FAQs about Baby Tooth Discoloration

The sight of discolored baby teeth can be an early warning sign that your child has an underlying dental issue or is in danger of developing one. Once you spot the discoloration, it is important that your child's teeth are examined by a dentist. Here is what you need to know about the condition.

Q. What Is Causing the Discoloration?

A. Discoloration can be the result of several factors, including poor dental hygiene. If your young child's teeth are not being properly brushed, bacteria can start to form and cause discoloration, gum disease, and even cavities. 

Discoloration can also occur if your child has recently experienced a tooth injury or mouth trauma. Other potential causes of discoloration include these:

  • Medications. Certain medications given to your child, such as antibiotics and iron supplements, can sometimes cause discoloration. Some medications taken by the mother during pregnancy can also result in discoloration once the baby's teeth start to erupt. 
  • Excessive fluoride. Fluoride is important to the development of your child's teeth, but too much can cause adverse effects, such as discoloration.
  • Poor diet and eating habits. Issues such as baby bottle tooth decay can cause discoloration, including white spots on the teeth. 

There are many other reasons your child can develop discoloration. After an examination, a dentist can help you pinpoint the cause. 

Q. How Is It Treated?

A. Whether or not your dentist recommends any treatment depends on the cause of the tooth discoloration. For instance, if the discoloration is due to trauma and a tooth is in good condition otherwise, the dentist might choose not to take action. 

However, if the discoloration is due to poor dental hygiene, the dentist can help create a dental care plan for treating your child's teeth going forward. Since young children should not be allowed to take on the task of brushing their own teeth until they are able to do so without swallowing the toothpaste, you are responsible for ensuring your child's teeth are properly cared for. 

If a condition like baby bottle tooth decay is the culprit, you need to practice better feeding and eating habits with your child. For instance, avoid giving your baby a bottle or cup with milk or juice before they go to sleep. The sugar from the juice and milk sits on your child's teeth while they are asleep and eats at the enamel. 

Other recommendations can include changing medications and using less fluoride. It is important that you follow the dentist's recommendations to protect your child's dental health going forward.