A couple of months ago I’ve noticed that some of my daughter’s teeth were turning a little bit yellowish. Then I’ve started wondering and looking for ways to fix that in a safe manner. So I’ve decided to put together this complete article to share what I’ve learned about this topic during the process…
… So, How to Whiten Kids Teeth? Start by encouraging your child to develop an effective cleaning routine mainly based on brushing and rinsing. Then you should help him to avoid staining foods and beverages as much as possible. And don’t forget to include crunchy fruits and vegetables in his diet that would whiten organically your kid’s teeth.
These are the main milestones that you should orient your kid to. Just by doing these things, you will make a huge step not only to safely whiten his/her teeth, but also to prevent any future stains or discolorations.
Of course, there is much more to that if you are willing to make the process more successful and safer. And that’s what I am about to explain in this Post!
Why does my kid have yellow teeth?
Honestly I was a little bit worried about my little daughter’s teeth when I started noticing they were getting yellow week after week. This pushed me to take a step back and think about what causes yellow teeth for children in general.
These are the 3 main reasons that I think caused the discoloration in my daughter’s teeth. There may be others, but I prefer to talk according to my own experience.
1. Medicine and Antibiotics
My daughter used to get a cold once in a while. Probably we were not knowledgeable me and her mom about how to protect her from that. Thus, we ended up each time visiting a doctor or sometimes just a pharmacist for advice and getting some medicine for her.
We usually end up, getting her an antibiotic or 2 in order to fasten her recovery …
… I don’t know how good that was for her health, but it was definitely affecting her teeth. After she finished the treatment we notice each time her teeth getting more yellowish than ever before.
That’s why; I’ve decided to learn more on how to prevent her from getting a cold easily. And even if she get one, to try healing through different ways other than antibiotics. This was better not only for her teeth, but also, I believe, for her defense system.
I think that there are some kinds of antibiotics that you should never get for your children. Unless, there is an urgent need. I am talking here about tetracycline.
It has a weird powerful ability to turn your child permanent teeth to be greyish. These kinds of stains are really hard to remove afterwards. For that, you really need more advanced techniques that would cost you tons of cash.
2. Staining foods and beverages
I am not going to lie; it happens that we go to places like McDonald or Pizza Hut in which you can consume all kinds of staining foods and beverages.
At a certain time, we felt that we’ve done that too much until this was influencing my daughter’s teeth.
Of course this was not the only thing that bothered me at this point, as fast foods are not that good for health either.
That’s why, we started decreasing the frequency of fast food consumption from twice a week to once a month.
This had a big positive impact! Indeed, we’ve noticed that my daughter’s teeth started looking less stained over time.
3. Too much fluoride exposure
Since I was 6, my father always taught me the importance of brushing my teeth. I believe that this little advice is the reason why I’ve never has a single cavity on my teeth even if I am on my thirties.
I tried to teach the same thing to my daughter by consistently reminding her to brush teeth once a day before going to bed.
You may be asking what’s wrong?
The mistake I’ve done and that I don’t want you to do, is that I let her in the bathroom brushing her teeth without looking at what she was doing.
Indeed, she was brushing her teeth for 10, 15 sometimes 20 minutes. Which is a lot!
Basically, 2 minutes of brushing are more than enough.
This has caused fluoride over exposure which caused like yellow big spots.
Fortunately, my wife noticed that pretty early and we started supporting her more often until she understood how long she needs to brush her teeth.
We’ve also taught about using toothpaste with low levels of fluoride!
How to whiten kids teeth safely?
This is probably the most important question in this article. I can talk about this all day long as I’ve made many researches about that.
However, I will talk about 2 aspects which may seem obvious, but they are CRUTIAL!
1. Encourage them to Brush
There are times in which I found it very hard to encourage my daughter to brush her teeth. Sometimes, she was just not feeling like doing it, and sometimes she was furious because I didn’t buy something for her and she didn’t want to do what I or her mom were asking.
However, I’ve always tried to make her feel the importance of this task! And sometimes I try to make this funny or interesting for her by buying her a toothbrush with his preferred color.
