Teeth Whitening For Teenagers?
Are over the counter bleaching systems and products safe for teens?
There is an increasing demand for over the counter teeth whitening for teenagers products among today’s teens and youth, and there is concern among parents regarding the safety of such items. More than ever, teens have using products to improve their perceived cosmetics. Psychology studies reveal that cosmetics do not cure confidence issues. However, most of us adults know that we were teenagers, we equated that improved cosmetics would positively impact our self-esteem. In fact, most adults still believe that to be true. Money spent by teens on tanning beds, spray tans, hair extensions, plastic surgery, diet foods and supplements, gym memberships, and teeth whitening systems are on the rise. Our dentists and hygienists see plenty cases of “over-bleaching” or “chronic, addictive” patient whitening.
Consult a “dentist near me” before whitening at home
Recently, the British Dental Association released a statement that it “is warning people, and specifically teenagers, against using home bleaching kits” to whiten their teeth. The American Dental Association comments that all patients should seek the council of their dental professional before starting any over the counter or professional bleaching kit. Many of the over the counter products on shelves today have damaged teeth and burned gums. Internet-purchased whitening kits and over the counter store products that feature bleaching strips or paint on pens and gels have created many dental problems.
Over-whitening can cause tooth erosion
Typically, patients have used too much of the product and caused burns and erosion to their gum tissue, tongues, cheeks, and lips. In more severe cases, teens have accidently ingested the solution, causing the same discomfort and burns to their throat. Other complications include tooth sensitivity and uneven bleaching. For example, with over the counter strips, the whitening gel only touches the very front of the tooth and cannot access areas in between the teeth or along the natural curve of the tooth. This is also seen when patients use stock bleaching trays sold in stores. This result is that the front of the tooth whiten, while the sides and edges remain the original shade.
Cost is the common reason for using over the counter products rather than a professional system. There is a perception that over the counter kits are less expensive than professional ones. In many cases, this is not true. Due to FDA regulations, over the counter whitening products contain weaker solutions than professional kits. Therefore, patients often have to repeatedly purchase kits to continue whitening to their desired shade. Professional systems may have a higher price tag on the front end, but rarely need to be repeated with the same frequency as the over the counter bleaching systems. Over time, the price is nearly the same for both, but with the professional kits being more efficient and effective.
If your teenager is motivated to try teeth whitening for teenagers, please encourage them to have open communication with your dentist or hygienist. Whitening is a dental procedure and should be monitored and evaluated by a dental professional. We just want your teen to be safe, be healthy, and be beautiful!
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