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Judging by the name alone, baby teeth seem like they should be flawless. After all, they’re fresh, new, and haven’t been exposed to a lifetime of food, drinks, and opportunities for damage. So when you notice stains on your little one’s teeth, it can come as a shock. What causes stains on baby teeth anyway? Some children have stained teeth for the same reason that many adults do – diet and hygiene. But other factors can contribute to children’s dental staining. 

If you notice discoloration of your child’s baby teeth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. He or she can determine which treatments are necessary to prevent further staining. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven are committed to protecting little smiles in Overland Park, KS, and the surrounding areas. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child. 

Oral Hygiene

Many parents don’t realize that they should begin brushing their children’s teeth as soon as they appear! Twice daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush is one of the best ways to prevent discoloration. You should also start flossing as soon as your child has two touching teeth. 

Dental visits are also essential as soon as that first tooth comes in. In fact, these visits are so vital that we are proud to offer free exams and cleanings to all children under age 2


Fluoride is important for tooth development. But if your child is exposed to too much fluoride at a young age, it can cause white streaks to appear on the teeth. Fortunately, fluorosis is typically mild and does not affect tooth function. 

To avoid this condition, do not mix infant formula with fluoride-enhanced water. And be sure to check the fluoride levels where you live. Levels of less than 2 mg/l are unlikely to cause fluorosis. 

Certain Medications 

Some antibiotics, especially tetracycline, can cause brown, gray, or yellow dental stains. If your child is over age 8, these medications will have no adverse effects. However, if you took one of these medications while pregnant or nursing, your child’s teeth could be impacted. 

Weak Enamel

Enamel hypoplasia is a genetic condition that causes thin or weak tooth enamel. It can affect baby teeth only, or it could also affect the permanent teeth. With compromised enamel, your child is more susceptible to discoloration and decay. That is why it is especially important to be vigilant about hygiene and dental visits. Your dentist may recommend additional treatments to further protect your child’s teeth. 


If your child is born with jaundice, excess bilirubin can build up in the dental tissue, giving them a green hue. Fortunately, this effect is extremely rare and will only impact the baby teeth.

Tooth Injury 

An injured tooth could turn gray or even black. This is because a fall or blow to the tooth can damage blood vessels, causing blood to leak out inside the tooth. In some cases, children may require restorative care, such as a root canal. Fortunately, the permanent tooth will likely come in normally. 

Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist 

If you notice staining on your child’s teeth, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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