Discolored Baby Teeth

Baby teeth are usually off-white or ivory color in color. But they can be discolored for a number of reasons.

Inadequate brushing

If baby teeth do not get brushed adequately, plaque may form which could lead to discoloration, and of course tooth decay.


Toddlers who take medications like vitamin supplements which contain iron may have dark stains on their baby teeth. Taking tetracycline during pregnancy may also cause discoloration in baby teeth.

Tooth or gum injury

Injury to the baby teeth and gums may give your baby’s teeth a pinkish or grayish tint.

Weak enamel

Weak enamel development is usually a genetic problem, and it may cause discolored baby teeth.

Excessive fluoride

Receiving too much fluoride during tooth development (dental fluorosis) may result in white spots on baby teeth.

Discolored baby teeth may also be caused by certain medical conditions, including:

Newborn jaundice

Jaundice is a condition which is caused by having too much bilirubin in the blood. [Bilirubin is formed when the body breaks down old red blood cells. The liver usually processes and removes the bilirubin from the blood.] Jaundice in newborns happen because their livers are not mature enough to efficiently remove biliburin in the blood. Jaundice is characterized by having yellowish skin and sclera. A baby who develops jaundice shortly after birth may have teeth with greenish tint.

Serious illness

A serious medical condition or a widespread illness may result in discolored teeth. Diseases such as hepatitis and some types or heart disease may have the same effect.

What you can do

If the discoloration is caused by inadequate brushing, improving oral care practices may improve the discoloration. There is also no need to use toothpaste until your child learns to spit (around 2-3 years old).

Avoid letting your baby sip milk or juice from the bottle all day, while sleeping, or while putting your baby to sleep because it may lead to tooth decay.

Source: MayoClinic


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