Teen Teeth Whitening: Are Teens Old Enough to Whiten Their Teeth?

Posted on: 23 April 2018

If you're the parent of a teen, you already know that the adolescent years tend to bring a focus on appearance along with them. Whilst some appearance changes are not too worrisome -- after all, that hair will grow back! -- other types of appearance changes may concern you. If your teen wants to whiten their teeth, you might be wondering whether it's all right, or whether they're too young to do so safely. Here's what you need to know. 

Is a Teen Old Enough to Whiten Their Teeth?

Is your teen old enough to whiten their teeth? Well, it depends. In most cases, any teenager is old enough to safely whiten their teeth with the help of their dentist. Generally, this means that most teens who are 13 and up can whiten their teeth safely -- however, many dentists do restrict teeth whitening to patients who have all of their adult teeth. In some cases, kids still have a couple of baby teeth when they're in their early teens, so the dentist may recommend waiting. The enamel on baby teeth is much weaker than that on adult teeth, and it's best not to expose it to teeth whitening chemicals. 

If Your Teen is Old Enough, Are They Responsible Enough?

If your teen is old enough to whiten their teeth, there's still one more thing to consider: are they actually responsible enough? Many teeth whitening systems today require a real commitment from the patient, even though the dentist supervises the process. 

Some of the most popular teeth whitening systems consist of custom-fitted teeth whitening trays that the patient must wear every day. The amount of time that the trays must be worn depends on the system -- it may be anywhere from about half an hour a day to several hours a day or even overnight. If your teen isn't able to reliably commit to the schedule prescribed by the dentist, the teeth whitening just won't work -- at least not as fully as it could.

Teeth whitening systems that are worn at home are easy to use, but it's not unusual for teens to be so busy or so distracted that they forget to wear the whitening trays for the prescribed time each day. If your teen is old enough and they really want teeth whitening, help them succeed with daily reminders like an alarm app on their mobile phone. 

Everyone wants white and bright teeth, and your teen is probably no exception to this. If they're old enough (and responsible enough,) speak to the dentist about your options now!