What Are the Risks of Whitening Strips for Kids and Teens?
Manufacturers of whitening strips assume that adults can be trusted to read instructions, understand risk, and use white strips for teeth carefully and properly. So, it's up to you to check the strips' package for potential risks and side effects.
Even the AADP notes that teeth whitening for kids and teens is safe and doesn't cause irreversible damage when correctly used. But "correctly" is the keyword, and without adult supervision, these "user errors" might occur:
- Leaving the strips on for much longer than instructed can lead to significant tooth sensitivity and oral tissue irritation.
- Positioning the strips into the gums can lead to gum irritation and even gingival (gum) damage.
- Accidentally swallowing the strips – after all, kids will be kids.
More serious risks can include tooth erosion, pulp damage, and mineral degradation, according to AADP. So, be sure to follow the manufacturer's guidelines and your family dental professional's recommendations. For instance, your dentist might advise the strips remain on for a shorter period of time than the manufacturer advises for adults.