“Why do kids get silver teeth?” is a common question among parents. It can seem strange or even harmful to put metal crowns on baby teeth.

Are you a parent wondering why dentists use silver teeth on kids’ molars?

There are a few reasons kids receive silver caps on baby teeth instead of white or tooth-colored crowns.

In this article, we’re uncovering the answers to many of the questions surrounding silver crowns on baby teeth. Keep reading to learn why you may have kids with silver caps on their teeth one day and how to avoid this.

The Importance of Baby Teeth

Until their adult teeth come in (erupt), baby teeth play a crucial role in a child’s growth and development. The two most significant ways that baby teeth benefit a child are chewing and acting as a placeholder for adult teeth.

1. Chewing

As a child grows and their baby teeth come in, they can start eating solid foods. These foods are necessary for their growth and health, as they introduce vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to their bodies. Without baby teeth, they can’t chew and break down food. Baby teeth allow children to eat solid foods.

2. Placeholders

Second, baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent adult teeth. Baby teeth help keep teeth aligned and in place so that as adult teeth erupt, they don’t come in crooked or cause overcrowding in the mouth. 

If overcrowding or crookedness occurs, it could be a cause to explore early orthodontic treatment. Early orthodontic treatment isn’t harmful and is sometimes necessary, but keeping baby teeth in a child’s mouth until they fall out naturally can help reduce the need for early treatment.

Because baby teeth play these valuable roles, dentists do everything they can to keep baby teeth in a kid’s mouth until they fall out naturally. But like adult teeth, baby teeth can get cavities and decay. These conditions may require specific procedures to preserve baby teeth.

Why Do Kids Get Silver Teeth?

When a baby tooth gets a cavity, dentists can do a few procedures: fill it, place a crown on it, or extract it. Remember, dentists want to preserve baby teeth for as long as possible so it’s likely they will place a crown or fill a cavity on a baby tooth over extracting. 

When filling or placing a crown on baby teeth, dentists will often use a silver-colored material. This silver-colored material is called dental amalgam and is made from a mix of different metals. Dentists use this material because it’s usually a less expensive material than a tooth-colored filling. It is possible to use a resin material, or tooth colored, but it depends on the dental office and what they provide for children. 

The silver-colored material used by dentists to fill cavities or cover decaying baby teeth gives a child’s teeth a silver color. Hopefully, this helps you better understand the question, “why do kids have silver teeth?” Not all kids have silver teeth, just those who have a cavity and need crowns on baby teeth.

Crowns vs. Fillings for Baby Teeth

Usually, dentists will try to fill a tooth or place silver crowns on baby teeth before pulling a baby tooth. The exact procedure used will depend on the nature and severity of the cavity.

Fillings for Baby Teeth

If a child’s cavity is small but noticeable, a dentist may start with a filling. The filling will cover the cavity and keep the tooth from experiencing further decay. 

Because dentists often use a silver-colored material, silver discoloration may be visible. But parents don’t need to be concerned, because when the adult tooth erupts, and the baby tooth falls out, the silver filling will fall out with the baby tooth. 

Crowns on Baby Teeth

Often, especially with molars, dentists will place caps on kids’ teeth to strengthen teeth and keep them from decaying further. When children get crowns on baby teeth, dentists will use stainless steel material that is silver in color.

Like the silver-colored material used for fillings, these silver caps on kids’ teeth are less expensive than tooth-colored crowns used for adults. Dentists are also able to place these silver crowns in one visit instead of over multiple visits. 

Silver crowns on baby teeth offer a quick and cheap (but still durable) way to protect baby teeth until they fall out naturally. These silver crowns will come out when the baby teeth fall out.

Is It Necessary to Put Crowns on Baby Teeth?

When baby teeth get cavities or show signs of decay, it’s usually necessary (or at least a good idea to consider) to put crowns on baby teeth, especially molars. 

As we talked about in the sections above, crowns help protect and preserve baby teeth if they get cavities and begin to decay. Keeping baby teeth until adult teeth erupt is a high priority since baby teeth are vital to a child’s growth and development.

Each child is different, and cavity treatment is patient-specific. If you start to see cavities on your child’s baby teeth or think their teeth may have some decay, talk to your dentist. Your dentist can provide professional advice on the nature of the decay and what treatment is necessary.

Get Expert Advice on Silver Teeth for Kids

When dentists treat cavities or decay in baby teeth, they use a silver, metal-based material. So, having kids with metal teeth isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It simply means that your child has tooth decay, and the dentist wanted to help protect your child’s tooth. Placing silver caps on baby teeth helps preserve baby teeth until adult teeth erupt. Once adult teeth come in, the silver teeth your kids’ have will no longer be present in their mouths.

As is the case with any dental procedure, you can always talk with your dentist. They can provide you expert advice if you have any additional questions like “why do kids have silver teeth?” or “what are silver caps on teeth for?”

We’re also here to help you with dental hygiene, questions, or concerns.

At Northside Dental Co, we have an excellent team dedicated to delivering you the best dental care. Whether you’re looking for a general cleaning or have questions regarding your child and if they need cavities filled, our dentist is ready to provide you with the dental expertise you’re looking for. Also, new patients are always welcome!

Book your appointment online. Our online system is easy to use and allows you to choose a time that’s most convenient for you.