Why Are My Kid’s Teeth Yellow? Potential Causes of Tooth Discoloration in Children

If you’re a parent, it’s important to take care of your child’s oral health. You may have recently noticed that your child’s teeth look yellow compared to other kids. What could be causing this? Is it a serious issue? Can you do anything about it? The team at The Little Royals: Dentistry for Kids is here to help and is always happy to answer any questions you may have. 

1. Their Permanent Teeth Are Starting to Come in 

If your child is about 6-7 years old and their permanent teeth have started to erupt, you may notice that their permanent teeth look quite a bit more yellow than their baby teeth. Good news: this is normal.

Permanent teeth have more dentin (the layer of the tooth underneath the outer enamel), which has a more yellowish color. They also have very large nerve canals when they erupt and the enamel is more naturally transparent. Combined, these things mean that permanent teeth may often look very yellow compared to baby teeth, which are a milky-white.
This is nothing to be concerned about. Over time, as your child’s permanent teeth calcify, they will become lighter. And, as their baby teeth are replaced with permanent teeth, their smile will look more uniform. 

2. Antibiotic Use During Pregnancy or Before the Age of 8 

This is probably not the issue, but it does bear mentioning. Some types of antibiotics, primarily tetracycline, can bind to your child’s teeth and stain them if you take it while your child is in-utero or if they take it while under the age of 8.

When the tetracycline binds to the teeth and they erupt, it oxidizes, turning from a yellowish-colored to a darker brown. This effect is well-known, and for this reason, doctors usually do not prescribe tetracycline or similar antibiotics to pregnant women or young children, which is why this is not a very common problem. 

3. Weak or Thin Enamel Due to Genetic Factors 

Genetics can determine a lot about your child’s health, including the strength of their enamel. Some children are born with weaker or thinner enamel. Enamel is what causes teeth to have a whitish color. The underlying dentin is more yellowish, so a thin layer of enamel can make your kid’s teeth look more yellow than white.

If your child has weak or thin enamel, you will need to see a dentist to ensure that you understand how to care for their teeth properly and mitigate their higher risk of tooth decay. We recommend getting in touch with The Little Royals: Dentistry for Kids right away if you think this is an issue. 

4. Plaque/Tartar Buildup Causing Tooth Stains 

If your child’s teeth are not being brushed at least 2 times per day for 2 minutes, bacteria may continue to collect and form plaque and tartar (hardened, calcified plaque). Plaque can be stained by beverages and foods, and tartar has a yellowish-brown color.

If you think your child has yellow teeth due to plaque/tartar buildup, you should see Dr. Sal Colombo or Dr. Yasi Colombo right away. We can clean their teeth, and help you develop a better understanding of how to properly maintain your child’s smile to avoid similar issues in the future.

Concerned About Your Child’s Yellow Teeth? Contact The Little Royals: Dentistry for Kids Now! 

Whether you’re in Jupiter, Abacoa, Palm Beach Gardens, Country Estates or Jupiter Farm, Dr. Sal and Dr. Yasi Colombo are here to help your little ones get the oral care they need to maintain a healthy smile. So if you’re concerned about yellow teeth, don’t wait. Contact us now at (561) 510-1450 to schedule an appointment, or come to our office at 600 Heritage Drive, Suite 110, Jupiter, FL 33458 to make your appointment in person.

Schedule a Royal Appointment!