Teeth Whitening For Kids

Dr. Kelly Jobe | Pediatric Dentist | St. Louis, MO

Teeth whitening for kids

Yes, teeth whitening is for kids too!

Teeth whitening is very popular nowadays, and not just for adults. We all know kids can have too much soda or candy, which not only yellows teeth, but can cause cavities too. Permanent teeth can also look yellow when next to baby teeth that are naturally lighter in shade.

So what do you do? Teeth whitening could be a great option to restore your child’s smile to its class picture potential.

Teeth Whitening at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Best in St. Louis, MO
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Is teeth whitening safe for children?

Like any parent, you might be concerned whether teeth whitening is safe for your child. 

The answer is: It is, under the right conditions.

Teeth whitening is generally safe for children, but there are some guidelines you should know. Your child:

  • Must be at least 14 years old
  • Have all permanent teeth grown in
  • Must have the enamel on their permanent teeth fully calcified
  • Should have all orthodontic treatments completed (like braces)

As mentioned above, it is important that all orthodontic treatments – like braces – should be completed first. If not, you may have to reapply teeth whitening after your child’s braces are off.

The reason that there are so many other requirements before considering teeth whitening for your child, is to ensure it’s a safe, effective process that delivers great results.

When can my child start teeth whitening?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAPD) says you should not bleach your child’s teeth until all of their baby teeth have fallen out, and their permanent teeth have come in. Dentists generally agree this means you should wait until your child is 14 years old to get their teeth whitened.

Once a child has reached 14, their permanent teeth are likely strong enough for the whitening agents present in teeth whitening. Teeth whitening before 14 years old could cause sensitivity or soreness.

Is professional teeth whitening more effective?

At-home teeth whitening products and strips have become more and more popular nowadays.

Do they work? Yes, to an extent.

Is professional teeth whitening more effective? Absolutely. It is generally worth the cost to get it done through a dentist, because:

  • The whitening effects are enhanced
  • The results are longer-lasting
  • Dentists can help predict if you might have problems or sensitivity to teeth whitening (it’s safer)


At-home teeth whitening can be effective, but there is a lot of room for error, and the results don’t usually last. Getting a professional consult before beginning is important to ensure excellent, safe and long-lasting results.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) also warns parents against the use of over-the-counter teeth whitening products because there are not many studies showing how they impact the teeth of children.

The AAPD also recommends getting a child’s first teeth whitening done at an actual dentist, instead of using over-the-counter whitening strips.

Teeth are kind of our thing. So we highly recommend letting Dr. Kelly Jobe at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, in St. Louis, MO, take care of whitening your child’s teeth.

Tooth stain prevention

After getting your child’s teeth whitened, we will show you all the ways you can prevent tooth stains. Some of those methods include using a whitening toothpaste, as well as avoiding candy and soda (sorry, kiddos!).

Should I go to a pediatric dentist or regular dentist?

There are several advantages to opting for a pediatric dentist, over a regular dentist or even a family dentist. Pediatric dentists:

  • Provide a welcoming, child-friendly environment 
  • Have equipment specially designed for children 
  • Has 2-3 extra years of specialized training just in treating children

Just one piece of the dental puzzle

Teeth whitening is no substitute for proper, regular check ups. An exam will remove hard-to-see plaque and debris – which will help your teeth whitening procedure work more effectively.

Questions for Dr. Jobe or the Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team?

Dr. Kelly Jobe and the team at Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry are committed to providing the best pediatric dental care in the greater St. Louis, MO area! Please contact us with any questions regarding your kid’s dental health, we are here to help!

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