Tooth Discoloration

My Babies Teeth are getting Darker! Cause for concern?

My Babies Teeth are getting Darker! Cause for concern?

Tooth Discoloration

What’s causing Tooth Discoloration in Children really? Is that common? Why is it affecting my child!

All these questions and more I receive them in my clinic in Dubai Health Care City from many worried parents.

Indeed, a child’s beautiful smile lights up the world. Especially that it is so bright and white.

However, sometimes, children’s teeth do get discolored! That does happen…

Here are 5 reasons why you should take your child to a Pediatric Dentist immediately if you notice a dark tooth:

  • Plaque

It can be so simple: just a layer of plaque collecting on the teeth. I know, most kids hate brushing their teeth; which in turn allows for food and plaque to accumulate on their teeth. That sticky layer of plaque goes away with brushing though, whether the layer is yellow, white or even dark; up until now this stage is reversible and the solution is quite simple: TO USE THE BRUSH.

  • Decay

Unfortunately, the most common cause of discoloration is actual tooth decay. When plaque does develop and accumulates over time, bacteria has enough time for the “acid attack”, thereafter its only a matter of time when a cavity is formed. Initial decay can present as white, yellow, brown or even black stains. Again hurrying to a dentist for your child in time does save the tooth and obviously the child from a lot of pain, shots, drama and dental fillings!

  • Iron and other medications

Vitamin formulations that contain iron, especially those with a heavy dose of it, does create severe stains! The great news is iron stains can be brushed off; however, the not so great news is sometimes the stain does hide underneath a lot of bacteria and decay. Again my advice is to go for a quick dental consultation for your child or toddler with a dentist who sees this frequently for reassurance  (Pediatric Dentist for Toddlers).

  • A Bump to the Tooth

Children are sometimes prone to hits and falls on their teeth. After a hit or a fall or even a broken front tooth, sometimes, slight discoloration happens.

Directly after a hit, bleeding does happen in the tooth space which leads to darker shade for the tooth. If the discoloration had a delayed onset, this is a sign that the nerve of the tooth is dead and it may need a root canal treatment at the specialist dentist’s office. Shades of teeth range from yellow, to grey, to brown and then black.

  • Weak Enamel

A whitish opaque discoloration sometimes can result from a condition called “Molar Incisor Hypomineralization” or MIH in short. This condition happens primarily as a problem during tooth development and mostly occurs in adult front teeth and back molars. It can also happen in baby teeth or primary teeth at times.

Long story short, the enamel in one area loses its beautiful luster and becomes opaque and dull. If you do catch this condition in your child’s milk or adult teeth, I advise you to rush to the dentist’s office; as this condition leads to super sensitive teeth and does affect a child in so many ways. In most cases, by the time the child is brought to the dentist this weak enamel has actually crumbled leaving a gaping painful hole in the child’s mouth.

Hope this helps to understand some of the reasons for discoloration.

Here are some recommendations for prevention teeth discoloration:

If you want to restore your child sparkly smile, try the following tips for treating discolored teeth in children
  • Its all about the brush: brush for your child twice a day,
  • Visit your pediatric dentist regularly: Professional cleaning will smooth tooth enamel and keep those ugly stains away.
  • Use a fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride is essential to keeping teeth healthy, however, too much fluoride can damage enamel-forming cells and yellow the teeth. As a dentist I can advise you on the appropriate amount of fluoride for your child’s age.
  • In case your child is drinking milk out of the bottle, consider weaning or decreasing the sugar content that may lead to cavities in the teeth. Absolutely avoid filling the bottle with sugar, juice or soft drinks.
  • Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle.
  • Visit your dentist for toddlers even if your child is 1 or 2 years old. Children need dentists as much as adults.

For more about the topic please read this blog post and watch this video, leave your comments below.

To a lifetime of healthy happy smiles!

Dr. Yasmin kottit - د.ياسمين قطيط


If your kids are scared from the dentist, bring them to see me 🙂

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