My daughter has some weird stains on her teeth, and I wonder if it is safe to use whitening trips on her teeth. She is eight years old and has some weird teeth stains that her pediatric dentist says she wants to watch and wait to see how my daughter’s teeth progress. Now that school has started, kids are teasing my daughter about the stains. We brush her teeth twice daily and floss them nightly. I limit my kids’ snacks to the weekends, bake whatever they eat, and use less sugar than the recipe. I am sensitive to my daughter’s self-esteem and want to try whitening strips if it’s okay. Thanks for your help. Angelina
Thank you for your message. We understand your concerns about your daughter’s self-esteem from kids teasing her about the stains on her teeth. Dr. Finley would need to examine her teeth before recommending treatment.
Can You Use Teeth Whitening Strips on a Child’s Teeth?
You should not use whitening strips or any other type of whitening on a child’s teeth without the supervision of a dentist. A dentist must examine and x-ray your child’s teeth and review her dental and medical histories for these reasons:
- Determine the type and cause of teeth stains
- Check teeth and gums for signs of disease or decay
- Determine whether any cosmetic treatment will improve her teeth or make them look worse
- Explain treatment options that match the problem
The Policy on the Use of Dental Bleaching for Child and Adolescent Patients published by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends consulting with a dentist for guidance in planning and timing teeth whitening in children.
We understand your concern for your daughter’s well-being and her pediatric dentist’s decision about watching and waiting. We suggest looking for a cosmetic dentist who provides dental care for children. Sometimes medication or a medical condition can cause teeth stains. The dentist will thoroughly review your child’s oral health, physical health, and prescription medications, if any, to identify the cause of the stains. The cosmetic dentist will also explain whether cosmetic dentistry treatment is appropriate at this time.
Monroe, Louisiana, dentist Dr. David Finley sponsors this post. Dr. Finley is a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Academy of General Dentistry.