Can Kids Use Whitening Toothpaste? A Dentist Explains

No, kids should not use whitening toothpaste. 

Most whitening toothpaste works by incorporating abrasive agents like silica or bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide to remove surface stains on your teeth.

These ingredients can be too abrasive for the developing enamel of your child's teeth.

Therefore, any whitening treatment should be avoided for children as they can cause premature wear and tear on the tooth enamel.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about whitening toothpaste and whether it's safe for children.

First, what causes teeth staining in children?

Whether you're an adult or child, stains on your teeth can have a number of causes from dietary and lifestyle factors. Food items such as

  • Tea

  • Coffee

  • Turmeric

  • Red wine

  • Berries

  • Fruit juices

  • Tomato-based sauces

  • Energy drinks

and more will cause teeth to stain over time.

Of course, while whitening treatments can be effective, it's better to learn how to prevent teeth staining in the first place.

How does whitening toothpaste work?

Whitening toothpaste works thanks to two main types of ingredients:

  • Abrasive agents (like silica)

  • Bleaching agents (like hydrogen peroxide)

Over time, regular brushing with whitening toothpaste may visibly brighten your teeth compared to using non-whitening toothpaste.

However, whitening toothpaste mainly affects surface stains and will not change the intrinsic color of your teeth.

Further, while whitening toothpaste is not bad, you shouldn't use it everyday as it can damage your enamel due to the abrasivity.

Is it safe to whitening my child's teeth?

Generally, it is not safe to use whitening toothpaste or whitening strips on your child's discolored teeth. This is because the chemicals and abrasive ingredients in these whitening products can damage the enamel of their developing teeth.

Further, research suggests that teeth whitening can cause tooth sensitivity and gingival irritation which can be traumatic for children.

Once your child's permanent teeth come in and fully calcify, you can consider using different methods to whiten teeth, including whitening strips or whitening toothpaste.

Potential Benefits of Teeth Whitening for Kids

When used to brush properly, whitening toothpaste can prevent staining and provide your children's teeth with safe outcomes.

Some benefits include:

  1. Aesthetic Appeal: Just like adults, children can be self-conscious about the color of their teeth

  2. Early Prevention: Whitening toothpaste can prevent surface stains from settling in, which is especially beneficial if a child consumes foods and drinks that can stain teeth

  3. Positive Reinforcement: The visible results might motivate kids to maintain good oral hygiene habits

That being said, especially for young children, the risks of teeth whitening outweigh the benefits.

Potential Risks of Teeth Whitening for Kids

Unlike how adults can use kids toothpaste, kids should avoid using adult toothpaste with whitening agents.

Teeth whitening treatments can pose many risks for children's teeth, such as:

  1. Tooth Sensitivity: The abrasive or bleaching agents can make kids' teeth more sensitive over time.

  2. Overuse of Toothpaste: Children might use too much toothpaste, thinking it will lead to quicker whitening, which can be harmful to their enamel

  3. Damage to Enamel: Younger children have softer enamel, and abrasive toothpaste could cause premature wear and tear

It's best to be informed about the risks and benefits of teeth whitening before considering it for your child.

Further, please note that kids should not use adult toothpaste in general as it can be too abrasive for their developing teeth.

How to Whiten Your Child's Teeth

Teeth whitening is typically not suitable for children, but there are some safe alternatives, including:

  1. Nano-Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste: As kids should avoid fluoride, certain brands offer kids hydroxyapatite toothpaste which is less abrasive and focuses on cavity prevention

  2. Professional Cleaning: A dental cleaning can remove many surface stains and is safer for children than teeth whitening products

  3. Diet Modification: Limiting foods and drinks that stain teeth can also help!

Further, research suggests that dental treatments like enamel microabrasion can benefit children and teens.

For adults, there is also the option of using whitening strips or professional teeth whitening.

When can children begin using teeth whitening toothpaste?

Children can begin using whitening toothpaste once their permanent teeth come in and fully calcify.

By this time, their teeth will have fully hardened and be able to withstand abrasion from whitening toothpastes and treatments.

Further, the American Academic of Pediatric Dentists suggests that parents should supervise their children when using over-the-counter dental bleaching products to ensure no adverse effects.

Recommendations for Child Use

Interested in teeth whitening for your children?

