It is not uncommon for children aged from 9 months to 4 years old to suffer from what is termed as iron deficiency anemia. This is usually due to a diet lacking in iron-rich foods such as broccoli, spinach and beans, or because the child is experiencing rapid growth. Because an iron deficiency can leave children weak and sickly, it is important that parents ensure that their children receive the iron they need.

Liquid Iron Supplements Can Stain Teeth

When children suffer from iron deficiency anemia, doctors prescribe liquid iron supplements which are often reddish-brown in colour. Unfortunately, while these supplements do help to provide the iron growing children need, they can also stain teeth, leaving them brown and unsightly.

If you suspect that the iron supplements you are giving your child are causing the stains on their teeth, you can combat those stains by doing the following.

Brush Your Toddler's Teeth With Baking Soda

In general, the brown stains caused by iron supplements tend to appear over time. You can prevent this staining by both brushing your child's teeth immediately after they consume a supplement and by brushing their teeth with baking soda.

Because baking soda is slightly abrasive, it excels at removing surface stains. Shortly after you have given your child a liquid iron supplement, take a damp wash cloth and some baking soda paste and remove the stains on your child's teeth with your finger.

Squirt the Supplement or Use a Straw

The simplest way to avoid staining your child's teeth in this way is to make sure the liquid iron does not come into contact with their teeth. You can do this by administering the supplement via a straw or by using a spray to spray the supplement into the back of the mouth.

Dilute the Iron Supplement Beforehand

If no straw or spray is available, the next best thing is to dilute the liquid iron supplement before giving it to your child. Add the supplement to another liquid, such as orange juice, that contains vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body to better absorb iron.

However, do not dilute the iron supplement with milk, milk products, cereal, or tea, as these will all decrease the rate of iron absorption.

You could also ensure that your child's diet is rich in iron by giving them more lentils, beans, broccoli, nuts, brown rice and grains. Though you will need to continue to give your child iron supplements for several months, you can ensure their teeth are stain-free by carrying out the above-mentioned preventative measures. Speak to a child dentist if you have more questions about how to keep your kid's teeth healthy.