Read on to find out why your child’s teeth can look yellowed or have stains on them.
What causes stains and yellowing
- Jaundice. Babies who experience long or severe periods of jaundice often have a greenish hue to their teeth when they come in.
- Tooth decay. Parents who allow their children to suck a bottle or nurse while sleeping on a regular basis are allowing their children to sleep with sugar clinging to their baby teeth (even natural sugars can cause decay). This decay causes brownish or rust-coloured stains on the teeth.
- Children whose mothers take tetracycline while pregnant will usually have some yellowish discolouration to their teeth.
- Children with hepatitis, heart disease and severe infections will often have grayish discolouration of the teeth.
- Vitamins (especially excess iron) can cause tooth discolouration
- Certain foods and drinks can cause tooth discolouration.
- Poor oral hygiene. “Brushing” a baby’s gums is the start of good oral hygiene and should continue on throughout their lifetime.
Preventing discolouration of the teeth
As you look at the list or reasons your child’s teeth may be discoloured, you’ll notice that some of them are out of your control. For instance, there is nothing you can do to stop discolouration if the reason is heart disease or the result of jaundice. But you can take preventative measures in regards to not letting your child have a sugar build-up in their mouth while sleeping and in ppractisinggood oral hygiene.
Good oral hygiene can start in the first months of your child’s life. The little ‘finger brushes’ for gums and those first tiny teeth do much to help you keep your baby’s gums and teeth clean and healthy.
As your children grow, you can teach them to brush properly with safer, tastier children’s toothpaste. NOTE: Make sure they learn to brush properly. Just rolling a toothbrush around in their mouth isn’t doing any good.
Taking your child to the dentist once or twice a year for a check-up and thorough cleaning is also well worth the effort and relatively low cost (especially compared to dental repair work). These cleaning and check-ups can alert you to the early signs of decay; stopping it before it gets out of hand.
Other preventative measures of tooth discolouration include:
- Keeping sugar from all sources to a minimum
- Limiting the amount of foods your child eats that contain dyes
- Limiting the abrasives your child puts into their mouth. These include excessive salt and acidic foods and juices