Stains in your kids’ teeth may consist of spots or it can include the entire tooth or even multiple teeth. They can be a source of embarrassment for your child, as well as a symptom of a more serious issue. If you notice discoloration of your children’s teeth, get them to the top kids dentist in NJ Dr. Mila Cohen to identify the cause, prevent further staining, and correct any behaviors that are contributing to teeth staining.
Some staining is reversible, while sometimes it’s permanent. Maintaining regular appointments and cleanings with your kids dentist in NJ is a great way stop damaging behavior and get those stains removed before they become permanent.
The best way to help keep your children’s teeth clean and white is to teach good dental care habits. Point out teeth-staining foods and beverages. Have them brush and floss every day. These techniques are essential to maintaining your kids’ dental health.
Additionally, setting up regular appointments with Dr. Mila Cohen of True Dental Care for Kids & Teens teaches them that dentist visits provide enjoyable care. Your dentist is your biggest ally in helping you educate your children on how to properly care for their teeth and explaining why it’s important.
Causes of Stained Teeth
Both children and adults may suffer from stained teeth. For both, the causes are largely preventable. Some are habits to avoid because the negative staining effects only get worse over time. To prevent unsightly stained teeth later in life, the best help you can offer your children is to help establish good habits early on.
Since a number of habits contribute to stained teeth, helping your child identify them and then helping him stop is his best bet for lifelong white teeth. According to a child dentist in NJ, the most common causes of stained teeth in children include:
- Tooth Decay. Tooth decay is a common problem for children as well as adults. If they’re not taught proper dental hygiene, children are just as likely to experience tooth decay. Inadequate brushing and flossing is the number one cause of tooth decay in children today.
- Fruit Juice. Just because it has the word fruit on the label, that doesn’t mean it’s good for your children’s teeth. Fruit juices are often dark in color and high in sugar, both of which cause staining in teeth.
- The acid in soda causes staining and erosion in your children’s teeth. Over time, soda creates weaker teeth that are more easily stained. The dark colors of most sodas also stain your children’s teeth.
- The same dyes that are leaving your kid with a brightly colored mouth after they finish also seeps into the pores of their enamel, staining the teeth. Similar to sodas and juices, popsicles are consumed slowly, slowing the sugars to coat the teeth for long periods, which just increases the staining potential.
- Antihistamines and antibiotics are both capable of staining your children’s teeth. Medications taken during pregnancy may also discolor your child’s teeth. Tetracycline is a common antibiotic that can cause tooth discoloration.
- Iron in multivitamins. While this is rare, iron may cause stained teeth in some children.
- Tooth trauma. Gray teeth or teeth that appear stained due to trauma are caused when an injury to the blood supply can literally kill the tooth.
- Serious illnesses sometimes cause your children’s teeth to look stained.
- If you have weaker enamel or have struggled with stained teeth yourself, there’s a high percentage that your child’s teeth will stain more easily as well.
- Young children who have jaundice may also have teeth that appear green or gray in color.
- Overconsumption of fluoride. For the most part, fluoride is good for your child’s teeth, but too much can cause staining or streaks. Monitor your child’s fluoride consumption, which includes tap water, fortified beverages and toothpaste.
- Food condiments. Many children enjoy the taste of condiments — such as dressings and sauces. Many store-bought sauces have added sugars and dyes that can cause tooth staining.
- Fruits commonly have high sugar content (strike one), they’re vibrant in color (strike two) and essentially create their own natural dye (strike three). Consuming pigmented fruit such as berries present common problems in staining children’s teeth.
- Hot drinks. Hot drinks can stain teeth. Hot beverages widen the pores of teeth, which allows staining more easily. Drinks that are hot and dark, such as tea or hot chocolate, are particularly bad because they make the teeth more susceptible to damage by being both high in sugar and dark in color — both perpetrators of stained teeth.
Common Problems Due to Stained Teeth
You can’t know what’s causing your children’s stain teeth. You need your child dentist in NJ to diagnose the issue. Teeth stains are either a symptom of an underlying issue or a cosmetic problem. Some common problems caused by stained teeth include:
- Weak enamel: Staining weakens the tooth’s enamel. This can be a precursor to other conditions that harm the teeth.
- Damage to the tooth. Stains often occur on damaged areas of your child’s tooth or enamel.
- Lower self-esteem. For anyone suffering from stained teeth, the results are often embarrassing, which does nothing to help a child’s confidence level.
- Stained teeth commonly cause embarrassment in children and teens. These feelings can cause emotional issues in children, so take them seriously.
- Depression and anxiety. If discolored teeth aren’t fixed quickly — or if they remain permanently — more emotional conditions such as depression and anxiety may result.
Treatments for Stained Teeth
Many stains, especially in children, are common problems and aren’t usually a cause for alarm. Although stained teeth warrant a visit to your NJ kids dentist, the need is usually to ensure it doesn’t get worse.
A dentist knows how to approach children and teens. Your dentist can suggest the best course of action to remove the stains. Treatment usually begins with professionally cleaning the teeth, which frequently removes many of the stains. Your dentist might recommend some whitening products, such strips or toothpaste. For severe cases, your children may need whitening procedures that occur in the dentist’s office.