There are many reasons for tooth discolouration and even healthy children can experience this. Most stains are on the tooth surface and are caused by the build-up of plaque, usually from lack of good brushing. Try adult toothpaste or a mixture of baking soda and water. If this doesn’t work, your dentist should be able to remove the stain if it is on the tooth surface.

Some discolouration is caused by disturbances that happen during tooth growth and cause stains in the enamel (hard outer covering) or the dentin (hard tissue under the enamel). Stains can also be caused by excess fluoride. In cases of childhood malnutrition, chronic illness, long term use of some medications or radiation therapy, tooth spots can result and the teeth will appear malformed (i.e. chipped or broken).

Back teeth (molars) may also be affected. By asking questions about your child’s health history and looking at the teeth, we may be able to identify the cause and suggest options to improve their appearance.