Nothing can be as joyful for a parent as seeing their kids having a beautiful smile on their faces. However, this beautiful smile on the face of kids may be affected when their pearly whites become yellow or change to other colors. If discoloration in your child’s teeth has been an issue of concern to you, there is good news for you. You need not worry anymore, as there are various measures you can adopt to help improve the color of your child’s teeth. In this article, we will be discussing these measures as well as the reasons for the discoloration in your child’s teeth and preventive measures against the discoloration.
What is Tooth Discoloration?
Tooth discoloration in kids implies changes in the color of the child’s teeth. It occurs when the natural pearly white or ivory white color of the child’s teeth changes. Discoloration of the teeth can be of two types – internal discoloration and external discoloration. More often than not, external tooth discolorations are temporary. They occur as a result of medications, food items etc. Internal discolorations on the other hand occur mainly due to underlying medical conditions like enamel hypoplasia, metabolic disorder, etc.
Causes of Tooth Discoloration in kids
The following are reasons why your child’s teeth get discolored.
1. Certain Illnesses
Some kinds of ailments or illnesses like recurrent high fever, hepatitis, etc. can cause discoloration in kids.
Genetic defects in gentile formation can be a cause of tooth discoloration. The type of discoloration that will be observed in the kid depends on the kind of genetic defect in the kid.
3. Tooth Decay or Carries
The activity of bacteria in the mouth of your kid may cause dental decay or cavity, and this can lead to brownish-black discoloration in the teeth.
4. Enamel Defect
The enamel is a hard white substance covering the crown of a tooth. In some cases, there could be flaws in the formation of enamel and this can lead to internal discoloration of the teeth. Enamel hypoplasia is a good example of this kind of defect and it results in tooth discoloration.
5. Improper Oral Hygiene
Lack of proper oral hygiene like brushing the teeth daily may result in the formation of plague, and this can change the color of the teeth.
6. Dental Injury
Sometimes, injury to the teeth may result in its discoloration. This may happen when there is bleeding that affects the tooth enamel. When this happens, a pinkish hue may be observed in the affected tooth and over time, it may turn black.
Excessive fluoride in your kid’s toothpaste, drinking water, or formula milk may result in your child having too much fluoride in the mouth. Excess amounts of fluoride can lead to a condition where your child has white streaks or patches in the teeth.
Kids affected by severe jaundice after birth may have green or yellow-tinted teeth. This is because of the availability of a surplus amount of bilirubin during dental development.
9. Use of Certain Medications
The use of medications like tetracycline during pregnancy may be a reason for the discoloration of your child’s teeth
The above-mentioned are some of the reasons for the discoloration in your child’s teeth.
Signs of Teeth Discoloration
You may observe your kid’s tooth discoloration by looking at his or her teeth. Also, you can establish whether or not your kid is suffering from some kind of teeth discoloration by paying attention to the stain colors on the teeth.
- White stains in your child’s teeth may be an indication of early signs of tooth decay.
- If your child’s teeth appear purple, red, or blue, it may be due to the consumption of some dark-colored food or tooth trauma.
- If your child’s teeth appear brown, it may be due to some kind of injury or consumption of some dark beverage.
- If your child’s teeth appear orange, it may be an indication of the accumulation of bacteria in the teeth, possibly due to improper oral hygiene.
- If your child’s teeth have black stains, it may be due to cavities, iron supplements, or tooth trauma.
Ways to Treat Discoloration in Your Child’s Teeth
The level of discoloration in your child’s teeth and the cause of the discoloration may determine the treatment procedure you apply. It is better to treat your kid’s discoloration early. Don’t allow it to linger before you find means of treating it. If you want to whiten your child’s teeth, the following treatment procedures may prove useful.
1. When brushing your kid’s teeth, you need to be very intentional about it, especially if your kid is on any kind of iron supplement. Iron supplements can lead to tooth staining. So, by paying attention to your child’s teeth and helping the child brush the teeth, the stains will not set in – they will likely go away once the supplement is stopped.
2. Salt mixed with lemon plus baking soda is a good kind of teeth whitener. You can put on this blend to the teeth before brushing. Note that you can also use some baking soda and water as toothpaste for brushing your kid’s teeth. It will help to get rid of discoloration in their teeth and give them whiter teeth.
3. To get rid of bacteria and stains that may be responsible for your child’s tooth discoloration, your dentist may use a pumice mixture.
4. If your child’s tooth discoloration is a result of any form of ill-health, your doctor should prioritize treating the ill-health condition. Once the condition is healed, the discoloration may disappear.
5. Discolorations as a result of trauma may be difficult to treat. However, you can get in touch with a dentist to find out if the permanent teeth have been affected by the injury.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration in Kids
Prevention they say is better than cure. There are many remedies when it comes to treating tooth discoloration, but why treat when you can prevent it in the first place? Adopting preventive measures to keep any tooth discoloration at bay is a better option than looking for solutions after observing the discoloration. The following tips can help you prevent tooth discoloration in your child.
1. Use the exact quantity of fluoridated toothpaste recommended for your child’s age range. Using excess amounts may result in tooth discoloration for the child.
2. Start cleaning your child’s teeth once they appear. Start by cleaning with a soft cotton cloth and slowly move to using a baby brush.
3. Avoid feeding your child with foods having high sugar content. Foods having a high sugar content may lead to tooth decay or dental caries, which in turn may cause discoloration.
4. Encourage your kids to exercise good oral hygiene from an early age. Brushing is a good habit they must inculcate from an early age. Teach your kids how not to swallow the toothpaste – teach them to spit it out.
5. Presence of milk and sugar in the mouth while sleeping creates an environment for bacteria to harbor. So, encourage your kids to avoid sleeping with a milk bottle at night.
When to Consult a Doctor
When you observe any sign of discoloration in your child’s teeth, it is important that you consult your doctor. This is because you can only treat the tooth discoloration when you have established the cause for it and your doctor may be in the best position to help you establish the cause for the discoloration.
Tooth discoloration won’t give your child the perfect smile you desire. As has been mentioned already, it is better to take preventive measures against tooth discoloration than to try to treat it. If you however still observe discolorations in your child’s teeth despite the preventive measures, you should see your doctor.