What causes yellow teeth in children? How to treat and prevent it? Can yellowing of teeth be natural and hereditary? Find the answers to all of these questions and more, below.
Everyone wants to have a pearly set of whites. And this rule applies even to children. Ideally, children have bright white teeth, as white as milk (which is why they are called milk teeth). However, sometimes, children may be born with or may land up with yellow tinged or yellow colored teeth. Yellow teeth in children may be caused due to many factors. These may appear in the form of external or internal stains or at times, some children may have yellow teeth as a hereditary trait, that is, their teeth may be naturally yellow in color. Given below are the various causes and treatment options for dealing with yellow stains on teeth in children.
Causes and Remedies
One of the most commonly misdiagnosed causes of yellow teeth is the presence of a thin enamel. The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth which is not only the hardest structure in the human body but is also what imparts the white color to teeth. Inner to the enamel is the dentin, which is slightly yellowish in color and is also sensitive to heat and cold. Some children have naturally thin enamel or enamel that has worn thin due to eating, brushing vigorously or by drinking carbonated drinks. In such cases, it is not yellow staining but in fact, the dentin which reflects through. There is no treatment usually required for such cases but if the sensitivity becomes unbearable, then a dental crown can be fitted over the affected tooth. As preventive measures, drink as less carbonated drinks as possible and try to drink with a straw and don’t brush too harshly.
Some kids tend to have very bad oral hygiene which may lead to yellow teeth in children. In such cases, as they do not take good care of their teeth, they tend to land with tartar, plaque and calculus. This is especially seen in children that have orthodontic braces, as it becomes difficult to maintain oral hygiene with braces. In such cases, only brushing twice a day will not help. The person will need to go to the dentist and get cleaning done to remove any calculus that may have settled on the surface of the tooth. Children that are undergoing orthodontic treatment need to take special care of their teeth and must visit the dentist regularly, lest they land with dental caries and tooth decay which could create more problems during the orthodontic treatment.
Medications: Internal and External Stains
There are certain medications that tend to stain teeth. These could lead to internal or external staining of teeth, which may be in the form of yellowing or in the form of black spots on teeth. One common culprit is tetracycline. Tetracycline is an antibiotic that is used to treat a number of diseases. However, one of the main side effects of tetracycline is that it leads to yellow teeth in children. In fact, it has been seen that when tetracycline is taken by an expectant mother, then too it can affect the teeth that will erupt in the newborn child’s mouth. Even constant use of amoxicillin, a commonly prescribed antibiotic in children, may lead to yellow staining of teeth which may need active yellow teeth treatment later.
So now you know the various causes and remedies for yellow teeth. There are a few more relatively rare causes, like congenital conditions like amelogenesis imperfecta or dentinogenesis imperfecta. It is of utmost importance to treat the condition solely on the basis of the underlying cause after reaching a definitive diagnosis. Although people tend to ignore problems arising in milk teeth as they eventually shed, however, if there is an infection which is leading to staining of teeth, then it could even spread to the permanent tooth bud below. This is especially important if it is a case of a child who is in his tweens, as this is the time when permanent teeth begin to erupt and so, extra care needs to be taken to nip the problem of any kind of staining in the bud when it comes to permanent teeth. So, visit your dentist every six months and pay extra attention to your dental health if you want that enviable set of pearly whites! Take care!