Among the many different problems that can occur with children’s teeth, yellowing of teeth is a significant change that can cause a lot of worry for parents. Yellowing of teeth is often noticed suddenly, although the changes have been happening for a while.
Parents always want their kids to have white teeth. White teeth generally signifies good oral health and affects the way children smile. Yellowing is therefore very worrying and parents automatically blame it on chocolates, food and other things.
Yellowing of teeth can be attributed to several factors, both external and internal. A few common causes for this are given below,
NATURAL TEETH COLOR
Baby teeth and permanent teeth are not the same color, if you’ve noticed it closely. The outer layer or enamel of permanent teeth is sometimes translucent, therefore allowing the inner ‘yellow’ dentin to show through. Baby teeth appear more white because of less dentin. Therefore yellow is still a natural color in children who have their permanent teeth.
Brushing and flossing regularly removes plaque and remnants of food, thereby preventing any yellowish discolouration. Food and drinks stain teeth and therefore brushing should be undertaken regularly following a prescribed format. If in any doubt, read this article to find out more about the process of brushing
FOOD AND DRINK
Food & drink stain teeth and make them look yellowish. Polyphenols in food are natural pigments which stain enamel of teeth. Tea, coffee, berries, juices also cause teeth discoloration. If these stick to teeth for a long time, they weaken the enamel. It is therefore important for the child to rinse their mouth after every meal and definitely before bed time.
Some children have a genetic thinness of tooth enamel, some even an unformed one. This allows the yellowish dentin to show up as a yellowish tinge through the enamel. Trauma can damage the enamel or internal bleeding can cause dentin to darken. Poor nutrition during birth and early childhood, genetic disorders are some other reasons for poor development of enamel and thus discolouration.
Medicines can significantly affect tooth color. Antibiotics taken during childbirth or early childhood, and even chemotherapy has been known to cause yellowing. Flourosis is commonly found in children who have exposure to excess fluoride content during tooth formative years, and the resultant low mineralisation causes tooth discolouration. This may occur in the form of spots, steaks or yellowing.
Change in tooth color is often picked up by parents very early. But there are discolourations brought on by foods and those that are natural. If as a parent you are worried and aren’t sure of the cause of it, please perform a thorough check of your child’s mouth with a torch or reach out to us at Small Bites at the earliest.