Posted on: 2 August 2023
There are a variety of reasons a child's teeth may appear yellow. Yellow teeth in a child are usually, but not always, no cause for major concern, although it may indicate that it's time for some routine care.
1. Wear Variation
Often baby teeth look yellow when the permanent teeth first erupt. It's not that those baby teeth were an alarming yellow before, they are simply more stained than the newly grown in teeth. This makes them look more yellow in comparison, but it's usually not a concern. A regular exam and cleaning at the dentist's office will help even out the color.
2. Plaque Buildup
Sometimes the yellow is due to plaque buildup on a child's teeth. This is especially likely if the yellow color seems to concentrate around the base of the teeth, where they erupt from the gums. Children often don't have the skill yet to properly brush or floss, so plaque buildup can be common in children that manage their daily oral hygiene tasks on their own. A deep cleaning and exam to ensure there are no cavities is in order.
3. Thin Enamel
The layer of the tooth beneath the enamel called the dentin, is naturally yellow in color. Permanent teeth tend to have a denser dentin layer compared to baby teeth, so often appear a bit more yellow. Thinner enamel can also lead to yellow-appearing teeth, and thin enamel can be a concern as it makes the tooth more prone to breakage and cavities. Your dentist will recommend ongoing treatment, such as fluoride applications, to protect against decay and to keep the enamel layer strong.
4. Antibiotic Teeth
When a child is exposed to certain antibiotics while still in the womb or nursing, yellow permanent teeth can be the result. These stains will fade to a brown shade over time, but initially, they may be quite yellow. The teeth may also have thinner enamel and be more prone to cavities, so it's especially important to keep up with dental examinations. Sometimes the yellowing will respond to whitening treatments, but in other cases, veneers may be necessary to hide the stains once the child is older.
5. Food Stains
Yellowing is often little more than food stains on the teeth. Items like fruit juices, sodas, gummy candies, and other darkly-hued foods can cause teeth to develop a yellow color with enough exposure. Regular brushing and dental cleanings will reduce much of the discoloration, as will limiting access to heavily staining foods when it's not possible to brush the teeth right after consuming.
For more info, contact a local company like Highland Family dental.Share