Yellow spots on teeth

My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter has yellow spots on her front teeth. They are not plaque or cavities, because they have been there since she was born. It is not baby bottle syndrome or whatever they call it, because she gave up her bottle at ten months, never had juice in her bottle, and gave up her pacifier at three months. What could this be?

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The yellow spots could be there for a number of reasons. If they are not cavities, then you are correct in stating that this is not "baby bottle syndrome." Baby bottle syndrome refers to the decay caused by prolonged exposure to milk or juice. Discolorations in teeth can be caused by illness, especially ones associated with high fevers, or medications (for example, tetracycline) taken when the teeth were developing. They can also be caused by ingesting too much fluoride at the time of development. This is not to say children should not have fluoride at all; fluoride needs to be ingested at the proper dosages. Poor nutrition can play a role in "abnormalities" of tooth formation. Occasionally, we have no idea what causes these discolorations.

Usually, these discolored spots are nothing to worry about, except cosmetically. Since these are her primary teeth, even this is not as great a concern. My advice is to keep her teeth as clean as possible, and when she sees the dentist, he or she should check these spots carefully at each visit.

Please note that just because she has yellow spots on her primary teeth, she's not automatically going to have them on her permanent teeth. For more information regarding fluoride and proper dosages, please refer to the fluoride section in the archives.

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