As a parent, you probably want nothing more than to see a bright, healthy smile on your child's school photos. Unfortunately, children's teeth are even more prone to yellowing than adult teeth, and in some cases, the discoloration can be permanent. If you notice that your child's teeth seem more yellow than usual, schedule an exam with a dentist, like Dental Associates of Tampa, to pinpoint the problem. Here are five reasons why your child might have discolored teeth:
Growing Darker Adult Teeth
Baby teeth are also known as milk teeth because they contain less dentin, a red or yellow tissue found at the center of every tooth. When side-by-side with baby teeth, permanent teeth may look much darker or more yellow by comparison. This is typically a color illusion, and your child's smile will look perfectly normal once all of the baby teeth are gone. If the discoloration persists past this point, consult with your dentist for a professional opinion.
Taking Certain Antibiotics
Doctors often avoid prescribing antibiotics to children for a number of reasons, including their potential impact on tooth development. Tetracycline, for example, is a useful antibiotic that treats a variety of conditions, but it is also known to leave yellow streaks in young teeth. Amoxicillin has also been linked to enamel problems in children, though the relationship is currently poorly understood. Even though antibiotics can be an invaluable tool for keeping your child free of disease, use them sparingly to decrease the risk of discoloration.
Consuming Too Much Iron
Giving your children vitamins is a practical way to ensure their growing bodies have everything they need, but those vitamins could also be staining their teeth. Too much iron in nutritional supplements, especially in a liquid form, may dye teeth brown or yellow in even just a few weeks. Thankfully, these stains can be removed with baking soda or rigorous brushing, and you can then switch your child to supplements with a lower iron content.
Being Exposed to High Levels of Fluoride
Excessive fluoride exposure during the first eight years of a child's life can stain his or her teeth for decades afterward. Fluoride in moderation can reduce the chance of cavities and is a common toothpaste ingredient, but too much will stain teeth and eat large pits into the enamel. This stain is known as fluorosis. Even swallowing fluoridated toothpaste can be enough to cause fluorosis, so avoid fluoridated products for your child and check your water content to be safe.
Forgetting to Floss and Brush
Usually, discolored teeth are simply the result of a child not practicing effective dental hygiene. Always double check that your child has flossed and brushed twice a day, and ensure that the toothpaste is reaching each tooth sufficiently. Between these good habits and regular dental exams, your child's teeth should remain healthy and vibrant well into adulthood.Share