With prom season fast approaching, many teens are thinking about what they should do to look their best for this biggest event of the school social year. For many teens, teeth whitening is a desirable option if they are unhappy about their smiles. Parents, on the other hand, may be concerned that whitening might not be safe for their teens.
The good news is that teeth whitening is safe for teens, typically starting at age 14 or 15, under controlled conditions, so we recommend in-office whitening rather than take-home whitening kits or over-the-counter whiteners.
Teeth Whitening Concerns for Teens
Tooth sensitivity is a relatively common side effect of teeth whitening, and it may be worse for teens. In teens, the living, growing part of the tooth, the pulp, may be closer to the surface, and therefore teens may experience more sensitivity.
Another risk for teens is that they may be prone to overuse teeth whiteners. Teens can be very single-minded of purpose and deed when they set themselves on something and it is not uncommon for teens to exercise that singlemindedness on teeth whitening, which can lead to overexposure to whiteners. Teens who are given at-home whiteners or over-the-counter whiteners can be prone to abuse of these, which can lead to tooth damage.
Benefits of In-Office Whitening for Teens
The use of in-office teeth whitening is best for teens. This allows us to first assess the maturity of your teen’s teeth and decide whether whitening is appropriate. Typically, teens are mature enough to have whitening done at age 14 or 15, but everyone matures at different rates, and we can assess that in our office before we do whitening.
In-office whitening also allows us to control your teen’s exposure to whitening compound. With take-home trays, teens are more likely to swallow whitening compound, and more likely to get it on their gums, which can lead to gum irritation. In our office, we can make sure that exposure to whiteners is only on the teeth and only at a safe level.
At our office, we use BriteSmile, which gives great results. It also gives results the same day, so teens who are trying to look good for a special occasion can be sure to get the results they want in time and not wait for the slower results of at-home whitening.
If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening for yourself or your teen, please call B&D Dental Excellence at 845-627-7645 for an appointment at our office in Rockland County.