Cosmetic Dentistry: Should Your Child Have It?

The advantages of cosmetic dentistry are many, and most people can benefit from it at some point. However, some young children are now feeling pressure to have a perfect smile. As a result, some parents may be allowing tooth whitening for their underage children. Before you allow your child to have these procedures done, you need to need to investigate their safety. 


When you were a child, you probably didn't give much thought to the color of your teeth. If they were relatively straight and unbroken, you were considered lucky. Now, very young children worry that their smiles are not as white as those of their television heroes. Although children's baby teeth are usually quite white, adult teeth tend to be slightly yellow. When kids get these permanent teeth, they may worry that they are undergoing some sort of yellowing process. You should reassure them that their teeth are perfectly normal, but do not let them whiten their teeth until all of their permanent teeth have come through and "stabilized," sometime around the age of twelve. Then, you should have your dentist supervise the process. The best thing you can do for your kids' teeth is to promote good oral care habits and keep them away from tooth-staining drinks. 


Other cosmetic procedures should definitely wait until your child is older, perhaps in the later teen years. The placement of veneers usually involves removing at least some enamel from the tooth's surface, a permanent procedure that means your child will have a reliance on these cosmetic covers for life. Although veneers may ultimately be the best choice, your child needs to be old enough to make an informed decision about this process. Other than the use of braces to straighten teeth, intensive procedures to improve a child's smile are simply not recommended. They don't need a perfect smile: they need a healthy one 

Don't be surprised if your child asks for whitening strips or for their own set of veneers. Perfect smiles are a bigger deal in our society now than they have ever been. Even your children recognize this. You need to draw the line on most procedures until your child is older and, even then, only under the supervision of your dentist. Your child can have a super-white smile later in life. For now, let them keep their adorable little kid grin. For more information, talk to your dentist.