Pediatric Dentistry |3 min read

How to Whiten Kids’ Teeth (Safely!)

A young girl with white teeth at dentist's office

If your kid has yellow, stained, or discolored teeth, you may want to whiten them.

Having white teeth boosts your kid’s self-esteem, which positively ripples into other areas of their life.

Whitening toothpaste is a common and easy method used among adults to whiten teeth, but the question is:

Is it OK for kids to whiten their teeth?

Let’s find out below!

Is it safe for kids to whiten their teeth?

Short answer:

Yes, it’s ok for children to whiten their teeth.


There are some facts you should know before you let your kid whiten their teeth.

Let’s elaborate!

Can my kid use whitening toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste removes stains on the surface of teeth.

It usually contains mild abrasives that polish teeth and has chemicals that break down or dissolve tooth stains.


This toothpaste won’t change the natural color of teeth.

In other words:

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 because microscopic holes in tooth enamel may become exposed from the abrasives.

Before you let your child use whitening toothpaste, ask their pediatric dentist.

Many children’s dentists will encourage you to wait until your child knows how to brush properly.

Can my kid professionally whiten their teeth?

Yes, professional teeth whitening is a great alternative to whitening toothpaste (for adults and children!).

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 tooth whitening products at a store or pharmacy, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry… This text opens a new tab to the organization’s website… advises parents to consult a pediatric dentist before bleaching their child’s teeth.

Parents trust professional teeth whitening because:

  • The pediatric dentist controls the whitening application
  • Dental offices create custom-fitted trays for your child’s mouth (not one-size-fits-all)
  • It produces whiter and longer-lasting results than store-bought dental whitening
  • It removes surface and deep, stubborn stains
  • It significantly minimizes the chance of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation

At what age is it safe to whiten teeth?

Your child needs to wait until the enamel on their permanent teeth has fully calcified BEFORE beginning any whitening treatment.

This usually takes 2 years after an adult tooth emerges.

If your child uses a whitening treatment before all their adult teeth come in, 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.

This way, you 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.

Need a pediatric dentist in Terre Haute, IN?

Contact Dentistry Just for Kids!

Our experienced pediatric dentist, Dr. Steven Pilipovich, will evaluate the state of your kid’s oral health and offer dental care tips or treatments that’ll help them get a healthier, brighter smile.

Book Your Visit!

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Dentistry Just for Kids is located in Terre Haute, IN and serves patients from across the Wabash Valley, including Terre Haute, Clinton, Rockville, Covington, Brazil, Greencastle, Sullivan, Linton, Shakamak, Vincennes, Marshall, Paris, Robinson, Olney, Effingham, Charleston, Casey, Mattoon, Greenup, Flora, and Newton.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2018 and has been completely revamped for comprehensiveness and timeliness.