Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry
Tooth discoloration can make both adults and children feel self-conscious about their smiles. If your child wants whiter teeth, you may be wondering if whitening toothpaste is safe for them to use. Here are some factors to consider before allowing your child to use whitening toothpaste.
Whether or not a toothpaste contains whitening ingredients, you should always make sure to read the label before letting your child use it. Most ADA-approved tubes of toothpaste clearly indicate if they are safe for children ages two and up. This includes kinds of toothpaste that claim to whiten teeth. We also highly recommend choosing a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as this is an important mineral for strengthening your child’s teeth and preventing cavities.
Your child might think that using a thick dollop of whitening toothpaste will help make his or her teeth extra white and shiny. However, as with any type of toothpaste, your child should only use a pea-sized amount of whitening toothpaste. Any more than that is unnecessary, and could even be harmful if your child accidentally swallows the toothpaste, as ingesting fluoride can lead to a condition called dental fluorosis in children. We recommend supervising your child when they brush their teeth until they are about ten years old to not only ensure that they use the right amount of toothpaste and do not swallow it but also to encourage that they brush using the proper technique and for a full two minutes.
Many whitening toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that have the potential to make tooth enamel thinner over time. This can lead to increased sensitivity in your child’s teeth, especially when they consume very hot or very cold foods and drinks. Not everyone experiences this side effect from using a whitening toothpaste, but it is a risk to consider, especially if your child does not even have all of their permanent teeth yet.
You should always check with our office before using any whitening products on your child’s teeth. We are happy to help answer any questions you have about whitening toothpaste – call us today.