As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and happy, so you may visit their doctor and dentist regularly. Considering your child's primary teeth will come out eventually, you may not be placing enough emphasis on the health and look of the baby teeth. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to your child's oral health and the future development of their primary teeth. If your child's baby teeth are showing signs of discoloration or staining, there may be an issue to address. Using this guide, you will understand the cause of tooth staining in children and learn the best treatment to restore their healthy, appealing baby teeth.
Causes of Pediatric Tooth Staining
Using tobacco products and drinking wine, coffee, and tea are common causes of tooth discoloration. However, your child most likely does not participate in these habits, so noticing stains on their teeth can be confusing. Although surprising for many parents to learn, your child's baby teeth may stain due to the following:
- Improper Oral Hygiene – Buildup of food and residue can quickly discolor your child's baby teeth, so ensuring they are brushing properly is important. Be sure your child brushes for two minutes, twice a day. Brushing is even more important if your child consumes large amounts of juice, since this favorite beverage contains dyes that quickly stain tooth enamel.
- Medication – If your child is taking certain medications, teeth may discolor. Tetracycline, a type of antibiotic, and iron supplements can create dark stains on your child's primary teeth.
- Enamel Issues – Genetic issues can cause your child's tooth enamel to be weak, increasing the risk of dental damage and tooth staining.
- Illness – Medical conditions may cause your child's teeth to stain and discolor, as well. If your child was diagnosed with hepatitis or has a heart condition, they may develop stains on their teeth.
- Excessive Fluoride – An excessive amount of fluoride within the first 8 years of your child's life can weaken tooth enamel and cause white spots, streaks, dark stains, and cloudy splotches on your child's teeth. Known as dental fluorosis, this condition is a common problem due to the increased use of toothpastes, mouthwashes, water, and tablets that contain fluoride.
Removing the stains on your child's primary teeth may not seem like a priority, since they will not be permanent. However, removing the discoloration and improving the health of their primary teeth will benefit their appearance and self-esteem.
Treatment Options for Pediatric Tooth Discoloration
Your child's dentist will need to determine the cause of their tooth staining before removing the stains. The dentist will work with you and your child to educate you further on proper brushing. If the child's stains stem from a medication or health issue, you will need to consult their pediatrician to treat their condition with a medicine that does not cause tooth staining.
If your child is dealing with dental fluorosis, halting the use of pastes, rinses, tablets, and water that contain fluoride will be essential before removing the stains.
Once the cause is determined, your child's dentist can remove the staining. Fortunately, many cleaning and whitening options are available.
Utilize a pediatric whitening toothpaste that contains baking soda. Baking soda naturally dissolves away stubborn residue while brightening the white color of your child's surface enamel.
A professional cleaning by your child's dentist can also remove most stains from their teeth. The cleaning may involve scraping away food particles, bacteria, and plaque from the teeth, which will improve the color of their smile dramatically. A dental cleaning is often sufficient for removing discoloration from your child's baby teeth.
Tooth discoloration in children is a common problem that requires attention. Using this guide and the help of your child's dentist, you will find the cause of their tooth staining before improving the underlying health, color, and appeal of their smile.
For more information, contact a practice like Love Your Smile Family Aesthetic Dentistry.