Should Your Teen Get a Mega-Watt Smile?


Teeth Whitening Houston, TXIt is no secret that a radiant smile holds a bit of magic. We are drawn into the brightness of a person’s smile, and we love revealing our inner sparkle when we smile. Teeth whitening is a common treatment among adults of all ages for this very reason. But what about your teen? Would we expect young people to be much different – especially considering the high-profile life most students feel they lead? The teen years are critical to the development of self-esteem. If having a brilliant smile helps, should we consider giving in to a teen’s wishes for teeth whitening? Let’s see what the science says.

Risks for Developing Teeth

The good news is that the risk of irreparable damage from teeth whitening is very low. The primary concern that dentists have about whitening in too young of a patient is the risk of sensitivity. You see, when teeth are still developing, the nerves that stem from the root are a bit more responsive. These nerves can become brittle if whitening is performed too often at too high concentration. On the flip side, a lot of the commercial whitening strips that are sold today are too low in their concentration of bleaching agent. Furthermore, strips are not very effective at keeping the peroxide solution from sitting on the gums, and this is where sensitivity may start.

Most dentists view professional teeth whitening as an appropriate treatment for teens aged 14 and older. Treatment may commence earlier or later depending on the data observed during a thorough dental exam.

Teeth Whitening Methods

  • Whitening toothpaste. The idea of a whitening toothpaste is slightly misleading. Very few toothpaste products contain a bleaching agent. Even those that do are left on the teeth so briefly that whitening is hard to come by. A standard whitening paste is good for surface debris and nothing more because the mechanism of action is not to bleach, but to polish enamel.
  • Over-the-counter strips. These home care products may contain up to 20% peroxide for stain removal. As mentioned, bleaching gel can easily seep from behind the strip onto the gums, causing irritation and sensitivity.
  • Professional home whitening. The best method of whitening is to receive a custom-fit whitening tray and bleaching solution ranging between 15- to 43% peroxide solution. This method involves daily wear that can be adjusted to accommodate preferences and needs. For instance, if sensitivity occurs, wear-time may be reduced each day.

Learn more about the teeth whitening process by calling a Royal Dental office near you. We serve areas around Humble, Houston, Sugar Land, and more.

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