Purple teeth can help your child make a New Year’s Resolution to brush better. It’s been a few years since we blogged about purple teeth. Just as we promised in our New Year’s 2020 greeting, this blog will bring you an explanation for purple-stained teeth. If you are a parent you might already know about purple teeth. However, you might not realize it can be a powerful agent to make your child resolve to brush more frequently.
Purple Teeth Cause Shock and Awe
You might remember our story of Aiden. He’s ten years old now and he is such an avid brusher he has only had 1 cavity in 3 years. We remember the first time when, at the age of seven, Aiden saw his teeth stained purple. Here at Dr. Troy King’s pediatric dental office, his eyes popped wide as he shrilly questioned our sanity with one word, “Seriously?”
What’s So Shocking about Purple Teeth?
Now, contrary to what you might assume, he wasn’t surprised because of the bizarre way his teeth looked in the garish color.
- You see, the hygienist here at Dentistry for Children had previously explained that the disclosing agent is a dye that briefly stains plaque on teeth.
- She had also taught him that plaque is a very sticky biofilm that clings to teeth. It is this sticky biofilm that makes the proper brushing technique important. The proper brushing technique removes the plaque, which is important to discourage decay.
To make a long story short, what disturbed Aiden was that he had thoroughly brushed his teeth. He proudly believed they were sparkling clean. Now, from the purple, he could see that he had completely missed brushing some important areas on his teeth. They radiated an ugly purple.
A Pinch of Ugliness for a Pound of Cure
As he examined his teeth, he could also see highlights of bright pink where he had brushed with better technique. And, to his relief, at least a few areas of his tiny teeth were mostly white. Now, Aiden likes order in his universe. He wants to be proud of his teeth.
He was dismayed, but he was also analytical. That’s how his resolution for 2017 became correcting his brushing techniques. Now, in 2020, he is still avid about brushing. And he has resolved to help his younger sister in 2020.
Recently he noted critically that her wide grin revealed a lot more hot pink than purple. Emma always giggles at the purple teeth treatment. You see, she knows she brushes better than her older brother.
She said, “It’s okay, Big Brother. You have more teeth to take care of than I do!”
The Point is Plaque Destroys Teeth
Here at Dentistry for Children, we will go to almost any length to help our children brush better. Coloring teeth purple is the least we can do!
Did You Know About Disclosing Agents?
Disclosing agents come in various forms, including tablets or liquids.
- They are a temporary bright color utilized to reveal plaque.
- As Dr. King explained to Aiden and Emma, “Plaque is the invisible film of bacteria. It sticks to your teeth. If you can see it, then you can see where you need to brush better.”
The Ugly Path of Plaque
- We know “The bacteria in accumulated plaque feed on the sugar and starch in your diet…”
- The bacteria in turn, “produce acids which attack tooth enamel (the hard outer surface of the tooth)…”
- “Repeated attacks from the bacteria can cause cavities. Did you know Plaque bacteria can also irritate and inflame the gums? This can result in causing periodontal (gum) disease. And all this could be prevented by appropriate brushing.
- If this biofilm is not removed with good daily brushing habits, it creates tartar, also called dental calculus.
- Tartar is like a home for plaque and bacteria. In tartar, the plaque and bacteria set up house-keeping and they thrive. You guessed it: Decay lives in the tartar and in plaque, and make holes in tiny teeth—big teeth too, for that matter.
- However, Emma and Aiden both saw that when the biofilm is new and fresh, it can be removed easily. With at least twice daily cleaning, it can be brushed and flossed away.
2020 Resolution: Don’t Let Terrible Tartar Take Over Your Teeth.
Tartar can only be removed at the dentist’s office. Toothbrushes don’t work on this hardened mineralized deposit.
What Causes Plaque and Why Is It Harmful?
The experts say, “Plaque develops when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as milk, soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result.”
Did you know that, over time, such acids destroy tooth enamel? This causes tooth decay.
Discover more about plaque at this online resource guide
With good brushing away of the biofilm called plaque, there is no home for bacteria or decay.
By the Way: Names in the New Year
A few years ago, Emma and Aiden were two of the most popular names for babies. Their sweet names reflect the naming trends of the years they were born.
2020 promises to bring us new names,
Did you know the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been keeping track of the popularity of baby names? This practice goes all the way back to 1879. Currently, Liam and Emma are the most popular baby contemporary names for boys and girls.
More Names for 2020
Based on the SSA data, the trending 2020 names include Genesis, Saint (hello, Saint West), Baker, Kairo, and Watson for boys, along with Meaghan (as in the Duchess of Sussex), Dior, Adalee, Palmer, and Oaklynn for girls.
Research says parents are giving shorter names to babies, like Luna, Isla, Mila, and Cora. Bode and Zaid.
Whatever you name your 2020 baby, we hope you will be calling us to establish his or her dental home at Dentistry for Children. One of our New Year’s Resolutions is to encourage new parents to come and see us as soon as that first little tooth begins to erupt—or even before. Really, it’s never too early to schedule that first visit or to arrange a pre-visit.
We’re Bringing You More Stories of Healthy Teeth in 2020. During 2029 we learned that a healthy mouth and good oral hygiene are more important to good overall health than even we had imagined.
Purple teeth are not pretty but they have taught many of our young patients the value of good oral health.