Should You Allow Your Child to Have Veneers?

Posted on: 6 June 2016


As children get older, they may become more aware of their appearance; they may also compare the way they look with their friends and even with famous people they admire. In some cases, some children start to particularly worry about their teeth as they reach their teenage years.

For example, some kids may think that their teeth are not white enough or that they are a little too crooked to look good. If you have a savvy teenager who knows exactly how to correct cosmetic problems and who thinks their teeth need work, you may be nagged to let your child have veneers. While veneers can fix minor cosmetic problems and create a whiter smile, they also come with some downsides. Are veneers a good solution for your child?

How Old Is Your Child?

While dentists may recommend veneers for kids in some cases, such as when they have a badly damaged or severely discoloured tooth, they may be less willing to do this kind of work for less important cosmetic reasons until your child has finished growing.

For example, dentists may require children to have their adult teeth in place with full roots before they will consider cosmetic work such as veneers. They may also not be comfortable fitting veneers until your child's jaw has finished growing. If you fit veneers and your jaw grows after the treatment, the veneers may not fit or look as good as they once did. This may require removing the original veneers and fitting new ones.  Typically, the female jaw is done growing around the ages of 13-15; the male jaw may carry on growing until the ages of 16-18.

As well as making sure that your child is developmentally old enough to have veneers, you should also ensure that they are old enough to understand the implications of this kind of cosmetic treatment.

Does Your Child Understand That Veneers Are Permanent?

Kids may not understand that veneers have long-term implications for their teeth. They may simply think that veneer shells work to the same concept as false fingernails and can be removed in the future. You need to consider if the benefits of veneers outweigh the effects that they will have on your child's teeth.

For example, regular veneers require the removal of some tooth enamel to make them fit on the teeth snugly. Once you take away enamel, you can't get it back. This also makes many veneers a permanent dental treatment – you can't go back to the way things were before the veneers were fitted. Even if you opt for no-prep veneers that don't require enamel removal, the effort involved in removing a strongly glued-on shell may also result in some tooth damage.

Before you make a final decision, it's important that you also understand why your child wants veneers. If kids have serious concerns about the way their teeth look, this may be a viable option for older children. Even if you think that your child doesn't need this level of cosmetic work, you may still want to help them feel less anxious or worried about their teeth. It may be worth talking to your dentist about other cosmetic procedures that may help whiten or fix minor alignment problems, such as teeth whitening treatments or bonding to make teeth look more even.