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Minimum Age Requirement for Teeth Whitening Treatments

With the growing demand for whiter, better looking teeth, many dental clinics are providing non-invasive teeth whitening procedures for aesthetically appealing teeth. However, many individuals, especially parents, have raised concerns over the minimum age requirement for whitening teeth. Do children stand any special risks for undergoing the teeth whitening procedure? And what special considerations does one need to address before performing a teeth whitening procedure?

Minimum Age Requirement

Many dentists recommend the process to be undertaken when children have fully developed all of their permanent teeth and the enamel is completely mature. This is usually between the ages of 11 to 12. However, some dentists have argued that depending on the child, his or her teeth can mature at different rates. As a precaution, different dental clinics may require someone to be 16 years old accompanied by a parent before they can do the treatment.

There have been some reports about 10 year old children developing full sets of teeth. In such cases, the process may still be administered. The is because teeth whitening commonly requires soaking up the teeth in hydrogen peroxide gel or bleaching gel for intrinsic whitening to open the pores of teeth and whiten the inner part of the enamel. This whitening is then exposed through the outer part of the enamel, to reflect the actual procedure.

Teeth are most suitable to undergo such treatments when they are fully developed. This is why dentists recommend children are usually 11-12 years before they undergo tooth whitening.

Factors to Consider before Whitening Teeth

Medical Conditions

It is very important to consult a dentist about any medical conditions before undergoing tooth whitening procedures. For instance, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with sensitive teeth and people who are light sensitive, among others should consult their dentists before undergoing teeth whitening treatments.

Also, people with dental issues such as gum disease, exposed roots, cavities, crooked teeth among others, should ensure these issues are rectified before having a teeth whitening procedure. Remodeling the kitchen can’t be done if the floor has dry rot in the boards.

Tooth Sensitivity

Although the process of tooth whitening is significantly painless, it is known to promise a mild discomforting tooth sensitivity for about the first 24 hours. Furthermore, foods such as berries or coffee have to be laid off during this period. They have high tendencies of staining the teeth after whitening within 24 hours.

If tooth sensitivity is one thing you can’t handle or missing your cup of coffee is something you can’t imagine, you might have to wait before considering tooth whitening. That shouldn’t be a problem though, you only have to wait for 24 hours.

The procedure is not permanent. 

The food and drink we consume have various effects on the teeth. This makes the yellowing of the teeth a constant occurrence. Dentists maintain results last from about 6 to 24 months, but this depends on the dietary and hygiene habits of the individual.

An important key to note is the issue of the ‘rebound effect’. This refers to the relapsing of teeth shade after whitening. This can be averted by whitening the teeth a little over the desired whiteness; thus, in case of a ‘rebound effect’, the decline would not be far from desirable.

Varying Results

This consideration is why it’s essential to keep teeth healthy before undergoing a whitening procedure. Poorly maintained teeth don’t provide desired results compared to healthy teeth.

A common misconception is that tooth whitening can solve a lifetime of bad dental hygiene. Unfortunately, it is the opposite that speaks more truth. The better an individual’s teeth, the greater the results.

Be Cautious about Overdoing the Procedure

There is the tendency of causing serious damage to the teeth by over-whitening. These damages can’t be fixed without the complete removal of the teeth. Dentists require patients to set realistic achievements for their tooth whitening goals. Most patients that request extremely white teeth stand the risk of exposing their teeth to several cycles under the special whitening light.

This creates a higher possibility of developing tooth sensitivity. Also, some patients request a shade of white; which looks more like a piece of paper. Though this shade may be great to look at on paper, it might not provide the same beauty on the teeth. Again, any severe damage caused to the teeth through these goals, may not be fixed without complete removal of the teeth.

Keeping your teeth white for a great smile is a laudable pursuit. After all, your smile is among the first things people notice about you. Though other remedies away from the dentist’s chair are available to whiten teeth, it is important you visit the dentist for a more professional solution to whitening your teeth.

As stated before, a number of medical conditions prevent tooth whitening. Most of these conditions may not be known until the patient reaches the dentist’s chair. Also, perform due diligence. Ask dentists questions about their work and pictures of people with your desired outcome. This enables you to identify any relevant information before you engage in your whitening procedure.

*The information provided in this article is not meant to be dental advice of any kind and was composed from research of information provided on the world wide web. Always consult your dentist for dental advice.

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