Preventing Tooth Decay To Maintain Healthy Teeth

How Iron Can Stain A Toddler's Teeth

Although it's certainly possible for a toddler's teeth to become discolored, it's undoubtedly a bit alarming for parents. Yellow discoloration caused by dietary factors is possible but unlikely. Your toddler generally hasn't had teeth long enough for this type of discoloration to take hold. Darker patches of discoloration can indicate tooth decay, and while it's not impossible, your toddler is unlikely to be affected by this unless their oral hygiene habits have been significantly neglected. But what about dark stains that seem to run the gamut from red to brown? This may be dietary in nature, but perhaps not in the way you might assume. 

Iron Supplements

Reddish-brown patches that rapidly develop on a toddler's teeth are generally due to something your toddler has been consuming. If your family pediatrician has recommended iron supplements for your child (which is a reasonably common suggestion), it's likely that these supplements will be given in liquid form—namely drops. Of course, it's far easier to get a toddler to swallow a few drops of liquid than expect them to take a pill. This staining can look unsightly, but fortunately, it's just a cosmetic issue. The strength and general health of your toddler's teeth will not be affected.


Don't simply discontinue the use of the iron supplements. Contact your family pediatrician and ask if it's possible to dilute the drops without affecting their potency. This should lessen the staining abilities of the supplements. Now you need to remove the existing stains from your toddler's teeth.

Oral Hygiene

Brushing their teeth right after giving your toddler their supplements will be very beneficial, preventing stains from taking hold, but this won't be enough. Talk to the staff at your local pediatric dental clinic. They may suggest using a whitening toothpaste with baking soda as its active ingredient. This gently removes the discoloration without damaging your child's dental enamel. Don't just use any type of whitening toothpaste. Many of them feature abrasive micro crystals intended to buff stains off of teeth, which can be far too harsh for a toddler's dental enamel.

Dental Assistance

Staining that's difficult to clear at home should be assessed by your child's pediatric dentist. Luckily, this type of staining can generally be removed with a professional dental cleaning, involving a gentle scaling to remove the superficial discoloration from the surfaces of your toddler's teeth.

Reddish brown stains on your toddler's teeth can be downright distressing to see, but iron supplements are the likely culprit when supplements are taken. The situation is easy enough to manage, and existing stains can be removed without much difficulty.

Contact a local pediatric dental clinic to learn more.