It's exciting for your child when their teeth begin to loosen, signalling the beginning of the end of one stage of your child's development, and the beginning of another. They grow up so fast! As baby teeth are shed and adult teeth begin to erupt to replace them, some parents might become concerned. Why are your child's new teeth noticeably more yellow than their predecessors?
A Yellow Tint
It can be confusing when a child's adult teeth take on a yellow tint as they erupt. This sort of discoloration is associated with aging, or diet, or even smoking. Clearly, these are not issues that can affect a newly-erupted set of teeth, so what's the reason for this curious development?
Some Key Differences
Although the anatomy of a primary baby tooth is almost identical to that of a secondary adult tooth, there are some key differences. The bulk of a tooth is made up of dentin, which is a strong, calcified substance. This dentin is protected under a coat of protective dental enamel, which is partially translucent. Dentin is thicker, and slightly darker in adult teeth, and this can be somewhat visible beneath the translucent enamel.
The color variation can be more pronounced when your child's dental arches are hosting a combination of baby and adult teeth. Secondary teeth inevitably look darker when they're observed directly next to a lighter primary tooth. As these primary teeth are shed and replaced, this sort of direct comparison will no longer be performed. Some color changes are to be expected, and your child's permanent teeth should in fact lighten after eruption. As the erupted teeth continue their development, their internal structure increases in density, allowing the tooth to appear whiter. This means that the yellow tint is likely to only be a temporary issue.
Other Factors at Play
Should you be concerned about the color of your child's permanent teeth, schedule an appointment with your local family dentistry clinic. Your child's dentist will be able to tell you if your child is experiencing a normal part of their dental development, or if there are other factors at play. Your child's dentist may need to rule out causes such as injury or trauma, or antibiotic-induced discoloration, which can be caused by certain medications, including tetracycline.
Newly-erupted teeth that have a yellow hue are not a reason to be alarmed. They will lighten naturally as their development continues, but please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with your child's dentist if you have a hunch that there might be another cause for the discoloration.
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