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Are Your Child’s Teeth Discolored?

Your baby’s little milk teeth are supposed to be white or yellowish white in color. When your baby’s teeth are of any other color, it may be a case of teeth discoloration.

Don’t overlook your toddler’s oral issues, thinking that your toddler’s teeth are going to drop out. Good healthy milk teeth will pave the way for good healthy permanent teeth. Ignoring the issues with teeth can bring about lifelong consequences.

Childhood tooth discoloration can have a number of causes. If the color of your baby’s teeth changes or you notice brown or black stains, take your child to your dentist. Your dentist will be able to tell you the cause and what you can do to correct it.

There are two main categories for causes of tooth staining- internal reasons and external reasons.

External discoloration is caused when food, medicines or beverages gets absorbed in to the tooth. This can be removed by the toothbrush or a professional cleaning.

Internal discoloration can occur directly or indirectly due to several internal factors. It is usually caused by a blow to the tooth and cannot be removed by cleaning the teeth.

Some juices such as apple juice, grape juice and tea may stain the teeth. If the teeth are exposed to these liquids too often, it can progress to decay.

Green stains are caused by color producing (chromogenic) bacteria.  The cause of this problem is unknown and this stain cannot be removed with a toothbrush. A professional dental cleaning is usually necessary to remove this type of stain.

If your child’s teeth look yellow or orange, it may be due to a plaque buildup on your toddler’s teeth that has become stained with food debris. This usually happens when the teeth aren’t being cleaned thoroughly enough.

You can usually remove food stains by brushing your toddler’s teeth with a little bit of adult toothpaste. If this doesn’t work, your dentist can remove the stains with a professional cleaning.

These stains don’t necessarily lead to tooth decay. But letting plaque accumulate on your toddler’s teeth can lead to gum disease.

Bringing your child to the dentist will allow us to diagnose the possible cause of the stain or discoloration, to treat it, and to discuss with you ways of preventing similar problems in the future.

While some of the factors that lead to discoloration or staining can be an indication of underlying health problem, some other reasons like poor dental health should be corrected as soon as possible.

Dentists in Delhi and dentist in India regularly counsel parents about the importance of baby teeth and to establish oral hygiene habits that will lead your child toward a lifetime of dental health.

There are many factors that contribute to tooth discoloration in baby teeth, including

  • Inadequate or improper brushing- If baby teeth aren’t brushed properly or is infrequent, bacteria (plaque) might form on the teeth which can lead to tooth discoloration. Teach them to brush and floss from an early age. Inadequate dental hygiene is a common cause of discoloration.
  • Medication use- Infant medications containing iron, such as supplemental vitamins, might cause dark stains on baby teeth. Taking the antibiotic tetracycline during pregnancy or breast-feeding for certain medical conditions can also cause discoloration.
  • Tooth injury- Dark stains can also occur if your toddler’s teeth are knocked or damaged after a fall. This results due to bleeding within the tooth and happen when the nerve and blood supply to the tooth dies.
  • Weak enamel- A genetic problem with enamel formation might lead to discolored baby teeth.
  • Illness- Illness or conditions, incorrect nutrition and any kind of infection at the time of teething, Down syndrome or congenital syphilis can lead to discoloration in your baby’s teeth.
  • Soda- Over time, the acids in soda are known to cause tooth erosion, making the baby teeth more susceptible to staining.
  • Fruit juice- Dark-colored juices contain pigments and high amounts of sugar which can lead to discoloration.
  • Multivitamins- If your toddler takes an iron supplement, or even multiple vitamins with added iron it may cause dark stains to appear on his teeth.
  • Fluoride consumption- Abundant consumption of fluoride (cavity fighter) in water or toothpaste may cause some brown spots or white streaks or lines on the teeth.
  • Jaundice- Newborns with jaundice may develop a greenish tint to their teeth.
  • Genetics- Child’s teeth may be lighter or darker or with weaker enamel just because of heredity.
  • Tooth decay- Tooth decay is a result of poor dental care and habits, and it not only impacts the color of the baby teeth, but can also damage the adult teeth underneath the gums.

Discoloration of baby teeth is not something that cannot be treated in time. But remember to instill dental hygiene in your baby from an early age.

The dentists in dental clinics in Delhi educate parents about ways which can help you to guard and promote your child’s oral health.

Keeping your teeth healthy by brushing twice a day helps maintain a bright smile for years to come.

Posted by- Dr Shriya