Can Children & Teens Get Their Teeth Whitened?

Posted Aug 11th, 2017 in News

Can Children & Teens Get Their Teeth Whitened?

Our Surrey and Delta dentists do not typically prescribe teeth whitening for children for a few important reasons.


Parents sometimes approach us with concerns about the colour of their children’s teeth. They’ve noticed that the newly erupting adult teeth look somewhat yellowish or dark, and they wonder if teeth whitening may be the solution.

Our dentists do not prescribe teeth whitening for children for two main reasons:

1. There may not actually be a problem.

The new adult teeth that are coming in have significantly more dentin in them than the baby teeth do. Dentin is the layer of the teeth the is directly beneath the enamel. It is yellowish in colour, and thus makes the adult teeth look more yellow than the remaining baby teeth.

Indeed, the adult teeth are more yellow than the baby teeth, but this is normal and natural. The contrast created by the remaining, much whiter baby teeth makes the adult teeth appear even more yellow than they really are as well.

Once all the baby teeth have fallen out, they darker colour of the adult teeth will be much less obvious.

2. We have little data on the impact whitening products have on developing teeth.

The fact is, we really don’t know how teeth whitening may affect teeth that are still growing and developing.

There simply isn’t the necessary body of evidence and data available for us to make an informed decision about whether teeth whitening is safe for children’s teeth.

Rather than risk adverse side effects, our dentists typically only prescribe teeth whitening for patients in the late teen years or adults.

If you have questions about your child’s developing teeth or teeth whitening in general, please contact our Delta dental office today!