As if you don’t have enough on your plate as a parent, you may have noticed that one or more of your child’s teeth are looking a bit yellow.
Find the answers to these questions and more from the trusted dentists at Santo Dental Group.
Baby teeth or “milk teeth” are extremely white and bright. But adult teeth do not look as bright or white when they grow in. So when some of your child’s baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth, these teeth may look more yellow.
Your child’s adult teeth will erupt between the ages of 6-12, and the more yellow appearance of these teeth is much more noticeable when they have both adult and baby teeth in their mouth.
There are a couple of reasons that adult teeth are darker and less white than baby teeth. First, the nerve inside the tooth is very large when the tooth first erupts, but will shrink over time as the tooth develops, creating a whiter appearance.
Adult teeth also have more “dentin.” This is the layer of tooth material just below the hard outer enamel. Dentin is more yellow in color than enamel. So if your child’s adult teeth look yellow, this is nothing to worry about. Their teeth will brighten over time, and once they have all of their adult teeth, their teeth will look completely normal.
As mentioned, the layer of enamel on the outside of the tooth is bright and white, while the layer of dentin below it is more yellow. So if your child has thin enamel due to genetics, their teeth may look yellow, even if they’re totally healthy.
Thin enamel can also lead to a higher risk of cavities, so if you think your child’s enamel may be thin or cavities run in your family, you should talk to your pediatric dentist about this so that they can keep an eye on your little one’s oral health.
Certain foods and drinks can stain your child’s teeth. Soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks are common culprits, as are tea and coffee, though kids don’t drink these as often. Some foods like soy sauce, blueberries, and tomato sauce can also contribute to yellowing and stains.
It’s a good idea to have your child rinse after consuming highly-pigmented foods, and to maintain proper oral hygiene. They should also mostly drink water and milk, not juice, soda, or other beverages.
If your child is not brushing properly, tartar can form on their teeth. Tartar is usually brownish-yellow in color. It’s very difficult to remove on your own, and must be scraped away by a dental hygienist at your child’s six-month dental cleaning and checkup.
To avoid stains caused by poor oral hygiene, make sure your child is brushing twice a day for two minutes using proper technique. Supervising them while they brush is a good idea.
At Santo Dental Group, Dr. Michael Santo, Dr. Miles Santo, and Dr. Katelyn Domingues love seeing kids of all ages, and offer expert children’s dentistry services in Red Bank. If you need a checkup for your little one or are worried about yellow teeth, don’t wait. Contact us or call at (732) 530-1003 to schedule an appointment.