Can children have their teeth whitened?

Children can have access to teeth whitening in the UK, but in very restricted cases.  Whilst children and their teeth are still developing, the advice given by the General Dental Council (GDC)  is not to try for teeth whitening until at least the age of 18 years.

The update was carried out in 2017 after a two year campaign by dentists, who under previous guidelines would have been subject to strict disciplinary action if they performed teeth whitening to under 18’s patients, based on an EU legislation. 

Teeth whitening for under 18’s is still only carried out in very particular cases when the purpose is to prevent or treat disease. The GDC guidelines state that products containing hydrogen peroxide in a concentration ranging between 0.1% and 6% cannot be applied to patients under age with the exception of unique cases of disease. 

Martin Kelleher, a consultant in restorative dentistry at King’s College, said  “For years, professionals have been warned not to use bleaching products when treating patients under 18; but in fact, scientific evidence has shown that the treatment was safe, effective and fully appropriate for use in low concentration.”

Kelleher, is one of the leading campaigners against the prohibition, so he welcomed the GDC’s decision, claiming that the update in guidelines will allow all patients, regardless of their age, to benefit from the available options for treatment of discoloured teeth. 

‘’Discoloration of the teeth is not only a sign of disease but can also be a serious problem for young people, especially adolescents, as it can become a cause for bullying, which can lead to unfortunate psychological consequences for those who are victims.’’ he also added. 

Professionally whitening your child’s teeth in unique cases using Boutique Whitening can whiten the smile by several shades. 

Speak to your dentist today about whether or not teeth whitening is appropriate and necessary for your child. 

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