Why Are My Kid’s Teeth Yellow?

If you’ve been looking at your child’s teeth and have noticed that they look yellow, you may be concerned. What’s going on? Are their teeth healthy? What could be causing this yellow appearance? The experts at Sea of Smiles are always happy to discuss your child’s oral health and answer any questions you may have. 

1. Their Permanent Teeth Are Starting to Erupt

If your child is between the ages of 6-13, their baby (primary) teeth will start to fall out, and their adult teeth will erupt. Often, their new adult teeth may have a yellowish color, especially compared to their remaining baby teeth.

Permanent teeth have more dentin (the second layer of the tooth below the enamel) and this has a yellowish color. Enamel is slightly translucent, so the color of the dentin may show through. Permanent teeth also have larger nerve canals and the teeth are more transparent when they erupt. Over time, the enamel will calcify and the tooth will grow lighter in color. 

If you’re noticing that your child has yellow teeth, but the only teeth that look yellow are their adult teeth, this is likely the issue. You don’t need to do anything about it. Over time, your child will lose their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth will lighten in color and look more uniform. 

2. Weak Enamel 

Some children are born with weak enamel due to genetic factors. Because enamel is whitish in color and the underlying dentin is yellow in color, this can lead to the teeth looking more yellow. 

If you believe your child may have weak enamel, it’s important to see a dentist to discuss their oral health and get an official diagnosis. You will need to take special precautions to keep their mouth healthy if they have weak enamel. 

3. Stains From Tetracycline & Other Antibiotics

It’s unlikely that this is the problem with your child’s teeth, but it’s worth mentioning. Certain antibiotics like tetracycline can cause yellow stains in your child’s teeth if they are taken while pregnant, or while your child is under the age of 8.

Basically, the tetracycline binds to the teeth, and when they erupt, it begins to oxidize. It will initially look yellow, but may eventually turn brown. This effect is well-known, so most doctors will avoid prescribing tetracycline and similar antibiotics to women during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, or on children who are under 8 years of age. 

4. Plaque Buildup on the Teeth 

Improper brushing and flossing of the baby teeth can lead to the buildup of bacteria-laden plaque on the teeth. This plaque buildup can lead to tooth discoloration and staining. 

If you think your child has a lot of plaque on their teeth, see Sea of Smiles for a cleaning. We’ll remove the plaque to prevent decay. Also, be sure that you brush your child’s teeth 2-3 times a day for at least 2 minutes to prevent further plaque buildup. 

Need More Help? Come See Dr. Mukund Patel & Dr. Raj Patel at Sea of Smiles! 

At Sea of Smiles, we specialize in treating children in Bensalem, Warrington, and Yardley. Dr. Raj and Dr. Mukund Patel can identify the cause of your child’s yellow teeth, and discuss if it’s a cause for concern. To get started, just contact us at (267) 392-5878 to schedule an appointment. We’re always taking new patients, so bring your little one in today to meet the team at Sea of Smiles.