Teeth whitening seems like it would be more of a problem for adults, after years of coffee stains and late nights of forgetting to brush. But keeping your child’s smile bright is a necessity, too. After all, if your child never gets yellowing teeth, that’s something they won’t have to try to reverse later in life. So below are some top teeth whitening tips for children.
Regular and proper tooth brushing
One of the best teeth whitening tips for children is to keep up on basic tooth care. There are several steps to follow to make sure you’re keeping your child’s teeth as bright as possible:
- Make sure to replace worn out toothbrushes. Replace them every three months, or when the bristles are bent too much. Using a rundown toothbrush means all that effort you’re spending to keep your child’s smile bright is wasted.
- Brush after breakfast and brush before bed. Encourage brushing after snacking if you are able, as well. Clean teeth equal bright teeth.
- Use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps the teeth guard against plaque, which can cause yellowing of teeth if left too long.
- Know how to brush properly. Brush outside of the teeth in a horizontal motion, going back and forth, almost in a gentle wiggling motion. Then brush the inside and the tops of teeth. Don’t forget to brush the tongue while you’re at it. That will cut down on bacteria in the mouth.
But when it comes to keeping a bright smile, you don’t have to stop there.
More teeth whitening tips for children
Brushing isn’t the only way to keep your child’s smile bright. Here are some more tips:
- Children may need you to floss for them. Encourage flossing at least once per day before bed, after each brushing if possible.
- Keep in mind how plaque is formed: food and saliva mix to create plaque. Meaning that every time your child eats, they’re forming plaque. So try to limit snacking.
- Go to the pediatric dentist regularly, aiming for twice per year.
You may be tempted to try adult whitening methods on your child. Read on to learn why you shouldn’t.
Teeth whitening products and children
If your child has less-than-white teeth, it might seem like it makes sense to just throw a whitening strip on your child like you would yourself. However, this isn’t one of the effective teeth whitening tips for children. These strips come with their own risks, since these products are meant for adults.
Whitening strips work by coating the teeth in hydrogen peroxide for typically 15 minutes to an hour. Unfortunately, there just aren’t the studies out there supporting that whitening strips are safe for children. Also, there are the usual side effects that can affect adults, like greater teeth sensitivity.
On top of all that, when children or younger teens use the product, there’s a higher chance for error, like leaving the strips on too long, not putting them on straight and other issues that could crop up if the child is not heavily supervised.
A much better solution, then, is to keep up on your child’s dental hygiene routines so that the child’s teeth stay white. You could also choose a whitening toothpaste that contains fluoride. And if teeth staining is a concern, make sure to talk with your child’s dentist.