Teen Teeth Whitening: What Works, What Doesn’t, & Why

by Power Road Dental Care

Teen Teeth Whitening: What Works, What Doesn’t, & Why

Reviewed By Dr. Tyler N Davis, DMD

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A bright, white smile is a major confidence boost, especially for teenagers. But with so many teeth whitening products on the market, how do you know what to use?

We’re here to guide you through the ins and outs of teeth whitening, ensuring a safe and effective approach to achieving that stunning smile.

In this blog, we explain teeth whitening options for teenagers. We talk about the best options for safe teeth whitening and explain the dangers of charcoal and purple toothpaste.

Key Takeaway

rofessional teeth whitening is a safe and effective option for teens. DIY methods like charcoal or purple toothpaste can damage enamel and gums, leading to long-term oral health issues.

Safe Options for Your Teenager

Teeth whitening is safe for teenagers if they have all of their permanent teeth and are free from gum disease and cavities. We recommend Opalescence take-home whitening trays for teenagers. Here’s why:

  • Safety: Opalescence is a professional-grade product designed for safe and effective whitening. It contains a controlled concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, the active ingredients that break down stains within the tooth.
  • Effectiveness: Opalescence whitening trays are custom-fitted to your teen’s teeth, ensuring even distribution of the whitening gel and optimal results.
  • Reduced sensitivity: Opalescence gels contain ingredients that help minimize tooth sensitivity, a common side effect of teeth whitening.

Opalescence take-home trays are convenient and easy to use. The trays are custom-made and pre-filled with the whitening agent; all you have to do is pop them in and wear them for the recommended amount of time. 

Don’t Let Trendy Fads Fool You

Social media is flooded with DIY whitening trends like charcoal toothpaste and purple toothpaste, but these trends can do more harm than good. 

Charcoal Toothpaste

  • Abrasiveness: Charcoal is abrasive and can wear down tooth enamel over time. This can lead to increased tooth sensitivity and make teeth appear more yellow by exposing the underlying dentin.
  • Lack of evidence: There is limited scientific evidence to support the claims that charcoal toothpaste is effective at whitening teeth or absorbing toxins.
  • No fluoride: Most charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride, which is essential for preventing cavities and strengthening tooth enamel.

Purple Toothpaste

  • Color theory: Purple toothpaste uses color theory to create an illusion of whiter teeth. Purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel, so applying purple to your teeth can temporarily neutralize the yellow tones, making your teeth appear brighter.
  • Temporary effect: The whitening effect of purple toothpaste is purely cosmetic and very short-lived. It doesn’t actually remove stains or bleach your teeth. The illusion of whiteness fades as the toothpaste is washed away.
  • Actual whitening: It does not change the natural color of your teeth or remove any existing stains.
  • Dental health benefits: Most purple toothpastes lack fluoride and other ingredients found in regular toothpaste that are essential for preventing cavities and promoting oral health.

Don’t waste your money on over the counter toothpastes that claim “whitening” on the tube or package. The reason that marketing people can claim to “whiten” your teeth is only if they include abrasive particles in their product.  So if you are putting abrasives in the toothpaste, then they can legitimately claim to remove stains. 

If you remove stains, then you are technically “whitening” your teeth. This is not the same as bleaching your teeth or professional “whitening.”  It’s all a gimmick. If you want to whiten or bleach your teeth, see Dr. Davis to do it right!

Power Road Dental Care – Your Partners in Oral Health

Professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to brighten your teen’s smile and boost their confidence. At Power Road Dental Care, our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping them achieve a healthier and happier smile.

If you are in the Phoenix East Valley and are searching for “teeth whitening in Mesa AZ” or “teeth whitening dentist near me” we can help! To book an appointment, call (480) 664-1438 or complete the online booking form.

Do you feel anxious about visiting a dentist? Stay tuned for our next blog: How To Get Over Fear of the Dentist.

FAQs About Teeth Whitening in Teenagers

Is teeth whitening safe for teenagers?

When conducted under the supervision of a dental professional, teeth whitening is safe for teenagers. We recommend using professional-grade products like Opalescence take-home whitening trays. It is best to whiten teeth under the supervision of a dental professional.

Will whitening cause my teen’s teeth to become sensitive?

Some sensitivity is normal during the teeth whitening process, but Opalescence gels contain ingredients that help minimize this issue. If your teen experiences significant discomfort, consult your dentist for advice.

Can teeth whitening damage my teen’s enamel?

When performed properly and with professional-grade products, teeth whitening does not damage the enamel. However, improper use of over-the-counter products or DIY methods like charcoal toothpaste can be abrasive and harmful to the enamel.

Is it safe to whiten baby teeth?

No, it is not safe to whiten baby teeth. No whitening products should be used until all the adult teeth have emerged.

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