Top 8 Reasons Behind Kids Teeth Stain and How to Get Rid of It

Fixing kids teeth stains

Those yellowish and brownish stains on your kid’s teeth aren’t only unpleasant; they could take a toll on its whole set of teeth. And there are some good reasons behind this tooth stain. As a parent myself, I have ran across this before and it is definitely better to be proactive vs reactive. I could have saved thousands on my child’s dentist bills over the years!

Most parents often ignore the teeth stain, thinking of it as a normal discoloration. But if you know the reasons and how they can affect your child’s health, you will barely delay getting it sorted. 

In this article, we’ve discussed eight reasons why teeth stain happens in kids. Moreover, you’ll get to learn how to get rid of it without affecting your kid’s health, which would have been useful in the Dunn household.

Table of Contents

What Makes Kids Teeth Stain?

Apart from holding your lifestyle responsible, you should know what chemical reactions too, stain your kid’s teeth. Pinpointing those harmful factors will enable you to understand the teeth staining reasons in depth. 

So, three main components that are responsible for your kid’s teeth stain are:

  1. Tannins 

Tannins are known as acidic polyphenols, which are actually plant-based substances. They intensify the staining in teeth and are available in fruits, herbs, etc. 

So, if you’re feeding your child fruits and vegetables, it’s important that you make them rinse their mouth with clean water afterward. Tannins are primarily responsible for making the yellow or brown layers on teeth. 

  1. Chromogens 

You should be aware of the pigmented chemical compound in various food items called chromogens. This compound gets attached to the tooth enamel and stains your kid’s teeth day after day. 

The end result could be permanent discoloration or stains in your child’s beautiful teeth with the prospect of needing expensive treatments.  Not good.

  1. Acids 

Acid is responsible for gradually corroding the tooth enamel while weakening its root in the gum. If your child is prone to eating more sugary foods, then the chances of acidic reaction inside the mouth are high.

Although acids are naturally produced inside our mouth to fight germs, excessive acidic flow can deteriorate tooth health. That’s why eating too much sugar, fructose, or sucrose isn’t healthy for your kid’s teeth. 

Top 8 Reasons Behind Teeth Stains On Kids

It’s time to get your head around the reasons that are mostly on you and your kid’s lifestyle. Apart from genetic or medical conditions, most reasons behind tooth stains are traced back to a daily diet, cleanliness, maintenance, etc. 

So, let’s check eight such reasons that may stain your kid’s teeth: 

  1. Unchecked Diet 

Often your child’s bright or shabby smile could be the reflection of what goes inside. If you’re constantly feeding your kid candies, canned juice, cupcakes, etc., you’re being responsible for his or her teeth stain. Be healthy!

Most sweet colorful juices, candies, etc., contain unhealthy pigment colors that stain the teeth of your kid if not cleaned after consuming them. 

  1. Irregular Brushing 

One of the common yet the most telling reasons behind your kid’s teeth becoming yellow is poor brushing habits. Letting food particles build up in teeth can reduce the brightness of teeth.  It can be hard when we are all tired, but keeping on schedule of tooth brushing is vital.

Besides, in the worst scenario, your child will develop dark and nasty plaques in teeth, often a major reason for tooth decay.  

  1. Consuming Fluoride 

Fluoride is available in fruits, seafood, raisins, etc., which kids are fond of heavily. Although these are healthy foods, it’s not wise to give them these fluoride-rich foods.

Leaving the mouth and teeth uncleaned after consuming these foods can let fluoride take over, making their teeth brown and yellow. This condition is known as fluorosis. 

  1. Medical Reasons 

Medical conditions that may be responsible for children’s yellow teeth are:

  • Hyperbilirubinemia: It’s a medical condition where a child’s bilirubin in its blood is excessively high. Children born with this condition often possess yellowish or greenish teeth.  
  • Jaundice: Although jaundice is rare in kids, those who’ve unfortunately developed this ailment can have stained teeth.