Follow this checklist to ensure you do it safely:

  1. Consult a Dentist: Check in with your family's pediatric dentist about the appropriateness of whitening toothpaste for your child's specific needs

  2. Supervise During Brushing: Make sure your children are using an appropriate amount of toothpaste and not swallowing it

  3. Monitor for Sensitivity: Keep an eye out for any signs of tooth sensitivity, as this can happen in adults as well

Better Alternatives for Kids

Teeth whitening is typically not suitable for children, but there are some alternatives, including:

  1. Nano-hydroxyapatite Toothpaste: As kids should avoid fluoride, certain brands offer kids hydroxyapatite toothpaste which is less abrasive and focuses on cavity prevention

  2. Professional Cleaning: A dental cleaning can remove many surface stains and is safer for children than teeth whitening products

  3. Diet Modification: Limiting foods and drinks that stain teeth can also prevent teeth staining

For adults, there is also the option of professional teeth whitening - talk to your dentist about your options.

Signs Your Child is Ready for Adult Toothpaste

Does it seem like your child is aging out of kids toothpaste?

Well, if the following apply, they may be ready to graduate to adult fluoride-free toothpaste:

  1. Proper Brushing Technique: Your child can effectively brush all surfaces of their teeth without help

  2. No Swallowing: Your child does not swallow toothpaste and spits it out correctly

  3. Dentist's Approval: Your pediatric dentist has given the go-ahead for using adult toothpaste that contains teeth whitening agents

Remember, it's best to pick up a remineralizing toothpaste to prevent tooth decay over time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does whitening toothpaste work?

Whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasive agents like silica or bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide that remove surface stains over time but do not change the intrinsic color of teeth.

What age can a child use whitening toothpaste?

Children should not use whitening toothpaste while their teeth are still developing. By the time their adult teeth have fully developed, they can begin using adult toothpaste, but this timeline varies. Check with your dentist first before starting your child on a whitening toothpaste.

Can kids use adult toothpaste?

Kids can use adult toothpaste in a pinch, but it's better to use ones made for them until their adult teeth have fully developed. they're around 7. Adult toothpaste might be too strong or abrasive for their baby teeth. In contrast, kids toothpaste is formulated with gentle abrasive ingredients, lower concentrations of fluoride (if applicable), and fun flavors to make brushing more enjoyable. 

What are the potential benefits of teeth whitening for kids?

When used correctly, whitening toothpaste can avoid stains, improve the way teeth look, offer early protection against surface stains, and encourage good oral hygiene habits. However, teeth whitening can be too abrasive for kids’ developing teeth, so it’s generally best to wait until their adult teeth come in. 

What are the potential risks of teeth whitening for kids?

Potential risks of teeth whitening for kids include inducing teeth sensitivity and  damaging their enamel. Because of these consequences, it’s generally better to wait until their adult teeth have developed before using teeth whitening products.


NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste
NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste
NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste
NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste
NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste
NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste
NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste

NOBS Jr Kid's Toothpaste

Regular price$15
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Introducing NOBS Jr. Berry Bubblegum Blast, because we believe that even the littlest smiles deserve the best. Crafted with an exciting bubblegum flavor and a blend of nature-derived ingredients, our toothpaste is designed to make brushing an enjoyable and healthy experience for your children.

Discover why NOBS Jr. is the perfect choice for your child's oral health:

Gentle Cleaning with Hydrated Silica: This mild abrasive derived from silica ensures a gentle and effective cleaning, safe for your child's delicate teeth and gums.

Natural Bubblegum Flavor: No artificial flavors here! Our toothpaste delights little tastebuds with a fun, natural bubblegum flavor that kids simply love.

Nano Hydroxyapatite: This innovative ingredient helps remineralize teeth, maintaining their strength and health.

Xylitol and Stevia Reb A Extract: To balance taste and health, we've chosen these natural sweeteners, which kids love and parents can feel good about. Xylitol also aids in maintaining a healthy oral pH balance. 

We ensure that NOBS Jr. is as kind to our planet as it is to your kids' teeth:

❖ Free from harsh chemicals

❖ Cruelty-free and vegan

❖ Eco-friendly packaging

❖ Proudly made in the USA 

Directions:

Children 2 years and older: Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto a soft bristle toothbrush. Brush thoroughly after meals or at least twice a day as directed by a dentist or physician.

biöm believes in fostering a love for oral hygiene from a young age, ensuring a lifetime of healthy smiles. Switch to NOBS Jr. – it's a toothpaste both you and your kids will adore.