A smiling child is one of the most innocent things you can see in this often cruel world. Parents live for these smiles. But sometimes, a child smiling can cause apprehension too!
If you too are worried about your child’s discolored teeth, take heart. Many children lack a set of sparkly teeth. There are a number of reasons why kids teeth discoloration may happen.
Causes Behind Discolored Teeth In Children:
If your child’s smile is getting down, learn the reason behind it. Here are the major causes for discoloration of teeth in children:
1. Improper Or Inadequate Brushing:
Most kids hate brushing their teeth. And that can lead to plaque formation on their teeth, causing discoloration.
2. Use Of Medication:
Many medications aimed at children contain iron. These medicines too can cause discoloration. Some antibiotics are also known to cause teeth discoloration (1).
An injury to the teeth or gum can cause discoloration as well.
4. Weak Enamel:
If your child has weak enamel formation, she may end up with discolored teeth.
5. Too Much Fluoride:
If the water you are using to mix your baby’s formula contains excessive fluoride; she may develop mild enamel fluorosis and get stains on her teeth.
[ Read: How To Brush Kids Teeth ]
Teeth Discoloration Due To Injury:
As mentioned before, your child can get discolored teeth due to an injury. Discolored teeth in children due to injury comes in a number of hues. What do the different colors mean? Find out right here!
1. Gray, Black Or Brown Teeth After An Injury:
If your child has developed a dark stain on her tooth, you can blame it on an injury. This discoloration can take up to 2-3 weeks after an injury to develop. This happens because the blood from an injury can enter the small tubes inside the dentin layer of the tooth. In some cases, the discoloration resolves with time. But it is also possible to retain some of the dark hues for an indefinite period.
If this is a problem you are facing right now, take your child to the dentist. If the dentist thinks it important, he may perform a root canal or even remove the tooth. But this will only happen if there is an inflammation or infection on or around the affected tooth.
But if there is no infection, your dentist may allow the tooth to heal or fall off on its own. About 72% of darkened teeth falloff normally without any bad effects (2).
2. Red Or Pink Teeth After An Injury:
An injury can turn teeth red immediately or after a few weeks. If your child’s tooth has taken on a red hue immediately after an injury, it may be because the blood vessels inside have broken. This condition is known as pulpal hyperemia.
Sometimes, the red tinge takes longer to manifest. If your child develops a red color layer on her teeth weeks after an injury, it can be because the cells inside the tooth are eating away at the hard layers of the tooth. This process is called internal resorption.
In both these situations, you need to consult your dentist. Most cases resolve without a problem. But sometimes, the tooth root may need to be removed.
[ Read: Bruxism In Children ]
3. Yellow Teeth After An Injury:
The layer immediately under the tooth enamel is yellow in color and called dentin. Sometimes, an injury can cause the formation of excessive dentin. This can cause your child’s tooth to appear yellow.
Fortunately, this is not a serious concern. Most dentists do nothing in cases such as these. But do follow up and avoid unnecessary complications.
Tips To Treat Teeth Discoloration In Children:
If you want your child to have a sparkly smile, make use of the following tips for treating discolored teeth in children:
- Make sure your child brushes her teeth thoroughly, two times a day.
- You can use a fluoride toothpaste until she has learned how to spit.
- If your child is still drinking out of the bottle, it may be time to wean her off it. Also, never let her drink sugar water, juice or soft drinks from her bottle.
- Never put your child to bed with a bottle. And if she uses a pacifier, don’t dip it in sugar or honey.
- Don’t share utensils with your child to avoid spreading cavity-causing bacteria.
- Make time for a dentist. Children need dentists as much as adults.
In most cases, teeth discoloration requires no treatment. If there is no infection, wait it out until the tooth regains its original color. But if you want some peace of mind, consult a pediatric dentist. And teach your child the value of good oral hygiene. It will serve her well in the long run!
Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below. Let’s start a conversation and learn from each other!
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