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Causes and Treatments for a Child’s Permanent Teeth Coming in Yellow

A cute smiling girl

If your little one’s adult teeth are growing in, congratulations! They’ve just entered a new stage of their life. And if you notice their adult or permanent teeth are yellow in color as they erupt, don’t worry. This is normal. Keep reading to learn about causes and treatments for yellow adult teeth.

Why Are My Child’s Permanent Teeth Yellow?

There are a few reasons permanent teeth may come in a different color than their baby, or primary, teeth. The first is simple contrast. Baby teeth are often milky white in appearance, and adult teeth coming in right beside them will look more yellow.


A child’s permanent teeth coming in yellow are still healthy teeth. Adult teeth have more dentin, which is the layer beneath the outer enamel. Dentin has a yellowish color. Permanent teeth also usually have enamel that’s more thin than baby teeth, so this yellow color shows through more clearly. Over time, their outer enamel will calcify, and their teeth will appear less yellow.

Genetically Weak Enamel

Like everything in our bodies, the thickness of our enamel is determined by genetics. If your family is prone to weak enamel, it again will show more of the dentin from beneath. It’s best to contact your preferred pediatric dentist for guidance if you think this is the case.

Plaque Buildup

If your child’s permanent teeth are coming in yellow, you might also need to examine their oral health habits. They need to be brushing twice per day for two minutes each time, as well as flossing (if they’re old enough). Not doing so can cause plaque to build up on their teeth, possibly giving the teeth a yellow hue.

Certain Antibiotics

It’s rare, but certain antibiotics can cause adult teeth to erupt yellow. Tetracycline, for example, if taken when your child is in utero or if they take it before 8 years old, can cause yellowing of the teeth.

How to Treat Your Child’s Permanent Teeth when they Come in Yellow

The good news is, you don’t really have to do anything to your child’s adult teeth when they erupt with a yellow hue. Due to the naturally thinner enamel and the increased levels of dentin, it’s a perfectly natural experience and not one that requires medical attention. Yellow teeth will resolve on their own, as the enamel calcifies and thickens.

The difference, as we mentioned above, is if you think your child’s thin enamel is genetic. In this case, consult your pediatric dentist to see what can be done. If the yellow color causes your child extreme distress, there are a few steps you can take to try and lighten their teeth.

Proper Oral Hygiene

This is key not only for general oral health but can help when your child’s permanent teeth are coming in yellow. Regular, thorough brushing and flossing helps keep plaque at bay, which will help reduce yellow hues. Make sure they don’t brush too hard, as this can damage their thin enamel.

Cosmetic Options

You can try a toothpaste with a whitening agent. For extreme cases, there are over-the-counter whitening tools you can use but check with your pediatric dentist first. Lastly, most dentists offer professional whitening services, but your dentist will know best.

Adjust their Diet

Keep your child’s diet low in sugary foods and beverages. Avoid carbonated drinks, as well as drinks that can stain teeth like tea or soda. You can also encourage your child to brush after each meal, instead of only twice per day.

Contact Toothfairy Pediatric Dental Today

If your child’s permanent teeth are coming in yellow and you’re concerned, you can contact us with your questions. Our knowledgeable, friendly staff are happy to assist you with whatever pediatric dental issues you may have.

We also provide cleanings, dental X-rays, orthodontia, and more. No matter what your child’s oral health needs, we can help. Contact us online or call us at (775) 800-4117 to make your appointment today.