Why Do My Child’s Teeth Look Stained? 


Noticing stains on your child’s teeth can be concerning for any parent. While children’s teeth are generally whiter than adults’, various factors can cause discoloration. Understanding these causes and knowing how to address them is essential for maintaining your child’s oral health and ensuring their smile remains bright. 

Common causes of teeth staining in children 

Poor dental hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to the buildup of plaque, which can cause staining. Encouraging regular and proper dental hygiene is crucial. 

Dietary choices. Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, soy sauce and beverages like soda or fruit juices, can stain teeth. Foods and drinks high in sugar can also contribute to staining by promoting plaque formation. 

Fluorosis. Excessive fluoride intake, especially in children under the age of eight whose teeth are still developing, can lead to fluorosis. This condition causes white spots or streaks on the teeth, and in more severe cases, can lead to brown stains. 

Medications. Certain medications, such as the antibiotic tetracycline, can cause tooth discoloration in children. If the mother takes tetracycline during the second half of pregnancy or if a child takes it before the age of eight, it can lead to stained teeth. 

Dental trauma. Trauma to the teeth, such as a fall, can damage the internal structure of the teeth and lead to discoloration. 

Genetic factors. In some cases, the colour and brightness of teeth can be affected by genetic factors. 

Solutions for stained teeth in children 

Visit a paediatric dentist. If you notice staining on your child’s teeth, the first step should be to consult a paediatric dentist. They can determine the cause of the staining and recommend appropriate treatment. 

Improve dental hygiene. Ensure your child brushes at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flosses regularly. Supervise their brushing technique and duration (at least two minutes). 

Modify diet. Limit foods and drinks that stain teeth. Encourage drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and have your child rinse their mouth with water after eating stain-causing foods. 

Professional cleaning. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help remove surface stains and prevent plaque buildup. 

Treatment for fluorosis. For mild cases of fluorosis, no treatment is necessary. However, in more severe cases, options like bonding, veneers or teeth whitening might be considered, usually when the child is older. 

Importance of professional and timely advice 

Stained teeth in children can be caused by various factors, including dietary habits, dental hygiene, medications and genetics. The key to addressing this issue is maintaining good oral hygiene, making dietary adjustments and seeking professional dental advice. Regular visits to a paediatric dentist are essential to ensure that your child’s teeth remain healthy and to address any issues promptly.