The problem of teeth whitening for teenagers starts in the home. As a concerned but conscientious parent, you know when your teenager's grooming habits are not up to snuff, but are afraid that you'll smother or embarrass your teen if you mention that you think their teeth are in bad shape. Add to this scenario The fact that teens today are increasingly self-obsessed and low on self-confidence, and you have the makings for a potentially large disaggregation over a topic that should really take care of itself. The problem of course, is that teeth-whitening does not take care of itself, and as simple as is it sounds, good dental hygiene is a skill that needs to be learned and performed like any other. As a good parent you should make it your job to inform your teen about the options available to them to get their teeth back to a cleaner, more becoming shade of white.
First, it is important to recognize the distinct possibility that your teen will not be receptive to your advice and will find your attention to be unwelcome. As any parent of a teenager knows, this reaction comes with the territory. Teens are notoriously self-involved, but have not yet developed the social tools necessary to realize when their best interests are being served, and when they need to put what they think are there best interest's aside and just listen to their parents! If you feel like you may fit into that much-maligned category of the 'permissive' parent, do not fret. While past experiences may give both you and your teen the impression that, in so many ways, they run the household, there are still ample opportunities to assert yourself back into the dental life of your teenager.
Your best option is to present your advice as an opinion that you hold. Like any good opinion, subtly emphasize the fact that you think that their dental hygiene could use improvement, and ask them how they plan to get their teeth back on track. It is all too likely that many teens will have already turned off their attention span at this point, but do not get discouraged. While a teen's visible signs may indicate that they are not interested, so long as you keep your teen's ears you have a decent chance of transmitting some good information. Let them know quickly, and in a non-patronizing manner, that their options for teeth-whitening include a new home dental period, teeth-whitening procedures performed by a dentist, or a re-affirmation of an old dental period.
It is important in every step of the teen-consultation process to emphasize the fact to your teen that they are in control. Many young adults get frustrated by the fact that they know they have power and agency, but do not know how to properly use their responsibility. By reinforcing to your teen that they are in control of their dental hygiene, you may end up cleaning up more than just an ill-begotten mouth.