Is there an age limit for teeth whitening? Generally, there is no set lower limit on the age at which someone can get their teeth whitened. However, whitening treatment options may vary depending on a person’s age and dental development.
Children and teenagers have different teeth than adults as their teeth are still developing. Enamel, which protects the teeth, continues to harden until around age 12. Due to ongoing development, whitening treatments for younger patients need to be less intense or use different methods than those for adults.
At What Age Can You Get Your Teeth Whitened | Options
Children (Age 12 and Younger)
It’s best if children under age 12 avoid teeth whitening treatments that involve peroxide or other bleaching agents as these could affect the still-developing enamel. However, mild whitening options may be considered:
- Professional cleaning and polishing to remove surface stains can help lighten naturally darker primary (baby) teeth.
- For permanent teeth, a dentist may suggest white fillings or dental bonding to blend in unevenly pigmented areas as the teeth emerge.
- Good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice daily are important for keeping both primary and permanent teeth clean and their natural color balanced as they develop.
Teens (Age 13-17)
For teenagers, over-the-counter whitening strips or gels with lower peroxide levels (under 10%) may be used, under the supervision of a dentist. This allows whitening while avoiding potentially damaging effects on still-maturing enamel.
Professional in-office whitening treatments are also options for teens. The key is using the gentlest effective treatment, as dental structures will still be changing during these years. Maintaining strong oral care is important as well.
Adults (Age 18 and Older)
Once the teeth and enamel are fully formed, adults have the most options for whitening their teeth. Common choices include:
- Over-the-counter whitening strips, gels, or toothpastes containing low levels of peroxide (0.1-10%).
- Take-home kits from the dentist with trays and a stronger whitening gel (up to 22% peroxide).
- In-office whitening done by the dentist in one or more applications, sometimes combining laser light therapy. This can use the highest concentrations (25-45%+ peroxide).
As long as dental health allows, most adults can safely whiten their teeth using one of these professional or take-home methods. The results may vary depending on original tooth color and lifestyle habits.
Seniors (Age 65+)
Teeth whitening appears safe for seniors as long as dental health permits. However, many seniors have age-related tooth conditions that need addressing first like wear, hypersensitivity, or cavities. A dentist can determine if whitening is appropriate for the individual patient’s teeth.
In general, seniors should choose the gentlest whitening approach to avoid aggravating any tooth issues. Over-the-counter whitening strips are usually better tolerated than homemade bleaching methods that may be too harsh. Professional care offers guided customization too. Maintaining good oral hygiene remains important throughout life.
Frequently Ask Question
Can A 15 Year Old Get Their Teeth Whitened?
Yes, a 15-year-old can get their teeth whitened, but it’s important to consult with a dentist or dental professional to determine the safest and most appropriate method.
In summary, while there is no fixed lower age limit for teeth whitening, younger patients have developing tooth structures that require gentler treatment approaches than adults. Good oral care habits are important no matter what age someone is interested in whitening their smile.
Checking with a dentist ensures the proper safest option is selected matching the individual’s teeth and dental health needs. When done correctly under dental guidance, whitening can enhance smiles at any age.