One of the best ways to go in my opinion is to let your kid use an electric toothbrush. Indeed:
- It is much easier comparing to a regular toothbrush. This will encourage him/her to brush more often.
- The cleaning power of an electric toothbrush is much higher. Almost 100 more times in terms of plaque removal capacity.
- Most electrical toothbrushes have got a timer. So, your kids won’t brush more than the recommended 2 minutes.
- Unlike manual toothbrush, Electric one needs only a little drop of toothpaste! This will reduce the exposure to fluoride and get its benefit at the same time.
Oral-B Genius 8000 is literally the best one in the market today! It is a top-notch toothbrush that its competitors aren’t even close to it.
I’ve written this concise, but complete article about it in which I’ve gathered all what you need to know about this toothbrush.
2. Floss, but differently!
Flossing is a great way not only to clean in between your teeth but also to complete the brushing work explained right before.
When we talk about flossing, the first thing that comes to mind is a regular dental floss. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend that because:
- It will be a heavy task for a kid to handle.
- There are some risks to injure his tooth or his gum if not done properly.
What I would recommend in this case is to use a Water Flosser. It is an easy and fun way for your kid, not to mention that it doesn’t represent any risk whatsoever!
I was very curious to find out the best brands that provide Water Flossing Products. That’s why I’ve spent a decent time looking for such providers.
I am now convinced that Waterpik wp-660 is second to none in its category!
This short article gives you a complete summary on the main features that this water flosser brings to the table.
Is natural teeth whitening for kids an option?
You may be searching about some ways to whiten your kids teeth naturally. In fact, it is possible to do it, but you need to be careful …
1. Baking Soda / Activated Charcoal … hmmm … I would say NO!
If you have a little background about teeth whitening, you’ve certainly already heard about Baking Soda and Activated Charcoal as whitening agents.
It is hard to deny that they are great when it comes to plaque and tartar removal. Not to mention, their powerful ability to regulate your mouth pH.
But for your kids, I can’t recommend it for them at all!
Indeed, I’ve thought about letting my daughter brush with Baking Soda for example. But I just couldn’t do it, and I was totally right.
This might be detrimental for their enamel, especially for their emerging permanent teeth!
Actually, baking soda and charcoal are both pretty abrasive and need to be used carefully by adults. That’s why I just say No for these elements for your kids.
2. Organic Teeth Whitening
By Organic teeth whitening I mean FOOD.
There is no better way to whiten teeth than doing it the organic way, without being worried about teeth whitening as a concept at all.
What you should do in this case, is to encourage your kids to eat crunchy foods and vegetables that whiten your teeth on the go.
There are many examples like:
- Cheese (not a fruit or vegetable but it promotes white teeth).
The common factor between all these foods is their ability to help producing saliva that cleans instantly your teeth and whitens them over time.
3. Teeth Whitening 4 You
You may be wondering what is that?
Actually, it is a unique natural whitening program that teaches you how to prepare natural home remedies to whiten teeth based on cheap ingredients like olive oil for example.
I can’t reveal the details to avoid copyright issues!
But, I’ve written this review about it! You can check it and decide whether it suits your expectations or not.
Can kids use whitening toothpaste?
A very good question! Indeed, I want you to know about that without being too much concerned or focused on it!
To make sure you are doing it right, you need to check these things:
- Make sure that the mentioned age on the label suits your kids age. Most whitening toothpastes mention that they are suitable for kids aged 2 or more, but this is not valid for all of them. So you need to check first at all times!
- Make sure that the whitening agent is in small portions. An example of whitening agent is baking soda.
- Don’t allow your kid to use a whitening toothpaste until he brushes correctly and preferably using an electrical toothbrush for example.
- Don’t use fluoride based toothpaste. Instead, you should opt for a fluoride free whitening toothpaste for your kid. I’ve written this guide on the best fluoride free whitening toothpastes out there. Hopefully you will find one that would suit your expectations.
Can kids use white strips?
My straightforward answer is NO!
Here is my list of concerns:
For adults, pre-coated whitening gel in the strips wouldn’t cause that much of an issue for adults. However, according to AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry), these concentrations are not totally as safe for kids.
