Keeping the Color Off Your Child’s Teeth
Are your child’s pearly whites looking a tad less pearly lately? Just like adults, children can suffer from tooth discoloration in both primary (baby) and permanent teeth. Depending on what has caused your child’s teeth to become stained, we can recommend ways to improve the teeth’s appearance and make sure that the stains do not signify a more serious health issue.
A common cause of stained teeth is poor dental hygiene. When your child doesn’t brush and floss adequately, hard-to-remove plaque can develop and make the teeth appear yellow or orange. While we may be able to remove some of this debris during a cleaning, you can help your child’s teeth look whiter by helping your child become better at caring for his or her teeth.
Other Causes of Discoloration
- Vitamin supplements that include iron can cause dark stains on a child’s teeth; so can antihistamines and certain antibiotics (including a mother’s use of tetracycline during pregnancy).
- Trauma from an injury to the teeth or gums can make the teeth turn pink or gray.
- Some genetic conditions interfere with the development of tooth enamel, causing baby teeth to come in with a discolored appearance; newborn jaundice and certain infections may also be to blame.
- Even fluoride, usually considered a tool in your child’s dental health arsenal, can affect the appearance of teeth—excessive fluoride exposure from not spitting out toothpaste or drinking formula made with fluoridated water may lead to white streaks on tooth enamel.
Unless the discoloration is due to reasons of hygiene, the stains on your child’s teeth can be difficult to remove. Cosmetic whitening can be an option if you’re concerned about your child’s appearance. Most importantly, we can make sure that the staining is only a cosmetic problem, not the result of an underlying illness. That way, you can at least rest assured that those not-so-perfectly-pearly whites are still perfectly healthy.
If you have further questions regarding cosmetic whitening, click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.