will involve the whitening of mixed dentition. This can cause problems because as dentition becomes permanent, we will need to fashion additional whitening trays. Preteen patients will also need much more adult supervision when whitening at home.
We have numerous case studies published about kids who derived great benefits from teeth whitening. Most of these case studies detail situations about young children with severe coloration in their teeth, who often suffer from teasing by their peers and run the risk of further psychological problems in the future. We encourage whitening treatment in such cases, even if the patients are below the recommended age.
For more information, please contact our office at (614) 427-0449.