Why Do My Child’s Permanent Teeth Look Yellow?

Why Do My Child's Permanent Teeth Look Yellow?

Providing professional dental care for your child’s teeth, establishing good oral hygiene habits, and addressing issues as they arise are the best ways to give your child’s teeth a solid foundation of good oral health for proper development. 


So, when you’re doing everything right and your child’s adult teeth come in looking yellow, it’s only natural to wonder what exactly is going on.

Why Your Child's Permanent Teeth Might Look Yellow

Adult teeth naturally have more dentin than baby teeth. Dentin is the layer of a tooth that’s located directly beneath the tooth’s pearly-white enamel, and dentin is yellowish and darker in color than enamel. 


As a result of their normal composition, adult teeth tend to look darker or more yellow compared to baby teeth. So, when a child’s permanent front tooth erupts right next to a glistening white baby tooth, comparatively, it can look more yellow than you think it should. 


Usually, once a child has lost most of their baby teeth, or at least the most visible ones, and have had all or most of their adult teeth come in, they will no longer appear as dark or as yellow as they did before because they will not be positioned adjacent to a much whiter baby tooth.

Additional Reasons for Tooth Discoloration in Children

If your child’s teeth still appear more yellow than you believe they should once all of their adult teeth have come in, then the discoloration might be caused by one of the following:

  • Stains
    – Foods and drinks that are highly pigmented can stain teeth. Berries, fruit juices, sports drinks, colas, and tomato sauce can all cause tooth discoloration. To prevent staining, rinse with water after consuming any of these foods.
  • Plaque and Tartar – Plaque and tartar buildup on the surface of the teeth cause teeth to look yellow. Teach your child proper brushing and flossing techniques and visit the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning.


  • Injury – Tooth or mouth injuries can damage a tooth’s nerve root. In the event of an injury or trauma to the mouth, contact Dr. Laura for a checkup right away.  

  • Antibiotics – Certain antibiotics such as tetracycline can cause tooth discoloration.

If you’re concerned about the appearance or health of your child’s teeth, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at Kenmore Pediatric Dentistry today.