Between the ages of seven and ten, you’ll witness your child’s smile transform from baby teeth to permanent teeth. You might also notice that these new permanent teeth look quite different than the baby teeth you are used to. Many parents are alarmed at the yellow tint that their child’s permanent teeth display. In fact, it is not uncommon for a parent to ask about professional teeth whitening for their child. The truth is, there is a very good explanation for why your child’s teeth appear yellow, and they do not need to rush into a teeth whitening treatment.
Why are baby teeth so much whiter than permanent teeth? Primary teeth are predominantly made up of enamel. Enamel is white; so a thick layer of enamel results in a very white tooth appearance. Adult teeth also contain enamel, but they have another thick layer of material underneath called dentin. Unfortunately, dentin is yellow and tends to show through a thinner enamel layer in permanent teeth. When looking at your child’s baby teeth and permanent teeth side by side, the color difference can seem more dramatic than it really is. In most cases, your child’s darker smile is completely normal. Within due time, your child will lose all of their baby teeth and their smile will display a more consistent hue.
Other reasons for your child’s yellow teeth should not be ignored. Certain antibiotics can cause stains and discoloration and yellow stains can also be a result of tartar and mineral buildup. A preventive cleaning every six months can remove any tartar buildup and ensure your child’s smile is healthy and normal. Always call your dentist right away if your child experiences any pain or sensitivity in their teeth or if they have severe staining that is not consistent with other adult teeth.