Why Do My Child’s Adult Teeth Look Yellow?

Posted on September 22, 2022 | Hot Topics

Why Do My Child’s Adult Teeth Look Yellow?

Have you noticed that when your child’s adult teeth begin to erupt through the gums, they come in darker and more yellow than baby teeth? Rest assured, this is normal and typically isn’t because your child is doing a poor job brushing or that their teeth are stained. 

Why Are Permanent Teeth More Yellow Than Baby Teeth?

At around ages five or six years old, your child’s deciduous teeth – also known as baby teeth – begin falling out and are replaced by their permanent adult teeth. This is a very important time in their development in which you may notice that your child’s once pearly whites are now becoming a darker shade. If this is the case, there’s no need to panic. 

Permanent adult teeth have more dentin which causes them to naturally be darker than baby teeth. Enamel is slightly translucent allowing the color of dentin to show through slightly. Permanent teeth also have larger nerve canals and the teeth are more transparent when they erupt. As the new permanent adult teeth erupt, they may seem more yellow than the primary teeth because you are visually comparing them with the smaller, lighter baby teeth that are still in your child’s mouth. Over time, your child will lose all of their baby teeth and their permanent teeth will lighten in color, thus looking more uniform. 

Reasons Teeth May Appear Yellow That Are Not Related to Normal Development

Your child’s teeth discoloration or yellow appearance is most likely a normal part of their development. However, there are a few reasons why this may not always be the case. Here are a few common causes of tooth discoloration:

Consuming Certain Foods and Drinks

What your child eats and drinks can greatly affect their tooth color. Berries, tomatoes, and other highly pigmented foods can stain your teeth. Additionally, some fruit juices, sports drinks, and sodas can also stain teeth. The degree of staining depends on how long or how often the teeth are exposed to these foods and drinks. It is wise to have your child rinse with water or brush their teeth after consuming heavily pigmented foods or acidic drinks. 

Poor Dental Hygiene Leading to Plaque Buildup on Teeth

The Blossom Team tells you to clean your teeth regularly for a really good reason. When kids don’t brush their teeth and floss thoroughly, bacteria may continue to build up and form plaque and tartar (hardened and calcified plaque). Plaque can be stained by food and beverages and tartar usually has a yellowish-brown color. Any black that is seen could be a sign of actual tooth decay.

Injury and Trauma

If a child falls or suffers a blow that damages a tooth, the blood vessels inside the tooth may break and cause the teeth to appear yellow, brown, gray, or black. If an accident causes damage to the nerve in or near a tooth can also cause discoloration in a child’s teeth. This discoloration forms within the tooth or teeth that the nerve is attached to. If your child suffers from any injury or trauma to the mouth, and you notice tooth discoloration, please call us immediately so we can take a look. 

How to Treat Discolored Teeth

If your child’s teeth are yellow and you think it might be something more than normal growth and development, give us a call and schedule an appointment for an evaluation. We will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment plan after determining the cause of the discoloration.

It is crucial to always practice good oral hygiene. Make sure that your child is brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. When your child starts taking care of their teeth at a young age, they learn and build good dental habits. This will help them maintain a beautiful and healthy smile as they grow older. It is also important to keep up with regular dental checkups. We recommend scheduling cleaning and preventative visits every six months. This allows us to watch any existing areas of concern and also find any developing issues before they progress. 

As a general rule of thumb, we do not recommend any over-the-counter tooth whitening products for children until they have lost all of their baby teeth. If you have any questions, we will gladly discuss whitening treatments at your child’s next appointment. 

Contact Blossom Pediatric Dentistry Today!

Slightly yellow permanent teeth are perfectly normal! As soon as the rest of the baby teeth are lost, you won’t even notice there was a difference at all.

At Blossom, we specialize in treating children in the Ann Arbor area. Drs. Barber and Justema can identify the cause of your child’s yellow teeth and discuss any cause for concern. To schedule an appointment, call us at (734) 971-3368. 

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