These last four weeks, we’ve been talking about teen teeth. Now, we’ve talked about how adolescents and teens are different because their diets are different. So, not only do they eat more junk, they eat elsewhere on their own, and they also have a lot of sodas, sports drinks, and teens have jobs.

So, we talked about that a couple of weeks ago, we also talked about braces, does my child need braces? Well, today, we’re going to talk about something that wasn’t a big issue, like 20 years ago, but we’re going to talk about teeth bleaching.

You would be surprised how many teens and adolescence come into the office saying, “I want to bleach my teeth.” Well, bleaching is something that has been around for a little while, but it hasn’t been as widespread as it is right now.

Now it’s become more popular, because our teenage and adolescent children are watching shows where there are 20- and 30-year-olds playing as teenagers. And so naturally, they think that when they look on TV and see those 20- and 30-year-olds with white teeth, that their teeth should be white too. So, you want to make sure that you explain to your teenager or adolescent, you know, honey, those people that you’re watching on TV, they’re 20, they’re not 17 or 16, or 15, like they’re playing, you got to make sure that they understand that because there’s a different expectation on a young adult teeth and an adolescent’s teeth.

So, when we’re talking about whitening, there are three things that you should consider before you start to whiten. And the first thing is, if your child still has baby teeth, then it’s not a good time for them to whiten. Think about this, if you’re whitening only half or only a few of their baby teeth or of their adult teeth, then when the other adult teeth come in, they won’t have a chance to kind of like catch up. So, you want to make sure that your child does not have any baby teeth. That’s not a good time to whiten.

Another time that’s not good to whiten is when your child isn’t brushing very well. Bad brushing, plus bleaching equals a lot more cavities, and no we don’t want that. So, you want to make sure that your child is doing a great job brushing, fantastic, awesome job of brushing.

The other time when it’s not a good time to bleach is if your child is having has braces or is going to have braces. If your child needs orthodontics or braces, you want to make sure that the bleaching takes place after they finish all their braces and not during because remember with the braces, you have spaces on the teeth where the brackets are attached to the tooth. So, you want to be careful about whitening while those braces are on the teeth because then you’ll have a dark area in the middle of their tooth and we don’t want that, so bad time to bleach. 

So, if your child still has baby teeth, if your child is not brushing well, or if your teenager or adolescent is in braces or going to be in braces, it’s not a good time to bleach.

Now, there are three ways that we bleach. And I’m going to briefly cover all three of them so that you can understand them a little bit more. The first way is with toothpaste. That’s right toothpaste is very widespread. And they have, they have put a lot of chemicals into toothpaste that will bleach your teeth. So, you must be careful that when you are using toothpaste, make sure that you look at the label and make sure that it does not say whitening, you don’t want your adolescent or teenager to use that toothpaste, if it’s not time. So, there are a lot of tooth pastes, think about the toothpaste that say total. Or think about the toothpaste that may say complete, it may have a whitening agent in it. And it’s probably not the thing that you want your adolescent or your teenager to use.

So that’s the first kind of toothpaste whitening. The second kind, of over-the-counter whiteners. Those over-the-counter whiteners are in the form of strips, some of them have pins, and some of them have like little pellets that you can put on your teeth and you can whiten with those. The thing about those is that you should make sure that your dentist knows that you’re using them, especially if remember those three things that we talked about, especially if one of those three things are going on, you should make sure that your dentist knows that you’re using that.

Then the third way, there’s toothpaste, there’s over the counter things, and then the third way that you can whiten is with your dentist. That’s right. Most cosmetic dentists, not pediatric dentists, so much but most cosmetic dentists will whiten your teeth. Now when a cosmetic, or professional, or dentist does that, then they’re making sure that you don’t suffer from some of the consequences that you would suffer from if you if you whitened without their supervision.  Like sensitivity is a big issue if you whiten too much, or if you’re not whitening at the right pace, or with the right type of style of whitening.

So, you got to make sure that if you’re doing whichever one that you let your dentist know, that’s important, because when it comes to making sure that your teeth are healthy, the whitening can kind of take a little backseat to the bleaching. And it’s important that we stress that with our teenagers in our adolescence, you know there they can be kind of a little wrapped up in just the way that their teeth look. But remember, we want their teeth to be healthy as well, not just look good.

So, thank you for tuning in. Today, I want to give a special shout out to all the teachers who participated in our Dental Health Month giveaway. We participated with over 10 daycares and schools and early education centers to make sure that we were getting the word out there about dental health. So, we’ve given away over 150 goodie bags. And I’m so happy about that.

I want to say a special thank you to all the teachers who partnered with us to get the word out about James brushes his teeth. It was a great film. If you missed it. Don’t worry. We’ll be back again next year. Make sure to sign your class up. I want to say a special shout out to all the people who join me, Vicki and Miss King and Kimberly Gaines. Thank you, Miss Gaines for coming on. And Candace, you’ve always been there. Thank you for being with us. But I want to make sure that you guys know how much I appreciate you. Make sure that you keep your teeth healthy. And thank you Miss Burgess. They love to thank you. Thank you. That’s the film, so don’t forget next year to sign up so you can watch James learns to brush and get your goodie bags. But I want to thank you guys for your time. I don’t take it lightly that you’ve taken the time to kind of stop and say hi and all that kind of stuff. So, thanks. We love you guys. We love what you do. And I wish you safety and good health. Take care.