Your child’s primary teeth should be an off-white or ivory color. While some children may have a whiter smile than others, baby teeth should not be yellow, dark or gray. In such cases, you need to visit your dentist to properly diagnose the concern.
As a parent, you will want to consider the following causes for discoloration on baby teeth:
Poor Brushing. Just like adult teeth, if baby teeth are not brushed properly, plaque can accumulate and discolor the teeth.
Medication. There may be something in your medicine cabinet that is causing a dark hue on your child’s teeth. Infant medications containing iron are known for causing dark stains on baby teeth. In addition, mothers who took tetracycline during pregnancy may notice that their child also suffers from tooth discoloration.
Tooth Trauma. Did your baby or child recently have a hard fall? Injury to baby teeth or gums can also lead to discoloration, which is often a pink or gray tint.
Thin Enamel. Blame this one on genetics. The way your child’s enamel formed can cause a more yellow appearance due to the inner dentin layer showing through a weaker enamel layer on the tooth.
Excessive Fluoride. Although it is not common, too much fluoride can cause faint white line or markings on your child’s teeth. This may be from regularly mixing powdered or liquid concentrate infant formula with fluoridated water.
Newborn Jaundice. A newborn baby who develops jaundice may have baby teeth with a green tint.
Serious Illness. If your child had a widespread infection, heart disease or hepatitis as an infant, tooth discoloration may result.
While many of these factors are beyond your control, it is important to consider the ones that are. Be sure that your child’s teeth are flossed and brushed on a daily basis using fluoride toothpaste. Unless your child can tie his or her own shoe, you’ll need to do the job for them. Also, limit sugary foods and drinks around the house and never put your baby to bed with a bottle (unless it is water).
At Gilreath Family Dentistry, we welcome your questions and concerns regarding your child’s baby teeth. If possible, we will treat the problem and recommend bleaching the discolored teeth if necessary.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,