Reviewed by Dr. Alan Baughman, DMD, MBA
Have you ever wondered why your child’s permanent teeth are not as pearly white as their baby teeth? We get asked this often, and the answer might surprise you!
In this blog post, we will explain why this happens and how you can manage your child’s oral health.
Table of Contents
- Understanding the Color Difference
- Other Contributing Factors to Yellow Teeth
- Managing Yellow Teeth
- Visit The Best Kids Dentist in Greeley
Understanding the Color Difference
Permanent teeth generally appear more yellow than baby teeth for several reasons:
- Dentin and enamel: Adult teeth have more dentin than baby teeth. Dentin has a natural yellow appearance, so when an adult tooth grows next to a baby tooth, it appears more yellow. The yellow color will eventually fade to a brighter white.
- Dietary factors: Your child’s diet plays a significant role in the color of their teeth. Pigmented foods and drinks that are acidic can stain teeth. This includes items like citrus fruits, tomato sauce, red grape juice, sports drinks, and sour candies. These can alter the enamel and contribute to discoloration.
Adult teeth have more dentin than baby teeth. Dentin has a natural yellow appearance, so when an adult tooth grows in next to a baby tooth, it appears more yellow. Other factors that contribute to yellow teeth are poor oral hygiene, trauma, medication and genetic factors.
Myths and Misconceptions About Yellow Teeth in Children
You can’t always trust what you read online, so we are here to help you separate fact from fiction! Here are some common myths and misconceptions about yellow teeth.
Myth 1: Yellow teeth are always a sign of poor hygiene
While poor oral hygiene can contribute to yellowing, it’s not the only cause. As discussed earlier, factors like natural tooth coloration, diet, and genetics also play a role.
Myth 2: Yellow teeth are weaker
The color of teeth is not necessarily an indicator of their strength or health. Yellow teeth can be just as strong as whiter teeth.
Myth 3: Permanent teeth should match baby teeth in color
It’s a misconception that permanent teeth should be as white as baby teeth. As explained, permanent teeth naturally have more dentin, making them appear more yellow.
Other Contributing Factors to Yellow Teeth
- Poor oral hygiene: Plaque and tartar accumulation can cause teeth to appear yellow. Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on the teeth, and if not removed regularly, it solidifies into tartar, which is normally yellow in color. Good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, is crucial to prevent this.
- Trauma: A blow or injury to the teeth can damage the inner dental tissue, leading to discoloration. If a tooth appears yellow, brown, gray, or black after an accident, it’s important to consult a pediatric dentist immediately.
- Medication: Certain antibiotics, like tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline, can cause dental discoloration in children if taken during tooth development stages, either in utero, via breast milk, or when taken by children under the age of eight.
- Genetic factors: Genetics can play a role in the natural color of your child’s teeth. Some children are born with weaker or thinner enamel, which can cause tooth discoloration and make teeth appear more yellow.
Managing Yellow Teeth
If you’re concerned about the yellow appearance of your child’s teeth, consider these steps:
Regular dental check-ups: Visit your family dentist every six months to maintain oral health and address any discoloration issues early on.
Dietary adjustments: Limit the intake of acidic foods and pigmented drinks that can stain teeth. Encourage your child to drink water after eating such items. Encourage healthy snacks like apples, cheese, celery, and carrots. These foods provide essential nutrients that will keep their teeth and gums healthy.
|The best thing you can do for your child is instill good oral hygiene habits. Make brushing and flossing fun by using fluoride toothpaste in a flavor they like. Let them pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste so that they feel like they are part of the process.
How We Can Help
- Professional dental cleaning: In cases of discoloration due to plaque or tartar, professional cleaning by a dentist can effectively remove these build-ups. This will prevent tooth decay from forming and make the teeth look whiter and brighter.
- Customized treatment plan: Depending on the cause of the yellowing, we may suggest specific treatments such as dental sealants or fluoride applications.
- Parental guidance and education: We provide parents with information and tools to help their kids maintain a good oral hygiene routine. This includes demonstrations on proper brushing techniques and advice on how to choose the right oral care products.
Visit The Best Kids Dentist in Greeley
We hope this blog has answered your questions about yellow teeth in kids. Our goal at Clearwater Dentistry is to be a trusted source of information for all things dental! We want to help families develop good oral hygiene habits right from baby to adulthood.
If you are searching for a ‘kids dentist in Greeley’ or a ‘dentist near me,’ we can help! Schedule an appointment with our experienced family dentist in Greeley, CO. Call (970) 515-3550 or complete the online booking form.