Are you thinking about whitening your child’s teeth? Many parents become concerned as their children start to lose their bright white baby teeth, and yellow or dull white adult teeth emerge. Our pediatric dentist in Palm Harbor wants you to know that this is perfectly normal. Adult teeth aren’t typically as white as baby teeth. With that being said, if your child’s teeth are exceptionally dark or stained, there are things you can do.

Wait Until Your Child Is at Least 15 Years of Age Before Purchasing Any Teeth Whitening Products

Our kids' dentist in Palm Harbor recommends waiting until your child is at least 15 years of age before allowing them to use any tooth whitening products. All tooth whitening products contain a certain percentage of a bleaching product, usually hydrogen peroxide. This can lead to tooth sensitivity and damage to the enamel if it is used on adult teeth before the enamel completely hardens and matures, which can take up to two years after the tooth has erupted. To be completely safe, it’s best to wait until your child turns 18 before purchasing whitening products.

Choose the Right Oral Hygiene Products and Supervise Your Child’s Brushing

While your child is still young, it’s best to focus on purchasing the right oral hygiene products and making sure your child is brushing all of his or her teeth for the recommended amount of time; usually at least three minutes twice a day. This means purchasing an age-appropriate toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and children’s mouthwash. Most tooth staining on a child’s teeth occurs to due improper brushing where food particles may not be completely removed. After your child brushes his or her teeth, you may want to examine your child’s teeth and/or brush them again, depending on your child’s age. Most parents stop strictly supervising their child’s brushing around the age of seven, but it’s okay to periodically supervise in order to make sure your child is still brushing, flossing, and rinsing their teeth properly.

Limit Stain Causing Foods

Certain foods and drinks can also temporarily stain your child’s teeth, like red and blue fruit juices, as well as fresh and frozen berries. If the food or drink can temporarily change the color of your child’s tongue, they can also change the color of your child’s teeth. Our dentist recommends limiting the amount of stain-causing foods that your child eats and ensuring that your child drinks a full glass of water after eating berries or other treats that can stain the teeth. This can help wash away some of the food particles. For extra stain-fighting protection, you can also encourage your child to brush his or her teeth about 30 minutes after meals and snacks. Brushing after meals not only reduces the potential for staining, but it can also help deter cavities and tartar build-up.

Get Professional Dental Cleanings from Our Pediatric Dentist Near Me in Palm Harbor

Along with good oral hygiene, it’s important to get pediatric dental checkups and teeth cleanings every six months. Dental checkups and teeth cleanings can help reduce your child’s chances of getting a cavity and developing early stages of gum disease. Professional teeth cleanings remove all the stains and tartar from your child’s teeth, which can help make them appear whiter and brighter.

Get an Examination from Our Palm Harbor Pediatric Dentist

If you are concerned about your child’s dull, stained, or yellow adult teeth, our Palm Harbor pediatric dentist would be happy to examine your child’s teeth and gums. In many cases, an extra professional teeth cleaning and some tooth polish can make a drastic improvement in the color and appearance of your child’s teeth. If that’s not enough, our kids' dentist can recommend some other methods that are less harsh than professional teeth whitening trays. To schedule your child’s next appointment with our kids’ dentist, contact us at 727-786-7551.