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Are my child’s teeth yellow?

It is not uncommon to hear from kids who are concerned about the colour of their adult teeth. After all, age is no barrier when it comes to craving a set of gorgeous pearly whites!

There are several potential reasons for the appearance of yellow teeth in children. More often than not, the issue is quite simple and there are easy, non-invasive ways to brighten teeth in young kids.

  1. Comparing adult teeth to baby teeth

Often when children start to become worried about the colour of their teeth, they are in a mixed stage of dental development, meaning that they have both adult and baby teeth present in the mouth. Naturally, baby teeth are much whiter and brighter than adult teeth. This is due to the thick dentine layer in adult teeth underneath the enamel. As a result, directly comparing adult to baby teeth means the adult teeth often appear more yellow. Some reassurance will ensure your child that their teeth are not abnormal in colour.

  1. Plaque staining

Good brushing practices are often difficult to teach kids. It is common for kids to miss crucial areas when brushing, including the front teeth. Plaque by definition is a collection of bacteria which emit acids and toxins. If left sitting on a tooth surface for a long time, these can give the tooth a yellow appearance. Excellent oral hygiene and regular visit to the dentist for cleans will mean that the teeth are as white and bright as possible!

  1. Developmental defects

More rarely, some kids can be affected by developmental disorders of enamel which means the enamel layer is thinner, softer, or stained. In these cases, the yellower dentine underneath the enamel will be more visible, serving to discolour teeth. These are more complex cases in terms of diagnosis or management. If you are concerned about developmental defects in your child’s teeth, consult our dentists for advice.

By: Dr Elizabeth Arena