2. Lack of studies
I’ve spent some time looking for studies talking about this. Yet, I didn’t find any. I even found from some sources that there is a lack of studies about kids using whitening stips.
So, I just won’t involve my kids in something I am not sure about!
3. A non-proper usage
Even if whitestrips could be safe for adults, they still need to use it carefully by reading the vendor’s instructions and applying it perfectly.
You just can’t trust your kids and let them deal with the instructions which maybe just too much to handle for them. Thus, having some bad side-effects afterwards.
4. Size Issue
WhiteStrips are generally designed for adult mouth size. Kids, usually, have small mouth size!
This would cause this strip to touch your kid’s gum or lips. If that happens, you could easily expect gum or lips irritation.
5. Crest WhiteStrips Statement about that
I’ve checked within some big and trusted brands about this question. Indeed, I’ve found that Crest answered that by confirming that they’ve never tried their products on people under 12.
This shows that they are not confident about using their product (even if it is one of the best in the business today) on Kids.
I hope you are now aware why I’ve said NO in the beginning!
Is there any teeth whitening kits for kids available on the market?
I’ve made some researches whether there are some custom teeth whitening kits for kids. Yet, I didn’t find any!
All whitening kits out there are based on peroxide, and I’ve talked about that in the previous paragraph!
Until they make specific scientific researches about the topic, I wouldn’t trust putting any of these products on my daughter’s teeth! So, Should you!
What is the age limit for teeth whitening?
I was wondering, probably just like you, about teeth whitening age restrictions! If any!
When I speak about teeth whitening, I speak mostly about peroxide based products …
… Indeed, my quick answer is 18!
I will tell you why I think so … First of all, as I’ve said before, Crest which one of the largest whitening companies confirm that they didn’t try their products on kids under 12.
I would like to mention that this is valid even if their products are pretty much trustworthy and mostly adapted for sensitive teeth.
So, why I think that these products are still not valid for those who are between 12 and 18?
It is mostly about Enamel (protective teeth layer)! I mean that, enamel needs time to mature and to be strong enough to handle whitening products.
And Enamel reaches this kind of phase around the age of 18.
Otherwise, if your kid starts whitening before that age, I suspect sensitivity and erosion problems to manifest pretty easily.
What about toddlers … How to Whiten Toddler teeth safely?
Sometimes toddlers may have brown or even dark teeth. This is mainly caused by a poor oral hygiene or consuming staining things like sweets!
At this stage, I don’t want you to have a whitening mindset! I rather want you to be like “how to remove stains from my toddler’s teeth?”, Asking this question would put you as a parent in the right mindset to help your toddler fix this issue.
The right approach is by trying some cleaning basic techniques like:
- Use a soft and clean washcloth to gently clean your kid’s teeth once in a while.
- Try to initiate them on using a toothbrush. There are many little brushes that are suitable for toddlers.
- The toothpaste should contain very low fluoride concentrations, so even if they swallow it, this won’t cause any harm.
- You can use a water flosser on them. Use a low water pressure …
- The toothbrush you want to use should have very soft bristle.
- Don’t forget to brush their tongue. You can do it either by the toothbrush or using Miswak.
- You can definitely visit a pediatric dentist to ask for advice.
- Encourage your baby to drink water regularly.
- The nutrition of your kid should be well-balanced and have plenty of vitamins and minerals especially calcium.
- Foods like apple and carrot would stop and remove dental plaque.
- Avoid too much sugar!
By following most of these elements, you will hopefully fix that!
All in all and to put it in a nutshell, when it comes to teeth whitening for kids, you should not address that with a whitening mindset. You should rather address it with a cleaning mindset.
In fact, a whitening mindset may whiten your kids teeth, but it will make them weaker and would cause issues like sensitivity and irritation. Instead a cleaning mindset, not only will help you clean your kids teeth but it would also whiten them safely on the long run.
Hopefully, you’ve learnt a thing or two from this guide …
… Now I really want to hear from you!
Did your kid ever have staining or dental issues?
If so, what cleaning techniques did you use for that?
After reading this article what method you are more willing to try?
Share your experience in the comment section below, so other will learn too …