Chalky Teeth – is this looming epidemic affecting your kids?

What are Chalky Teeth?

1 in 6 children’s teeth are affected by this condition

So what is it? Chalky Teeth or Molar Hypomin (Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation – MIH) is a developmental condition. This means it affects the teeth in the early stages of life while they are forming.

Hypo- means less of something -mineralisation – is the combining of minerals to create a hard substance So Hypomineralisation describes something with less mineral content. And in teeth, less minerals = weaker teeth.

I am seeing Molar Hypomin in more and more kids. It is characterised by discolouration and is silent in the early stages. If not diagnosed and managed properly, it has the potential to be very destructive, resulting in the breakdown of teeth and causing a lot of sensitivity and pain in young kids.

How is Molar Hypomin graded?

Molar Hypomin is graded from mild to severe: Mild: small patches of creamy yellow, brown or extra-white spots on a child’s teeth.

Moderate: the yellow/brown opaque patches cover more of the tooth but the surface is still relatively smooth.

Severe: breakdown of the tooth surface, shows up as a hole/cavity or pits/crevices. Your child may be in pain or complain of sensitivity when they eat or drink. These teeth must be protected immediately.

What causes Molar Hypomin?

It is important to understand that Molar Hypomin is not caused by a high sugar diet. Research is indicating that childhood illnesses can interfere with the way a tooth develops and forms. Illnesses that commonly affect infants and result in fevers and respiratory tract infections are the main culprits. If your child becomes sick at an early age and they suffer from airway infections then it is especially important that you get their teeth checked every 6 months.

Problems of having Molar Hypomin

  • Teeth are weaker, discoloured and soft
  • More prone to breaking down during chewing and toothbrushing
  • The weak areas usually break down if they are not protected by a dentist early on in life
  • More care needs to be taken at home with brushing and using special products to remineralise the teeth every single day
  • Care must be taken not to eat too many acidic or sugary foods because they can attack these weak areas much more rapidly than a standard tooth
  • Your child might always complain about sensitivity or pain when eating cold, sweet or hot foods


How do I know if my child has Chalky Teeth?

Visit your dentist for a checkup during the key times when these teeth come through:   Get the baby molars checked – between 2 and 3 years old   Get the adult molars and incisors checked – between 5 and 8 years old

How do we manage Molar Hypomin?

At Riverstone Family Dental, we believe in treating early. So my initial aim is to protect defective areas with quick and easy fillings. Usually no drilling is required and I use an amazing, high quality material which strengthens the tooth. If I see a child with more progressive Molar Hypomin, I will create a comprehensive Treatment Plan which begins with getting your child out of pain/sensitivity. Regular follow-ups will ensure the teeth are being looked after and oral hygiene instruction along with diet advice are reinforced in a friendly and motivating way.

Need a friendly and caring dentist who is good with kids? Call Riverstone Family Dental(02) 8678 3538

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