If your child’s teeth are discolored, then you may have cause for concern. However, that doesn’t mean you should panic. Rather you should book an appointment with your dentist, and allow them to identify the cause. More often than not, yellowing is a sign of inadequate brushing. If you are wondering “why are my child’s teeth yellow,” we have the answers.
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Why Are My Child’s Teeth Yellow?
Your child may be missing spots or just skipping that part of their routine. When that’s the case, plaque builds up over time, giving your child’s teeth a yellow appearance. With that in mind, there are some cases where yellowing teeth may be a cause for concern, with the explanations ranging regarding severity. Here are a few common issues that crop up.
Your child has weak enamel.
This is often genetic, but can also occur due to high fevers in infancy. Essentially, the protective layer over the teeth doesn’t form properly. This layer of enamel is what gives your teeth their white appearance. Therefore, when the layer is thin or damaged, the yellow of the dentin is more visible.
Your child has been exposed to too much fluoride.
Millions of mothers have to make the difficult choice to feed their babies formula. This formula gets mixed with our drinking water, which typically has added fluoride. In some cases, this can be too much for your infant’s teeth and result in fluorosis. That won’t necessarily make your child’s teeth yellow, but they may appear more yellow next to the thin-white lines caused by the fluoride.
Your child was given medications that have affected their teeth.
Tetracycline and medications that are high in iron can affect the color of your child’s teeth if given during infancy. It should be noted that your doctor is almost certainly aware of this side effect and chose to prescribe the medication for your child because it was necessary. If you have any concerns, you can talk to your doctor about potential alternatives that are less likely to affect their teeth.
Your child has a medical condition called hyperbilirubinemia.
This is a very common condition in newborns. It occurs when there is too much bilirubin in the blood, and it can cause their baby teeth to have a slight green or yellow hue.
It may be initially distressing. But the problem of discolored teeth usually resolves once the adult teeth begin to come in. Until then, it is vital that you continue to teach them strong oral hygiene habits and take them in for their cleanings every six months. By doing so, you’ll increase the chance that they will take proper care of their adult teeth and maintain a perfect smile.
For those less lucky children whose enamel doesn’t form properly, you should discuss options with your dentist at Coastland Dental. Due to the lack of enamel in some areas, you are more likely to have pressing concerns regarding protecting the teeth. What needs to be done will depend on the severity of the damage, and the most affected areas. From there, you can begin to address any aesthetic concerns.
It doesn’t make sense to have children pay for juvenile mistakes and medical inevitabilities. Therefore, it’s perfectly reasonable to consider giving your child a professional teeth whitening treatment once all of their adult teeth are in and cared for. You can discuss the process with your dentist and your child to determine what the right course of action is for your family.
You may also consider at-home options, but don’t be surprised if your dentist discourages you from doing so. The whitening agents used have the potential to damage the gums and enamel while increasing sensitivity. If your child already has damaged enamel, then you should definitely leave teeth whitening in the hands of your family dentist to ensure they get the best result with the least chance of negative side effects.