Naturally, your first thought when your child's teeth are yellow is that he or she is not practicing good dental hygiene. Even though poor hygiene can result in issues such as yellowing, there are other possible causes. Here are some of the most common causes and what you can do about them.
When your child suffers an injury to a nerve near the tooth, yellow staining can occur. The discoloration is typically limited to the tooth that was nearest the injury. Sometimes, the discoloration will go away naturally as the nerve starts to heal. However, it is a good idea to have the dentist examine your child's teeth.
The dentist can ensure that the damage is not extensive and that it has not affected any of your child's other teeth. If the damage is serious, the dentist can treat it and the discoloration that occurred.
Tetracycline is a common ingredient in antibiotic medications. One of the side effects of tetracycline is discoloration of the teeth. If your child's teeth are still developing, the discoloration can be enough to cause yellow patches to appear on the teeth. The longer your child takes the medication and the stronger the dose, the more yellowing will occur.
Tetracycline is usually not prescribed for younger children, but if it is, it is important that you report the yellowing to your child's pediatrician immediately. He or she might reduce the dosage amount or opt for another antibiotic to treat your child. The dentist can also use bleaching techniques to help remove the stains from the teeth.
While your child's teeth are forming, fluoride is important to building enamel. However, exposure to too much fluoride can be detrimental to your child's teeth. The fluoride can lead to a mineralization disorder that creates a surface that looks yellow. The condition can be irreversible.
To avoid this problem, contact your dentist as soon as you notice the yellowing. If the problem is the result of fluoride, the dentist can whiten your child's teeth with abrasives and bleaching. You will also need to test your child's water supply to ensure that it does not have too much fluoride. If it does, you will need to buy bottled water for your child to drink.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should not turn to at-home teeth whitening kits to treat your child's teeth. Always schedule an appointment with the dentist and let him or her help you determine the cause of the problem and what should be done. For more information, contact a dentist such as Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A.