Apart from the above medical conditions, the intake of certain medications like antibiotics during pregnancy can also cause discoloration in the child’s teeth.  

  1. Medication

Did you know that certain medications could stain your kid’s teeth? If not, here they are:

  • Antibiotics, antihistamines, etc., can discolor your child’s teeth, often turning them yellow or gray.
  • Various vitamin supplements or prescribed medications for children can build dark spots on their teeth.  

So, the stain due to medication may linger as long as the course isn’t completed. However, don’t skip your little one’s brushing habit though. 

  1. Thinned Enamel 

Thinned or weakened enamel is generally traced back to you, meaning the genetic background. If your kid has this genetic thinned enamel condition, its teeth-dentin will be exposed to all kinds of germs, food chemicals, medications, etc. 

Since enamel is the naturally bright white cover of our teeth, its thinning condition makes the teeth prone to discoloration. 

  1. Genetic Reasons 

Apart from the weakened enamel, kids can inherit another genetic tooth stain condition called Dentinogenesis imperfecta. 

Having inherited this condition, a kid’s teeth may not only turn discolored but also brittle and somewhat transparent. Kids’ teeth in this condition often become weak, requiring extra care. 

  1. Injury in a Tooth 

For this, you must see a dentist if your child’s teeth had any injury or trauma. It’s rare, but teeth injuries like broken blood vessels can turn your child’s teeth brown, yellow, black, and gray. 

How to Get Rid of Stains On Childs Teeth

Taking some proper measures can get rid of your kid’s stained teeth to a great extent. There’s no overnight solution for stained teeth. You have to be patient.

So, here are the possible measures you can take: 

  1. You Must Make an Appointment with a Dentist 

You must book an appointment with the dentist soon after identification of the staining to have a look at your kid’s stained teeth. A dentist can execute a professional stain-removing procedure on your kid’s teeth. 

It’s much safer and easier to get rid of stained teeth. And it’s pain-free. 

  1. Try OTC (Over-the-Counter) Stain Remover [Not Recommended] 

Many local chemists sell OTC (over-the-counter) stain remover gel, emulsion, toothpaste, etc., which may work to remove the stains from your child’s teeth. 

However, dentists don’t recommend these OTC solutions, given that a professional checkup and treatment are the safest measure when it comes to a child’s health. 

  1. Go for Veneer Teeth If Feasible 

Going for a dental veneer for your kid could be the last option where the teeth are covered by lamination or thin shells. Most parents wouldn’t opt for this solution.

Reason one is that veneered teeth require extensive care on a daily basis which a child won’t be able to bear. 

And the other reason is the cost. Dental veneer can cost from $900 to $2500 per tooth! Naturally, many parents wouldn’t risk such an expensive tooth solution for their kids, given their feisty nature and lack of care. 

What Not to Do to Get Rid of Your Kid’s Teeth Stain

You must’ve heard of many home remedies for stained teeth in children or watched videos on the Internet. Have you tried them yet? 

If you take our guided advice, don’t apply anything to your kid’s tender teeth without knowing the consequences. 

Below is a list of kitchen items you mustn’t use to get rid of your kids’ stained teeth:

  1. Don’t Apply Baking Soda

Baking soda can have a harmful abrasion effect on your kid’s teeth. It can cost the teeth enamel, making them prone to more discoloration and plaque if applied daily. 

  1. Don’t Apply Vinegar

Applying vinegar can have harsh chemical effects on your kids’ teeth. This too can affect the enamel and develop stains on the teeth. 

  1. Don’t Try Coconut Oil or Turmeric 

Many parents are seen trying coconut oil or turmeric to whiten their children’s stained teeth. But mostly, they are unscientific and they promise no positive results. 

  1. Don’t Use Activated Charcoal

Some may suggest you mix activated charcoal and baking soda while applying them to whiten your kid’s discolored teeth. Altogether, it’s harmful to your kid’s teeth enamel. 

