Yellow teeth in children: causes, prevention and advice
Regardless of age, we should be worried about having yellow teeth, but the alarm really does off when this problem affects the children of the house. The thing is that dentin can change colour over the years and our enamel can become discoloured or stained due to other causes including, among others, an excessive consumption of coffee, tea, red wine or tobacco, but what is it that causes children to have yellow teeth?
First of all, you should be aware that the natural colour of healthy teeth is not the sparkling white tone that we all imagine, and this rule applies to your children’s teeth as well. Each person’s mouth is a world of its own and teeth can have their own distinct colouring which can range from white to more ivory tones.
The colour of each person’s teeth is determined by the thickness of the enamel as this causes the dentin – most opaque part of the tooth – to be more visible or less, resulting in the teeth having one tone or another.
However, there are a several reasons why teeth cease to have their usual colour and start to take on a yellowish tone that is quite noticeable and which can alert us to the fact that there is something amiss. In today’s blog we will look at the reasons for the various things that can occur to your children’s teeth, examine how to avoid them and tell you what you can do to solve them. Are you interested? Continue reading!
What are the causes of yellow teeth in children:
Until the little ones of the house get into the habit of cleaning their teeth properly, their parents will need to ensure that they do not neglect their daily oral hygiene if they are to have clean and healthy teeth. And so, as a parent you will be the first person to notice any changes that occur in their small teeth, and it is quite normal for questions to arise. For this reason, we will offer an answer here and try to explain the possible causes of yellow teeth in children:
- Mixed dentition. When children have mixed dentition, in other words, when they have milk teeth and their first permanent teeth at the same time, the latter will appear to be less white than the former and more yellowish in colour. The reason for this is that milk teeth are whiter in tone and the contrast between the two means that we see the new teeth as having a darker tone. But now the good news; there is no need to worry about this at all, it is totally normal.
- Poor oral hygiene. This is one cause that you should be concerned about. When kids have yellow teeth because of poor oral hygiene, ineffective brushing or simply not brushing at all, this means that food debris will have accumulated on the surface of the teeth thereby forming bacterial plaque, which causes oral diseases such as dental caries or tooth decay.
- Other factors that can cause this problem include hereditary diseases, trauma, certain medicines, an excessive use or intake of fluoride, a thin layer of enamel or the repetitive consumption of sugary drinks or foods that are prejudicial for children’s dental health.
How to prevent and treat yellow teeth in children:
Before taking any action, it is important to take the children to the dentist to find out what the exact cause of the discolouring of their teeth is. If they are suffering from some oral disease or other, the professional will make an assessment and decide on the treatment and the steps to follow to solve or improve the problem. In those cases where the problem is due to an inherited disorder or to natural darkening, teeth-whitening treatments are a great alternative, but it is best to wait until adulthood before going ahead with these treatments.
On the other hand, if it is a matter of poor oral hygiene or bad habits, you can prevent and treat yellow teeth in children by following the following recommendations:
- Make sure they brush their teeth after each meal. To prevent your children from having yellow teeth, it is essential for them to acquire the good habit of brushing with a toothpaste that is suitable for their mouth and their age.
- Introduce them to the world of dental floss. It is important to clean the interdental spaces, where a large part of the tartar accumulates as these are the first areas that will change to that yellowy colour. Give them a piece of floss and show them how to use it!
- Make sure that their toothpaste contains the correct levels of fluoride. To help prevent disorders such as caries (tooth decay) it is important to ensure that the oral hygiene products that your child uses contain the amount of fluoride recommended by dental health professionals and to see that they use the amount of toothpaste recommended by the pharmaceutical laboratory.
- Reduce the consumption of sugary food and drinks. You should pay special attention to food, energy drinks, sugary foods and certain fruit juices that can damage their enamel and decolour their small first teeth. Make sure you know which foods should be avoided and which foods are good for the oral health of all the family.
- Avoid all kinds of colourants in their food. If they do consume them, make sure they brush their teeth properly after consuming them.
- Set a good example for them to follow. Finally, we would like to remind you that children imitate what they see at home. Therefore, if they see their parents brushing their teeth every day and moreover if they see that looking after their teeth can be fun, they will be motivated to do the same with enthusiasm and they will become much more aware of the importance of looking after their oral health.