Dental Blog

Why Are My Baby’s Teeth Discolored?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Surprisingly, yellowing or stained teeth doesn’t only happen to adults.

It can affect young children, too. Baby teeth (also called primary teeth) are typically off-white or ivory colored. Inadequate brushing is one of the main reasons for discoloration due to tooth decay. Baby teeth should be brushed twice a day and after every meal, otherwise cavity causing bacteria and plaque can build up-just like in adult teeth.

If your baby has faint white marks or streaks on their teeth, it could be a sign of fluorosis. Fluorosis is a harmless cosmetic condition caused by overexposure to fluoride in early life. To avoid this, make sure your child doesn’t get more fluoride than they need. Fluoride is usually added to most municipal tap water supplies; therefore you probably don’t need to use toothpastes or mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Do not avoid fluoride altogether though! Fluoride is important in keeping you child’s mouth cavity free by promoting re-mineralization. If you’re concerned about fluorosis, talk to your dentist for more information.

Illness and medication may also affect your baby’s teeth color. Babies who develop jaundice after birth may have teeth with a greenish tint. Babies with widespread infection in infancy may also have discolored teeth. Infant medications that contain iron and some antibiotics can also cause teeth to develop dark stains or other discolorations.

Babies should have their first dental appointment before their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth coming in. Talk to the dentist about any concerns you have about your baby’s teeth.