More often than not, people have the idea that teeth are supposed to be white. So as a parent, it is understandable how it might seem “bad” if your toddler’s teeth appear “stained” or “yellow” . However, it is important to know that natural teeth are not always white. Many factors come into play with the coloration of the teeth. For example, factors like those related to tooth enamel, injury, medications that can affect teeth, staining or poor at-home hygiene habits can impact the coloration of teeth. It is important to explore the causes of staining or a yellow appearance of the teeth in order to best understand what treatment may be needed.
Black or brown stained teeth:
If your toddler’s teeth appear to look stained with brown or black color this could be a result of many things in the mouth. More commonly, black or brown stain is related to saliva, bacteria and foods. Some mild or severe tooth problems may also be correlated to this coloring of the teeth.
If your child is not brushing regularly, the food debris can build up on the teeth and leave these stains in this fashion. This is why it is so important to practice a regular, at-home hygiene routine with your child. If your toddler has insisted that they brush their teeth on their own, it would be best to facilitate brushing with them. This could help to ensure that proper tooth brushing is taking place.
Yellow Appearing Teeth:
The yellowing of teeth can result from multiple factors like foods, inadequate brushing and certain medications.
For example, some foods can cause yellow stains to appear. The more regular contact the food has with the teeth, the more likely a stain may result. Additionally, drinks like sodas can weaken the enamel, which makes the teeth more susceptible to staining.
If brushing is not done properly to remove the necessary bacteria and plaque, the teeth may appear yellowish in color. To minimize stain, try monitoring brushing with your child making sure that they are diligently brushing. Flossing can also help to rid bacteria between the teeth causing yellowing to occur.
Some medications can be associated with the yellowing of teeth. If a child has undergone chemotherapy, the teeth may have thinner enamel, which is more capable of staining. Additionally, the tetracycline class of antibiotics reveals correlation to tooth discoloration when particularly used during pregnancy or early childhood.
If you have a toddler who has stained or yellow appearing teeth, it is okay to be concerned. If you are worried, it is best to take your child to the pediatric dentist so that the dentist can evaluate their teeth. The pediatric dentist would be able to assess the staining and provide information on how to best treat the problems at hand. A professional cleaning may be suggested to begin with to try to remove any staining.
At Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we offer exceptional pediatric dentistry services to our patients. We understand that as a child, the dentist may be frightening but at our office it is a fun comforting experience. So, please call our office today at 703-348-2813 to schedule your appointment for your little one!