Whiten your teeth now or later? Some dentists say you should start whitening them as soon as possible, while others insist that waiting is best. Here’s what the experts have to say about when it’s time for a whiter smile.
There is no specific age at which it is appropriate to start whitening your teeth. However, it is generally recommended that you wait until your adult teeth have fully erupted and your mouth is fully developed before using teeth whitening products.
This is because the bleaching agents used in these products can cause sensitivity or other problems if they come into contact with developing teeth or gum tissue. In general, it is a good idea to consult with a dental professional before using any teeth whitening product, especially if you are under 18 years of age.
They can assess your oral health and determine whether teeth whitening is a suitable option for you. It is also important to carefully follow the instructions for any teeth whitening product, as using the product incorrectly or overusing it can cause problems.
Many factors contribute to how bright and white our teeth appear, including genetics, diet, environment (including exposure to UV radiation), oral hygiene habits, and even where our mouth starts on the face.
So if we know multiple ways to achieve ideal results, can’t we figure out which works best for us? The answer is yes, but not without some confusion.
As with most things related to beauty, appearance is subjective. People respond differently to different treatments and may react strongly against specific procedures. Also, everyone has their idea of what makes a great-looking smile.
This means that no two people will necessarily agree on whether someone else looks good with perfect pearly whites.
In other words, finding out what another person thinks about this issue isn’t help you make up your mind. No matter how old you might be, it would be best if you didn’t take anyone’s word for anything regarding cosmetic dental care unless they are qualified to advise.
A dentist, periodontist, hygienist, or esthetician are all professionals who understand facial anatomy and skin tone well enough to offer educated opinions. They also have access to the tools and materials necessary to perform professional procedures safely and effectively.
So although we can’t provide definitive answers here, let’s explore some general guidelines for making decisions about your smile based on your personal preferences. First off, consider these questions: How often do you want to see your dentist regularly?
Do you feel comfortable getting a treatment done by someone new every few months instead of having the same person treat you year after year? Would you prefer to avoid doctors altogether, opting to seek medical attention only when necessary?
Office visits aren’t always required for routine checkups if you’re looking for something quick and easy. Many patients schedule appointments simply because they don’t like dealing with long wait times or painful experiences.
It takes less effort, money, and resources to stick with simple preventative maintenance options rather than ongoing invasive procedures.
Remember that your smile doesn’t determine everything about who you are. While your personality traits influence your outlook on life, health, and relationships, your sense of self-worth plays a huge role too.
Having healthy teeth doesn’t guarantee happiness, nor does being unattractive mean you’ll never meet anyone worthwhile. Just keep moving forward and enjoy each step along the journey.
Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of keeping your smile fresh throughout childhood.
Teeth Whitening For Kids
Even though kids seem to grow faster than lightning nowadays, those sweet little cherubs probably won’t look quite so adorable after five years pass; that’s because growing older brings changes.
Children grow into bigger bodies and minds, developing personalities and social skills and learning about physical safety and responsibility. However, as important as those milestones are, kids need to spend plenty of quality time with parents and caregivers to develop strong connections and bonds with family members.
And since kids tend to put a lot of pressure on adults to make positive impressions during those formative years, it’s understandable that they’d want to try to impress potential suitors too.
However, children shouldn’t rush into matters until they’re ready emotionally and physically. After all, teens generally don’t begin dating seriously until around 18.
The bottom line: Teenagers aren’t expected to be responsible for taking care of their teeth until they have reached a level of understanding and maturity to handle the responsibilities of adulthood. Teenagers rely on adult supervision to maintain proper brushing and flossing practices until that point.
Parents must teach kids basic oral hygiene techniques early on, helping them choose a toothbrush that fits comfortably in their tiny hands, selecting appropriate cleaning methods, and explaining the importance of regular visits to the dentist.
Once youngsters can perform daily oral tasks independently, it’s usually safe to assume they’re ready to tackle professional whitening services. Keep reading to find out what age qualifies as “professional.”
Your child’s first visit with his pediatric dentist should include a thorough examination. Questions will include information about your child’s eating and drinking patterns, dietary choices, and allergies during this session. They will also discuss current medications your kid uses, such as antibiotics or antihistamines.
Finally, your doctor may request blood tests to screen for diabetes, thyroid disease, and celiac disease. These screenings could affect your child’s overall wellness and ability to tolerate the procedure. Be sure to bring copies of the test results to show your provider.
At What Age Can You Get Your Teeth Professionally Whitened?
While some people believe you should consider undergoing bleaching procedures once you hit puberty, common sense dictates otherwise. According to the AACD American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, it’s perfectly acceptable to bleach your teeth starting around age 12.
Depending on the situation, it might be best to consult with a specialist earlier, especially if you have braces, fillings, or crowns.
Older folks can still opt for a professional whitening process, too. Bleaching works best on darker skin tones, but individuals with pale complexions can also benefit from lighter shades. Ask your practitioner about the safest option for your particular face.
Before deciding on a brand-name product or service, you should compare prices among local providers to assess value. One place to start is Dental Town USA, an online database listing hundreds of licensed practitioners across the US.
All users pay annual membership fees ($19.95) to use the site. Once logged in, customers can search by location to locate a nearby dental clinic offering various levels of care ranging from cleanings to full-scale reconstructive surgery. Patients can access price comparison charts, appointment availability schedules, and directions to each facility.
If you’ve decided to go ahead with teeth whiteners, be aware that some brands contain high peroxide concentrations. Products containing hydrogen peroxide should yield excellent results, but excessive amounts can cause irritation, dryness, and burning sensations.
Consult with your dentist beforehand about which whitening system best fits your needs. Also, pay close attention to instructions provided by manufacturers. Performing the recommended number of sessions may require extra patience and dedication, depending on individual circumstances.
Now that you’re familiar with choosing between home remedies and professional solutions read on to discover some helpful tips for naturally whitening teeth.
According to a study published in May 2013 in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, people aged 65 and above who brushed their teeth twice a day enjoyed significantly lower gum problem rates than those who brushed only three times weekly.
Researchers theorize that frequent brushing helps remove plaque build-up and prevents tartar build-up, both of which lead to gingivitis.
At What Age Should You Whiten Your Teeth?
Since your child’s first trip to the dentist’s chair could have been a traumatic experience, you can understand why repeating the process may create concern and worry for them. Fortunately, many reputable companies offer special programs to ease younger patients’ fears.
Although whitening kits typically cost anywhere from $30 to several hundred dollars, they may prove helpful for tweens and adolescents. Most home kits consist of strips, trays, and sometimes flavored liquids that dissolve slowly over time, allowing children to practice proper brushing techniques before visiting the dentist.
Unfortunately, not every kit comes with detailed instruction manuals. Consequently, many consumers complain that products break down prematurely or stain clothing fabrics. On top of that, some formulations sold outside of major retailers carry higher risks of side effects like headaches and rashes. Before investing in a home kit, talk to your dentist about its effectiveness and safety.
When choosing a company to undergo professionally supervised whitening processes, research reviews online and ask friends and relatives about their experiences. Living near a big city, you may run into complaints about bad customer service reps, broken machines, and unlicensed staff.
Make sure you pick a business that uses state-of-the-art equipment, provides references, and guarantees satisfaction policies. Don’t forget to inquire about insurance coverage, as many companies limit or exclude liability for accidents.