Recently, I noticed that my 17 month old baby’s front teeth, top and bottom, had suddenly turned grey! The stains seemed to appear overnight. I was horrified! In a flash, my mind jumped from seeing grey baby teeth, to jagged teeth eaten away by tooth decay, and my child being traumatized by the taunts of other children!
Once this initial panic subsided, I turned to one of my best friends – the internet. Hmmm… What stains teeth? Do I type “grey” of “gray”? To be safe, I searched “grey baby teeth”, and “gray baby teeth”.
Baby’s dark teeth can be from a fall.
The first thing I came across was that an injury, such as a fall, can cause one or two teeth to become dark grey or purple. This can happen from a tooth being knocked loose, or just bumped. The stain may not even show for a couple weeks, and cannot be cleaned off, because the tooth is stained from the inside.
However, dark baby teeth often get lighter over time. Interestingly, when a permanent adult tooth turns dark, that’s it; the tooth is probably dead. My son’s teeth were grey in general, not just one or two, so I kept looking.
Iron in a multivitamin or formula can stain baby teeth.
Next, I discovered that iron in baby’s multivitamin or formula can give baby teeth dark, grey stains. I thought I had found the culprit! A pediatric dentist confirmed the stains were from the iron. Luckily, the grey started coming off, with some scraping from his dental instrument. However, sometimes this type of stain is not removable.
The dentist instructed to continue giving the multivitamin with iron, provided it is followed by a drink of water to rinse the teeth, and then by brushing with baking soda or children’s toothpaste.
Grey baby teeth can also be from medicine.
Later, I wasn’t so sure the multivitamin was the cause, because the staining appeared so suddenly. Then I remembered that my son had just finished a round of Amoxicillin, which is the generic form of Augmentin, a penicillin antibiotic. I ruled it out earlier, thinking something bright pink would not cause dark stains.
Low and behold, there, in the fine print under “Side Effects” I found: “This medicine may cause temporary staining of the teeth.” The key word for me was “temporary;” especially since it was not conclusive if the grey teeth stains were form the vitamins or the medicine
Grey Baby Teeth Summary
If your baby’s got grey teeth, it may be from the iron in a multivitamin or formula, from an injury, or from medicine. It could also be from another cause that I haven’t uncovered in the process with my son. If you have any concern about your baby’s teeth, I recommend having her checked by a pediatric dentist; some even give free infant exams!