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Baby teeth will usually be whiten than permanant teeth

Keep in mind that almost always are the permanent teeth not as white as the primary teeth. This is accentuated at this age when adult teeth are erupting next to baby teeth. The perm teeth are a "normal" color, and will not be as white as "baby teeth". Children's adult teeth are usually more "yellow" and "big" than baby teeth, which is normal.  Remember that kids will  grow into their teeth both in size and color.

Bleaching using the light systems should be limited to age 18 and older due to the issue of pulpal damage.
They did some experimenting on children as low as 16 and found sensitivity was too significant so it is not suggested for children under the age of 18.

If you want to bleach a child teeth then use trays with the lowest  concentration and use them longer (more days not more hours per day) under your dentist supervision. The bleaching process is a general project not a specific one (bleach will affect color  throughout the area).  Hence the reason why tray formation can be as general as it is*

Another consideration is the fact that the teeth are not fully erupted. As the child gets older, the gingival margin will move apically exposing enamel that did not come in contact with the whitening agent. Additional whitening will be needed on a regular basis. This is not a problem but parents need to be advised that this will occur.

Here are some alternative actions that can help your child :

bullet Wear dark turtlenecks to make their teeth "look" whiter.
bullet Try Colgate Simply White. It works, esp. for youngsters.

Tooth Whitening in Children and Adolescents

 The purpose of this paper was to summarize the findingsof a literature review on the use of peroxide-based tooth-whitening agents in children and adolescents. Safety considerations, including localized adverse effects and toxicological concerns, are described.

Oral findings include: (1) 1 in every 2 to 3 patients may experience tooth sensitivity and/or gingival irritation after bleaching treatment, which may be more traumatic an experience for children than adults; (2) depending on dose, duration, frequency, and route, studies indicate excessive exposure to peroxide can be potentially harmful; (3) degree of potential toxicity and harmful outcomes increases in those who overuse whiteners — a concern in teenagers; (4) careful case selection using stringent criteria is suggested for primary teeth whitening; (5) whitening in healthy adolescents is a case-by-case determination that must include the weighing of risks (oral health and age) vs benefits (improved esthetic perception).

It is hoped that the present review will lead to a better understanding of the health implications of tooth whitening in children and adolescents, and offer guidance for treatment that provides satisfactory outcomes externally (enamel and gingiva) and internally (endodontic tissues and systemic health).

(Pediatr Dent. 2005; 27:362-368)Sean S. Lee, Wu Zhang, D. Harvey Lee, Yiming LiTooth Whitening in Children and Adolescents: A Literature Review
Pediatr Dent. 2005; 27:362-368

IDF 10/07/04

Is Teeth Whitening Addictive?

Are you addicted to tooth whitening? raises the question of “whitening addiction,” citing those who have a narcissistic compulsion to maintain their youth by overuse of tooth whitening products, both OTC and professional. Signs of whitening abuse include people who seek to get their teeth to a "Clorox white” shade until their teeth are almost transparent, yet do not seem to realize their teeth are already white. It is unlikely that damage to the surface of the tooth will be caused before the sensitivity occurs. He cautions against bleaching for people under age 18 as there is greater opportunity for hypersensitivity. Dentists need to partner with patients to set realistic expectations and avoid overuse of whitening products.

*Dr. Dave Light

February, 2008


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