Be it an adult or a child, white teeth is something that we love to have. But there are times when our teeth get discoloured or stained. A lot of times it’s due to what we eat and drink. Sometimes, it goes beyond food. You might find that your child’s one or two teeth have turned darker than they are supposed to be. Discolouration of teeth in children or even babies happen due to many reasons. One of the most obvious ones is not brushing teeth properly. Let’s find out what are the other reasons why children’s teeth don’t stay white at times.
HealthShots connected with Dr Garima Yadav, Senior Consultant
Dental Department, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi to find out all about discolouration of teeth in children.
Causes of child’s discoloured teeth
It’s true that there are foods that can stain teeth and cause them to appear yellow. Discolouration of teeth can also be caused due to trauma to the tooth structure, says Dr Yadav. Even if you try your best, accidental injuries while playing can’t be prevented. Sometimes, children get their teeth fractured and since it’s visible, most of the moms seek dental care. However, when there is no visible injury, we tend to neglect it. Such teeth in the long run become dead and hence, discoloured.
There are many more reasons why discolouration of teeth in children happens. Some of them are as follows!
• Compromised oral hygiene
• Flouride stains
• Iron supplements stains
You can see this problem even in your baby. Dr Yadav says that baby tooth or primary teeth are whiter as compared to adult teeth. However, due to several reasons they can lose colour. At times, stains don’t go away even after brushing their teeth. This could mean any of the following conditions!
1. Medication use
Your child may be taking a medicine or supplements for their overall growth. Such medicines contain iron or vitamins which may lead to stained teeth.
2. Weak enamel
There are times when there is a defect in the formation of enamel. It is the outermost layer of a tooth, and such defects can lead to teeth being stained.
3. Excessive fluoride
Fluoridated water in baby food or formula increases the faint white lines in baby teeth.
How long does it take for the tooth to return to normal colour?
You don’t want your child to stay long with discoloured teeth, but there is no timeline for recovery. However, if oral hygiene is maintained and problems are detected then early tooth can return to normal colour within 6 to 8 months, says the expert.
Treatments for discoloured teeth
To make sure that your child doesn’t have any discoloured or stained teeth, you can go for the following treatments:
• Dental treatment is needed for stains because of cavities and poor oral hygiene
• Fluoride stains need extensive cosmetic correction.
• Stains because of iron supplements resolve within a year
• Scaling and polishing.
• Aesthetic restorations.
Tips kids can follow for dental hygiene
If you want your child to have strong and white teeth, you must encourage your little one to focus on oral hygiene by:
• Telling your child to brush teeth twice a day without fail
• Using special toothpaste which are designed for kids and can be used to prevent caries
• Taking them for regular dental visits.