Why are your child’s teeth yellow? Children’s dental health is a crucial aspect of their overall well-being. While many parents diligently care for their child’s teeth, they may still wonder why their little one’s teeth appear yellow. The discoloration of a child’s teeth can be concerning, but it’s essential to understand that there can be multiple reasons behind it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various factors that can cause your child’s teeth to appear yellow, and we’ll delve into the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

Understanding Teeth Yellow

Permanent Teeth are Starting to Erupt

If your child is between the ages 6-13 years you can probably see new permanent teeth to be yellow in color compared to the remaining milk teeth. Permanent teeth have more dentin (the second layer of tooth structure) and it is yellow in color. Enamel (the first layer) is slightly translucent so the yellow color is seen through. Permanent teeth are more transparent when they erupt so the yellow color is more prominent. They calcify over time. If you’re noticing that your child has yellow teeth, but the only teeth that look yellow are their adult teeth, this is likely the issue. With time the color of the teeth will lighten and there will be uniformity.


teeth yellow

Plaque Buildup

One of the most common reasons for yellowing teeth in children is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth when good oral hygiene is not maintained. Over time, if plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can lead to tooth discoloration.


Week enamel

There are some genetic disorders in which the enamel is not properly formed or not properly calcified. If the enamel is weak the underlying yellow dentin is more visible. Visit a dentist for a proper diagnosis and further treatment plans so proper oral hygiene measures can be taken to protect the teeth.


Fluorosis is a condition that can result in tooth discoloration. It occurs when a child is exposed to excessive fluoride during tooth development. This can happen through drinking water with high fluoride levels or using dental products that contain fluoride. Fluorosis can lead to white or brown stains on the teeth, which may appear yellow.


Stains From Tetracycline AND Antibiotics

This condition is unlikely to happen to your child but it is still worth mentioning. Sometimes pregnant mothers take tetracycline which causes yellow discoloration in the child’s teeth which later oxidizes and turns brown. Doctors are aware of this condition so they do not prescribe tetracycline to kids under the age of 12 and to pregnant women.



In conclusion, yellowing of a child’s teeth can result from various factors, including plaque buildup, natural dentin color, fluorosis, genetic disorders, medications like Tetracycline, and food discoloration. While some of these factors are beyond your control, maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking regular dental care can significantly reduce the risk of tooth discoloration in children.


What causes yellow teeth in kids?

Highly pigmented foods like blueberries and tomato sauce and beverages, such as soda, energy drinks and fruit juice can stain kids’ teeth, making them look yellow. To avoid this, have kids rinse their mouth out with water after eating or drinking anything pigmented and be diligent about brushing.

How do you treat genetic tooth discoloration?

Treating Genetic Tooth Discoloration

Many individuals with genetic conditions that cause weak, discolored teeth opt for tooth restoration. Crowns, veneers, and dental implants can not only correct the aesthetics of the teeth, but also provide resilience and stability.

How do you treat fluorosis in children?

Most cases of fluorosis are mild and do not need treatment. In more severe cases, whitening of the teeth, veneers, or other cosmetic dentistry techniques can be used to correct permanent discoloration. Once a child reaches the age of 8, they are no longer at risk for developing fluorosis.

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