Should I get my baby’s teeth pulled?

Question:

I have a son who will be two years old in February. Recently he injured his front teeth (top and bottom) while climbing the stairs and all four teeth have become become really discolored. Not only are the teeth now a greenish color, but I’m afraid that his tooth enamel is starting to wear off.

So far I’ve been giving him a daily children’s multivitamin, but I haven’t noticed any improvement. When should I start thinking about getting those teeth pulled? Thanks for answering my questions!
-Nicole from Louisiana

Answer:

Nicole,
It would help to know more about the accident. Severe trauma, like cracking a tooth on the bathtub, can injure the nerves in the teeth. Sometimes the best course of action is to get the teeth extracted, but I do not recommend you do this. In children who are just learning to talk, teeth are useful for developing speech, so don’t take them out unless absolutely necessary.

As for the green discoloring, I would guess that the problem isn’t trauma. It’s probably from bacteria. As children’s mouths come in contact with naturally-occurring bacteria, they can develop unsightly stains. As the body adjusts, the discoloration typically goes away by itself.

I would recommend a professional cleaning at your dentist to get everything checked out.

As a side note, you are probably doing the right thing by giving your son a multi-vitamin, but this will have no effect on his teeth once they’ve already come up.

For more information:
Visit Dr. Theriot’s Lafayette pediatric dentist page. He is a general dentist, but he loves caring for children’s smiles.
Read his pediatric dental care tips for parents.