From ages 5 and up, children are capable enough to brush their own teeth and take command of their own oral hygiene, however under the age of 5, it can be a little tricky. Toddlers often eat at random times of the day and sometimes nurse throughout the night. Iron and other supplements may also cause stains. Even if you brush their teeth in the morning and at night, the stains might not go away. Stains can make your toddler’s teeth look dirtier than they actually are and may also cover or hide tooth decay so if you can, here are a few ways you can try to get those stains out.
- Baking Soda & Water – Make a paste of baking soda and water (just a pinch and a few drops respectively) and brush the teeth using a toddler toothbrush. Do NOT use an adult toothbrush even if it’s soft because the bristles are still too harsh on your toddler’s teeth and gums.
- Adult Toothpaste – Choose an adult toothpaste that doesn’t contain whitening ingredients. (Those can be too harmful if swallowed). Use a small amount when brushing your toddlers teeth. Make sure your toddler is standing up and not lying down when you brush. Only use if you can teach your child to spit out the remaining toothpaste.
- Prevention – Don’t give your child a bottle when they’re sleeping and try to wean off night nursing sooner rather than later. Always floss if you see food particles are stuck. Once your toddler’s teeth are white, it takes a lot of management to keep them that way!
- Ask Your Dentist – Your dentist is the best bet when it comes to removing those stains permanently or at least until the adult teeth come in. A professional cleaning and brushing can help remove stains that you had a hard time removing at home.
Stained teeth aren’t the end of the world, but having healthy baby teeth is still very important. The better shape your toddler’s baby teeth are in, the better their chances are at having healthy and nicely aligned teeth later on. Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating and educating patients for over twenty-five years. Our office serves the New Fairfield, New Milford, Danbury, and Sherman areas of CT and Pawling, Patterson and Putnam Lake of New York. You can call us at 203-746-1200.