Why are My Child’s Teeth Yellow?

If your child is starting to get their adult teeth – chances are, you can tell a big difference in what the permanent teeth look like in comparison to the baby teeth that are still present. And we’re not just talking about their size. One of the most common concerns parents ask us, is why are their child’s teeth yellow?

It’s All About the Dentin

Dentin is the layer of tooth just under the white enamel that covers the outside surfaces. By nature, dentin is yellow in appearance. Everyone has different shades and densities of the dentin in their teeth. Because of this, it can give their smile a unique hue.

Adult have a large amount of dentin, whereas primary (baby) teeth do not. That’s why baby teeth are extremely white. Once the adult tooth pops through the gums, it holds a stark contrast against the adjacent primary teeth. Because of this, it can make the adult tooth look very, very yellow.

Wait Until All of the Teeth Erupt

As the rest of the baby teeth fall out and the permanent teeth come in, the color difference isn’t quite as noticeable. In fact, you might not notice the problem whatsoever.

Can Your Child Whiten His or Her Teeth?

By the time all of your child’s adult teeth have erupted, they will be in their late pre-teen, early teen years. Generally, teeth whitening is safe for patients around age 15 and up. However, it can cause some mild sensitivity, due to the enlarged nerves of their still-developing smile.

Avoiding Stain-Causing Sources

Everyone’s teeth are different, and some people’s smile soak up stain particles more than others. To help, avoid dark beverages such as soda, juice, or tea. When your child does have these types of drinks, encourage him or her to use a straw. This can reduce the contact time with the front teeth.

Some people see stain buildup from vitamins or even after a summer of swimming in the pool. Fortunately, this superficial discoloration can usually be polished away at your child’s next dental cleaning. If you’re starting to see something dark, call us right away to make sure it isn’t a cavity!

Systemic Causes of Tooth Discoloration

If your child was severely ill at a young age, there was an illness during pregnancy, certain medications were taken, or if there are mineral imbalances in the natural water supply – your child’s smile could suffer side effects years later. These developmental irregularities can cause pitting, a bluish hue to the teeth, or even extremely darkened patches of enamel. Fortunately, there are a number of cosmetic treatment options that can cover up the evidence.

Keep Your Child’s Smile Whiter and Brighter

At Marconi Dental Group, we’re happy to assess your child’s tooth formation to determine if everything is healthy, appropriately colored, and review whitening options that are available. It may be something that’s simple enough for an over the counter whitening strip to correct!

Schedule your son or daughter’s next check-up with our Carmichael dentist, so that we can help.

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