Foods That Can Stain Kids Teeth

Sometimes, a careless dietary habit can worsen tooth conditions even after maintaining them properly. You should have a list of foods that can possibly discolor the kid’s teeth if overconsumed. 

So, the next time you plan on giving your kid some snacks or treats, the list will pop up in your mind, making you cautious of your kid’s teeth condition.

  • Ice Lollies or Popsicles: Don’t buy your kid those tempting ice lollies every day. With excessive sugar and artificial color, these treats can smear stains on teeth. 
  • Soda Beverages: Various sugary and fizzy beverages like colas and punches can have harmful effects on your kid’s teeth if consumed regularly. The acidic reaction and high amount of sugar will only worsen your child’s dental health. 
  • Candies and Bars: Candies and bars contain artificial colors, dyes, and preservatives— much alarming to your child’s tender set of teeth. And once your kid gets crazy about these colorful and tempting sweeties, its teeth won’t stop just at discoloration, rather extend to cavities and severe toothache. 

Also, keep your kids away from eating fruits like raspberries or blueberries, as they highly contain chromogens. 

How to Help Your Kid With Tooth Stains

Prevention is the best way to save your kid’s teeth from stains or any severe ailments. Taking preventive measures can maintain dental health properly in your kid, saving you further hazards and costly treatments. 

Below are some preventive measures you can take to save your kid’s teeth from stains: 

  1. Make Your Toddler Brush Twice a Day

Teach your child to brush twice a day. An ideal brushing routine should consist of two brushing times— once after breakfast and then again before going to sleep at night. 

This will help wipe off the germs and bacteria accumulated from food particles.  

  1. Floss Your Kid’s Teeth Every Day 

Help your kid use floss to keep the teeth clean after having meals or snacks. It will help prevent tooth decay and gum diseases. 

  1. Teach Him or Her Not to Brush Extensively 

2 minutes— that’s the rule of thumb for brushing. And it applies to adults and kids equally. 

Extensive brushing can abrade your kid’s teeth enamel, exposing them to various acidic reactions and food chemicals, hence discoloration. 

  1. Buy Your Kid a New Toothbrush Every Three Months

Using the same old brush over and over again will reduce the softness of the bristle. This can wear off the tooth enamel while brushing with it. 

Moreover, harsh bristles can scrub away the soft gum, leading to bleeding or swelling.   

  1. Limit Sugary Diet 

You must cut on your kid’s excessive sugary food consumption. As we’ve mentioned before, excessive sugary foods can have acidic reactions around teeth, causing holes and stains on them. 

  1. Encourage a Diet Full of Fruits and Vegetables 

Fruits and vegetables high in fiber like apples, carrots, celery, pears, etc., can work as natural floss for your kid’s teeth. The fibers in these fruits and veggies will scrub away the teeth surface while your kid’s chewing on them. 

  1. Get a Monthly Check-up by a Dentist 

Visiting a dentist with your kid every six months can keep things in control. A professional checkup will tell you if there are any possible diseases lying within your little one’s teeth. 

This will help you prevent dental diseases in advance while saving on future treatment expenses. 

Are Teeth Stain and Cavities the Same?

The answer to this question is a big no.

Teeth stains are marked by the discoloration of teeth that range from light to dark yellow, brown, or black. On the other hand, cavities are marked by dented teeth with dark black spots, often caused by acidic reactions in teeth. 

Mostly, teeth stains could be the primary stage of cavities if not properly treated in time. 


So, that’s the story of a kid’s teeth stain for you. We hope this article helps you take care of your child’s beautiful and bright teeth before any stains or cavities attack them. I know I wish these tips came my way when raising my 4 children!

Make sure you don’t provide them with any foods excessively that are high in sugar, soda, or artificial color. Develop the habit of brushing your teeth regularly while rinsing your mouth after any snack. 

And most importantly, don’t skip the dentist appointments for your kid’s dental health’s sake. 

Sharon Dunn