Choosing to get your teeth whitening might seem like no big deal. But the opposite is actually true. Sure, whitening treatments are more accessible than they were in the past. But that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to take them. Because of this, more people want to know the minimum age for teeth whitening.
Why can’t you get a teeth whitening treatment regularly? Well, for several reasons. Chief among them is that whitening products contain bleaching agents. Because these agents have an abrasive nature to them, they can cause enamel to wear over time. This not only gives you sensitive teeth but also makes them more susceptible to tooth decay.
So, where does teeth whitening age come in? Some parents and their children might be tempted to try out over-the-counter whitening products in pursuit of a brighter smile. But because of the nature of tooth whitening—even natural teeth whitening methods—it can harm the thin, developing enamel in younger patients. Aside from this, it also puts their teeth at a higher risk of enamel decalcification, because their baby teeth lack the strong mineral content most permanent teeth have.
What, then, is the minimum age for teeth whitening, all things considered? And what other factors should be kept in mind?
Do baby teeth need to be whitened?
When talking about the oral health of your child’s baby teeth, there’s bound to be a lot of considerations. Baby teeth, after all, fall off on their own once the permanent teeth set in. But while it’s generally understood that you need to save your primary teeth before they fall off, whitening seems to be out of the question.
Typically, to keep your kid’s teeth from falling off prematurely, you need to look at the state of their oral health. As long as your child’s teeth are healthy and tooth decay-free, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Whitening your kids’ teeth, on the other hand, might do more harm than good. Primary teeth typically have thinner enamel shells and don’t have the compact minerals your permanent teeth have. When you whiten them, you leave them more vulnerable to oral bacterial attacks. And because teeth whitening can dry out your teeth, this can give your kid terribly sensitive teeth, which can interfere in their proper development.
So what’s the minimum age for teeth whitening?
In this case, what’s the proper teeth whitening age? First, make sure that all your child’s permanent teeth have erupted. This typically occurs at 12-14 years of age.
But don’t start your teens off the whitening gel just yet. At this stage, their teeth still need time to harden and gather all the minerals they need. Called enamel calcification, this usually takes two more years after the last permanent tooth emerges. In a sense, the ideal teeth whitening age is around 16 years old. One could even say it’s the very minimum age for teeth whitening.
Even if your child hits their 16th birthday, however, getting their teeth whitened probably shouldn’t be right in the cards just yet. As with all things, teeth whitening has its share of side effects. And in this case, something that could interfere with healthy tooth development. In any case, getting a whitening treatment might be best left once they’re adults.