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Why Are My Kid’s Teeth Discolored?

added on: July 27, 2020
girl in rainbow tutu

When we picture a healthy smile, we all tend to envision bright, white teeth. This is especially true for children, as their teeth can often appear whiter and brighter than adult teeth. So as your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands, we can certainly understand why it may be concerning if you notice some discoloration in your child’s smile. We’re here to help by sharing some things that can cause tooth discoloration in kids, as well as how to fix them. 

Poor Brushing Habits

The most common explanation for tooth discoloration in kids is improper brushing. Kids don’t naturally understand just how important it is to brush their teeth twice a day, so it can be really easy for them to just not do it. However, even your child brushes her teeth every morning and every night, she may not be scrubbing each tooth effectively or rushing through the task. Either way, poor brushing habits can cause teeth to take on a yellowish or gray appearance or even show orange or green spots. 

An Accident or Trauma

A single tooth that seems to suddenly appear darker in color can indicate a sign of tooth trauma. Perhaps your child took a spill while playing outside, or bonked her mouth on a hard surface, and you didn’t think much of it because she seemed perfectly fine. Yet a day or two later her tooth starts to look gray or dull. Chances are, the tooth experienced some level of trauma, and you should have your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands check it out. 

Too Much Fluoride

Fluoride is something that many dentists use on both baby teeth and adult teeth to help strengthen enamel and protect against decay. It’s a mineral found naturally in many foods and drinks, and even in most public water supplies. However, there is such a thing as too much fluoride, and one of the most common signs of it are small white streaks or spots on the teeth known as fluorosis. 

Medications or Illness

A certain antibiotic known as tetracycline can also cause tooth discoloration if a pregnant or nursing mom takes it around the same time teeth are developing and growing. This can cause teeth to appear bluish-gray or brownish-yellow. Additionally, an illness that results in high fever and even some infections may cause discoloration. Babies who have had hyperbilirubinemia, a condition that occurs when there’s too much bilirubin in the blood and the condition that causes jaundice, may experience teeth that look blue, green, red, or brown.


A diet that contains too many acidic foods and drinks can wear down tooth enamel and cause teeth to appear dull, dark, gray, or yellow. Furthermore, a diet high in sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay, which can present itself as dark or brown patches. 

Any discoloration in your child’s teeth should be a sign that you should see your pediatric dentist in The Woodlands to determine the cause as well as the best treatment. After all, even though baby teeth are only temporary, they serve an important role in permanent teeth development, as well as speech development, and they should be taken care of until they’re ready to fall out naturally. 

If your little one is overdue for a dental appointment, or if you notice any signs of tooth discoloration, schedule a visit today.