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What is causing white spots and discoloration on my baby’s teeth?

What is causing white spots and discoloration on my baby’s teeth?

With your toddler or preschooler, there’s so much to consider in ensuring that they are growing healthily and to their fullest potential. A healthy diet, a positive home environment, a balance of physical activity and fun, and a strong learning platform are crucial in helping your child grow strong. As a caring parent, you know there are some signs to watch out for when it comes to your child’s overall health.

If you have been noticing white spots and discoloration on your child’s primary (baby) teeth, this may be a sign of an underlying problem. There’s no need to panic though. While spots on your toddler’s’ teeth may indicate early tooth decay or too much fluoride in the diet, your kid’s dentist can help you to fix these problems.

Start by taking your toddler to the dentist and learning about what can be causing the discoloration.

Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry is your answer to finding a kid’s dentist near home. We offer pediatric orthodontic services in key locations across the Rio Grande Valley. With offices in Laredo, Mission, and San Juan, we’re conveniently located to meet your child’s dentistry needs.

If you’ve noticed white spots on your child’s teeth and would like an experienced pediatric dentist to care for your child, click here to request an appointment at one of our locations.

Tooth Decay

According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) some 42 percent of children 2 to 11 have had cavities in their primary teeth – or baby teeth. Dental caries are also more prevalent and untreated in the Hispanic population.

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One of the first signs of tooth decay in children is the formation of white spots on the teeth. These pale and milky-looking spots are easily visible on the teeth, particularly along the gumline. Don’t delay in taking your little one to the dentist if you see these spots as they can turn brown or yellow if left untreated.

You can reverse the tooth decay process simply by scheduling an appointment with a kid-friendly dentist when the spots first begin to appear. The treatment will likely include teeth cleaning and a gentle fluoride treatment to remove tartar and plaque buildup. Early exposure to the right amount of fluoride will help reverse the decay process all while strengthening your child’s tooth enamel. This also helps prevent the formation of erosive acids that wear away the enamel.

Fluorosis

Too much of a good thing can be bad. Such is the case with exposure to too much fluoride. Those white spots on your child’s teeth may be due to an excess of fluoride in the diet during the first eight years of life – a condition known as fluorosis. The spots that occur with fluorosis are often barely visible and usually only detected by a dentist. The stains that appear are blotchy or streaky and result from hypo-mineralization of the teeth enamel.

However, that’s no reason to stop providing your child with fluoridated water. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fluorosis may not be so bad for your little hero’s growing teeth. The type of fluorosis children encounter in the United States generally helps in the resist tooth decay later in life, once the permanent teeth come in. Fluorosis may be present in your child’s primary teeth, but once the permanent teeth come in, the risk of this condition decreases.

What can I do to help my baby’s teeth?

White spots on your little one’s teeth are a good indicator of what’s going on with his/her oral health. Whether tooth decay is at play or fluorosis is the culprit, the good news is that these conditions can be reversed.

The white spots appear early enough for some corrective measures to be taken to ensure a healthy smile. If you’re dealing with fluorosis in your child’s teeth, there’s nothing to worry about yet. Simply make sure there isn’t too much fluoride in their diet from major sources. Monitor intake of water as well as their daily dental hygiene routine. Before three years of age, your child does not need to use a fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse.

To prevent tooth decay, make sure to keep an eye on your child when they are brushing their teeth. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste is adequate for a good teeth cleaning. Educate your child about the importance of brushing daily so that your little hero can benefit from a lifetime of positive dental habits and a healthy smile.

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Not only are our facilities kid-friendly, we also offer a range of services, from care for children with special needs, to outpatient hospital services, and routine dental care for children 6 months to 21 years of age. Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry is your go-to source for dental services in the Rio Grande Valley.