Did you know baby teeth are generally whiter than adult teeth? It’s true, those adorable little chompers have a bright, natural gleam that hasn’t yet been dulled by foods and drinks, medications, illness or injury. But, if you continue to pay attention, you will probably witness a gradual shift that leaves them less vibrant. You might even think they’re beginning to look more like your own teeth — a clear sign of the diminished quality of your smile. (A condition that’s also easily remedied with professional teeth whitening at Dague Dental Solutions. Just one treatment can leave your smile up to seven shades lighter.)

If teeth naturally dim with time, should you worry if your child’s smile gets darker? Are there other, more serious factors that could warrant greater concern? These are important questions. Let’s take a closer look to find the answers and more.

Types of Discoloration


The first thing to know is a change in your child’s tooth color can have either an internal or external origin. Establishing which it is is an important first step in determining how to proceed. Keep reading to learn more.

Internal discoloration is a type of discoloration that results from accident-related injuries. Active kids are most likely to suffer from this, especially those who are involved in sports. As much as 30% of kids aged 7 and below get into an accident that causes their teeth to hit hard objects or surfaces, resulting in the injury of the front teeth among others.

Severe trauma can cause the tooth itself to fracture and/or the blood vessels or nerve supply to get damaged or injured. Either way, the resulting visible discoloration is the necrotic or dead pulp tissue showing through the enamel….

External discoloration is a type of discoloration brought about by the accumulation of stains on the surface of the tooth. If your kid loves to consume a lot of dark-colored food and beverages, he or she is susceptible to external discoloration of the teeth. The same goes for those who love to consume sticky and sugary foods. Read more at My Kool Smiles

If your child’s smile still has its shine, prevent discoloration with protective mouth gear designed for sports and physical activities. Eating a low-sugar, vitamin-rich diet promotes oral health and produces whiter teeth.

Some Causes of Discoloration


If you’ve already detected changes in the color of your child’s smile and you know it’s not related to consumables or injury, the post below has more factors to consider.

Genetics: Genetics and hereditary defects in dentin formation or enamel could be responsible for intrinsic tooth discoloration. It means that the child will naturally develop yellow, yellow-brown, or blue-brown teeth, depending on the genetic defect.

Antibiotics: Some antibiotics can cause permanent discoloration of a child’s teeth. For instance, the antibiotic tetracycline can cause tooth discoloration when taken by children below the age of eight years.

Fluoride: Excess exposure to fluoride through toothpaste or drinking water with high fluoride content may cause discoloration of the teeth. Fluoride can result in brown spots on the enamel. This condition is called dental fluorosis.

Enamel defect: Sometimes, there could be a defect in the formation of enamel, which is the outermost layer of a tooth. Such defects can cause intrinsic staining of the teeth. An example of such a defect is enamel hypoplasia that causes tooth discoloration (4). Read more at Mom Junction

The ubiquity of teeth-staining elements means even children who practice good oral hygiene can develop darker teeth from repeated exposure.

When To Intervene

Dague Dental Solutions

We’ve established that discolored teeth are the enemy of a bright, welcoming smile, and that the problem should be dealt with as simply and effectively as possible. The question that remains is when you can safely address your child’s condition. Here’s some informed advice to help you with that:

At what age is it safe to whiten teeth?

Your child needs to wait until the enamel on their permanent teeth has fully calcified BEFORE beginning any whitening treatment.

This usually takes 2 years after an adult tooth emerges.

If your child uses a whitening treatment before all their adult teeth come in, they risk breaking down their tooth enamel and damaging their gum tissue.

Before beginning any whitening treatment at home, it’s best to consult with your child’s pediatric dentist first.

This way, you help earn your child a brighter smile under the professional supervision of a pediatric dentist, and you can avoid potential painful side effects common with at-home teeth whitening products. Read more at Dentistry Just For Kids

Once you’ve determined there’s a need to address your child’s smile, your goal should be finding the ideal course of treatment. The simplest path is working with a dentist who offers pediatric care as a normal part of their practice. They will create an individualized treatment plan for your child’s unique needs.

The staff at Dague Dental Solutions in Davenport, Iowa, has a wealth of experience in this specialized segment of dentistry. Our pediatric dentistry services are provided by top-ranked local dentist Dr. Jolene Dague in an environment that’s 100 percent child-friendly and supportive. Our entire team is committed to surpassing your dental care expectations. Call us today at 563-386-9770 to discuss your child’s needs and let’s get to work upgrading their grin.