My Child has Chalky Teeth – What do I do?
A common concern we see our young patients present with, is chalky teeth. Parents will often bring their children for a visit with us and express concern about opaque white patches on the child’s teeth, or sensitivity from such patches.
Most of the time, the chalkiness is due to a condition called hypomineralisation, where the enamel that forms the outer layer of the tooth is ‘softer’ due to lower mineral content. The condition is very frequently seen in permanent incisors and first molars, in a presentation referred to as molar incisor hypomineralisation. For this reason, parents often notice it when their child is six or seven, the age when these teeth emerge.
The causes of hypomineralisation are poorly understood. It can be seen in up to a fifth of young patients. The implication of this condition is that the enamel can break down very quickly, regardless of whether there is dental decay or not. This can result in pain and sensitivity. Because the enamel is poorly formed, dentists find these teeth difficult to treat with fillings. Because treatment can be difficult for such teeth, pediatric specialists may be required. It is thus critical that any teeth with chalky enamel be identified early, and a strong preventive protocol is established early on for the child. At SHDC we encourage children to visit the clinic from around two years of age, to establish familiarity with dental visits.
If you have any concerns about your child having chalky teeth, please call the practice on 8278 6858 to organise a consultation time.