If you've noticed some discoloration on your toddler's two front teeth, you may be concerned. Because of his or her young age, you might not have taken the child to the dentist for a cleaning or evaluation yet. There's a common misconception that toddlers don't need to see the dentist because they have baby teeth that will eventually fall out, but this isn't true. You should bring your child to the dentist at an early age to prevent decay and encourage healthy oral hygiene habits. Now that you're seeing discoloration on at least two teeth, scheduling an appointment is a must.
What Is Causing the Discoloration?
The best way to figure out what's causing the discoloration is to bring your toddler to a pediatric dental specialist. There are two common causes of tooth discoloration for toddlers. In some instances, the child may have been injured while playing around. Your child may have hit his or her tooth on something hard, causing a bit of nerve damage. If it's a result of an injury, the discoloration will usually subside after a few weeks.
The other cause of discoloration of the teeth may be decay. Unfortunately, it's easy for young children to end up with decaying teeth because they're unable to brush as efficiently as adults. Even if you've been doing your best to brush your toddler's teeth, there's still a chance of decay forming. If this is the problem, don't be too hard on yourself. You may feel like you weren't doing enough, but there are many things that can cause decay to develop on the teeth, including the milk your little one likely drinks.
How Will the Dentist Treat the Problem?
If your child has nerve damage, treatment may not be necessary because the discoloration will usually go away after a short period. If your child has tooth decay, one of two procedures may be performed by the pediatric dental specialist. If the problem isn't too bad, the dentist may simply remove decaying bits of the teeth and then use fillings to keep the teeth protected. The fillings are typically white in color to match with the teeth.
If the decay is a bit more severe, the dentist may need to put crowns on the teeth. During this procedure, the dentist needs to remove the decay, shave the teeth down a bit, and then cement the crowns on. Although silver metal crowns are sometimes provided, many dental offices offer metal crowns with a white coating for aesthetic purposes. If this is something your child needs to have done, the dentist will discuss the procedure in detail with you before working on your child's teeth.
If you've spotted some discoloration on your toddler's two front teeth and you're not sure what to do, bring him or her into the dental office. It may be nerve damage, but the discoloration could be caused by decay. The only way for you to know for sure is to bring your child into the office for a visit with a pediatric dental specialist.
Contact a company like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents for more information and assistance.