1107 Ohio Street | Terre Haute, IN 47807 | Call Now! 812-645-0585

Is it OK for Kids to Whiten Their Teeth?

January 25, 2018


A healthy, bright smile is a powerful thing – especially for kids. But many parents turn to whitening products to help improve their child’s smile. One of the most common teeth-whiteners is whitening toothpaste – but is it OK for your child to use?

Whitening Toothpaste 

Whitening toothpaste can work to remove stains on the surface of teeth, but it does not work to change the natural color of teeth or lighten their shade at all. Whitening toothpastes usually contain mild abrasives that work to polish teeth, and have chemicals that break down or dissolve tooth stains.

Whitening toothpaste will work to remove small stains, but it won’t alter your child’s teeth to make them appear drastically whiter. It can also cause teeth to become sensitive to cold or hot, as microscopic holes in tooth enamel may become exposed from the abrasives. 

Professional Alternative to Whitening Toothpaste

Dental bleaching is a form of cosmetic dentistry that whitens teeth through the controlled application of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. While you can get dental bleaching products at the store or pharmacy, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises that parents consult a pediatric dentist when bleaching their children’s teeth. 

With professional bleaching, your pediatric dentist also has more control when placing the whitening appliance. The added control will empower them to fit a customized tray to your child’s teeth that will work better than a store bought appliance, and help curtail negative gingival effects. Additionally, professionally applied dental bleaching whitens better than store bought products, and affords your child more tissue protection than an over-the-counter product.  

If we Choose Whitening, what Age Should My Child Begin?

Your child needs to wait until the enamel on their permanent teeth has fully calcified BEFORE beginning any whitening treatment, which usually takes 2 years after an adult tooth emerges. If your child uses a whitening treatment before all their adult teeth come in, then they risk breaking down their tooth enamel and damaging their gum tissue.  

Before beginning any whitening treatment at home, it’s best to consult with your child’s pediatric dentist first.  

Ask Our Office! 

If your child is self-conscious about stains on their teeth, then visit our office. We will evaluate the state of their oral health, and offer care tips that can help them get a healthier smile.  

It is important to consult with a pediatric dentist before beginning any teeth-whitening treatment for your child. This way, you can help earn your child a brighter smile under the professional supervision of a pediatric dentist, and you can avoid potential painful side effects common with at-home teeth-whitening products.

Recent Blog Posts


Keeping Your Teeth Strong and Healthy

March 26, 2020

What is the strongest part of our bodies? Do you think it might be our bones, which help us move and protect our brains, hearts and other organs? Or could it be those tough fingernails and toenails that guard our fingertips and toes? Nope! You might be surprised to learn that the hardest thing in…
Continue Reading


Let’s Talk About Fluoride

March 12, 2020

So much of parenting is a balancing act. Making sure your child has enough play time and enough nap time. Crafting meals that are both healthy and appealing. Making sure every dental product you use is both effective and safe. While our team can’t recommend the perfect bedtime story, or tell you why your child…
Continue Reading


Ease up on your gums — don’t brush your teeth too hard!

February 4, 2020

A lot of patients go at their teeth like they were sanding an old floor—that is to say, way too hard! Brushing too hard is probably the most common mistake patients make in their oral care routine, and it can be detrimental to the gums and teeth. What can brushing too hard cause? Receding gums…
Continue Reading

Back to Top