Stained Teeth

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Orange spots on baby teeth

March 2008

Our 7 month old has two teeth and they look like they have carrot mush stuck to them. The teeth are not completely orange but just in one area. I have tried cleaning his teeth but it does not come off. He has had the teeth for about a month now and the orange is not going away. It was on the teeth even as they emerged from the gum. It is not something that appeared on the teeth after they came in. Does anyone have any idea what this could be? Jillian

Take my guess with a grain of salt, since I have no training or experience with this. But the only thing I might think about is medications that you took when you were pregnant, especially antibiotics. Some antibiotics are not supposed to be taken when you're pregnant, precisely because they can cause tooth discoloration. I only know this because there was a specific antibiotic that my doctor wanted me to take, but wanted to make sure I wasn't pregnant yet, nor would I get preg while on the medication. Also, I have a friend whose teeth were not orange, but greenish, apparently because back in the 1950s the medical world didn't know this yet.

I thought I heard that this could happen if the child has a very high fever while the teeth were being formed. Don't worry, they'll get their adult teeth before long. And f it really bothers you, I think the dentist can put an amalgam on that may not be the exact color of the teeeth, but it is way less oragne. anon

This sounds like what my son had on his teeth around 4 years of age...cheeto-orange like spots, right after a course of antibiotics. Has your baby had antibiotics recently, i.e. fairly recently before the teeth came in? A simple cleaning took my son's orange spots off, so check with a pediatric dentist. Dr. Carole Miyahara is ours (on Colby & also Ensenada), she's fantastics with little children. anon

Iron supplement stained 18-month-old's teeth

Nov 2004

My 18 month old son has been taking a liquid iron supplement for a few months. His front teeth seem to be stained, which I know can happen. I brush his teeth regularly (as good as possible with a squirmy toddler) but it doesn't seem to help. I would obviously rather him have stained teeth than anemia (changing his diet didn't help which is why we give him the supplement), but the stains worry me. What if they aren't stains and the teeth are starting to rot? How can you tell the difference? He does not nurse or have a bottle at night. Just usually some sips of milk from a sippy cup right before sleep. Does anyone have experience with this? Thanks! anon

My son also had this problem when we were giving him vitamin supplements with iron. I did a little research online and also confirmed with his doctor. The staining is due to the iron and is harmless. I know it looks horrible though and I also wondered if his teeth were rotting or getting cavities but that was not the case. I used a little baking soda on the tip of my finger and was able to rub the stains off rather easily. Hope that helps. Susan

My son took iron supplements and his teeth were also stained as a result. When he went in for his first tooth cleaning (which I'm thinking was at 3 years old?), the stains came right off. I can't tell you how you differentiate the staining from the rot, but you mentioned in your post that he drinks sips of milk right before sleep. It's really important to brush his teeth after he drinks that last milk. Even small amounts of milk can cause decay if they are not brushed off before bedtime. And if you positively can't get him to brush after his milk sips, then insist that he at least rinse with water. You need to get that milk out of there before sleepytime. Anon

My son was also on an iron supplement and had stained teeth (not to mention our clothes). His dentist was able to polish off the stains on either the first or second visit (around age 2?). Tracy

My son is now four and his teeth are still stained from the iron drops he took for only 2-3 months when he was one. You can even see a line on his teeth where the teeth grew out white after we stopped the drops. Have your child's iron checked - you may not need to continue the iron and diet may take over now. My son's doctor and his pediatric dentist have told me that some teeth are just more suseptible to staining. It is good to start brushing, but you most likely won't be able to reverse it. Since my son's teeth are already getting cavities, and the enamel seems soft, the dentist (just today in fact!) coated the two front teeth with a protective compound that also makes them look better (though still not perfect.) Next month we get to address some back teeth. I wish you luck. The iron staining looks really bad, but I doubt what you see is tooth decay. Once you are ready to take your child to the dentist, they can determine if he is likely to be prone to cavities from soft enamel. I was also told that the adult teeth can be very different. Dentally challenged mama with equally challenged son

Black stain line on toddler's teeth

Sept 2003

My two-year old, who brushes (with our assistance) daily has deeloped a black-line stain on many of her teeth. We took her to the dentist about a month ago, who told us the stain was harmless (maybe some sort of bacterial strain?) but there is really no good way to get rid of it right now. Has anyone else experienced this? We got some special tooth polish from the dentist, which didn't do anything. We're thankful she is cavity-free, but would love to get rid of the stain, or at least keep it from spreading.

My daughter also had these black stains on her teeth at 2 years old. We thought it was decay so took her to the dentist and they polished them off. However, we were told that they would probably come back, which they did. So, every 6 months she goes in for cleaning. After two visits for cleaning, the black stains stopped coming back. Apparently the stains are harmless and that some kids develop these stains due to something in their saliva. I was told by the dentist that this is quite common.

According to our dentist there is no way that you can get the stains off yourself. However, the dental office can polish the stains off. I think they used a special kind of polish on my daughter. She is now 4 and stain free but still sees her dentist every 6 months for cleaning. Our dentist is Dr. Katsura. There are tons of recommendations on the network for his office. Everyone there is great! Janet

I have heard of darkening of gums, but not teeth, from mercury toxicity. The heavy metal that competes with calcium is lead. Any possibility these are in your child's life somehow? You may wish to ensure your child is getting minerals and vitamin D3 in the adequate and balanced amounts in the diet. a mom

My oldest had the same problem. Our dentist recommended using an electric toothbrush. It worked. m