The mouth happens to be the entry point of both the digestive and respiratory tracts, making it very susceptible to disease-causing bacteria. Also, teeth contribute to your appearance, therefore affecting self-esteem. Maintaining and practicing good dental health is vital for maintaining your child’s overall physical and mental health. As a parent, you should teach your child to prioritize practices such as daily brushing and flossing. These will keep bacteria under control and prevent plaque buildup.
What Causes Yellowing Teeth in Children?
Plaque is a sticky film that constantly forms on teeth, which in turn causes your teeth to be yellow. This buildup becomes more apparent when consuming starchy and sugary food, the latter of which many children like to partake in. But sugar isn’t the only thing that can cause your child’s teeth to be yellow.
Other factors can make your child’s teeth start to yellow, like antibiotic use and thin or weak enamel due to genetics. Tetracycline and other antibiotics types can bind to your child’s teeth and color them if your child takes them under the age of 8 or if the mother takes it while the child is in-utero. When these antibiotics bind to the teeth and erupt, they begin to oxidize. The oxidation turns teeth yellowish to even a darker brown. Weak or thin enamel due to genetics, on the other hand, is a factor because the enamel is what gives teeth their whitish shade. Enamel that isn’t thick enough can make your kid’s teeth look more yellow.
What Issues Might Arise When Whitening at a Young Age?
Many parents begin to contemplate whether they should have their child’s teeth whitened due to these different factors. But just like school and certain rides at the amusement park, there is an ideal age requirement. Most dentists, especially children’s dentists, suggest that children should have their teeth whitened once all their baby teeth have already fallen out, meaning between 12 and 14. Doing so beforehand might cause some complications. These complications include gingival irritation after bleaching, added tooth sensitivity, and bleached gums.
Firstly, gingival irritation is a common type of gum disease that irritates and inflames the gingiva, better known as the part of your gum around your teeth’s base. It might be mild, but it can be traumatic for children due to their added sensitivity. This often happens because many tooth bleaching agents are made of hydrogen peroxide. Its effects become even worse when the child has weak or thin enamel.
Teeth sensitivity is also a complication. As stated before, children’s teeth are already sensitive to begin with due to them being underdeveloped. Bleaching chemicals make this sensitivity even worse since they can penetrate under the tooth to penetrate the nerves.
Thirdly, bleached gums, or a more severe case of gingival irritation, is a complication for some bleaching chemicals. These chemicals are unsuitable for use on children. If bleaching is not done correctly, you can bleach their gums as a result. Doing so turns the gums white and makes them recede, often leading to loose teeth.
All in all, every parent wants the best for their child, including the best teeth. But there are some lengths you really can’t cross, including teeth whitening at a young age. Although it sounds like a good idea initially, it is not the right move considering the risks. If you want your child to have those fantastic pearly whites, focus on the basics for now, like tooth brushing and flossing. You can take them to have their teeth whitened once they get a little older and handle it.