Dr. Johnny Johnson and Associates, Pediatric Dentists
Dr. Johnny Johnson and Associates, Pediatric Dentists


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My child's permanent teeth are darker than their baby teeth. Is there something wrong? What should I do?

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Assuming the child has not injured their teeth, in most cases it is normal for the permanent teeth to look darker or yellow. It's actually considered to be an optical illusion! The baby teeth are actually nick-named "milk-teeth" because of their bright, white color. When permanent teeth come in next to them, it gives them the appearance of being very yellow. Our permanent teeth have thicker layers of underlying dentin (layer of tooth beneath the outer enamel) which naturally has hues of yellow, red, or grey.

If you dont discuss the issue with your child, chances are they wont even notice and will not become self conscious. Once your child's permanent teeth have all come in, together we will re-evaluate the color and see how they appear. If you and your child are still concerned, please discuss tooth whitening options with us. 


In addition, there are other causes of yellow teeth which can be caused by poor oral hygiene. If the child does an inadequate job at brushing, or refuses to brush routinely, a thick coating of yellow plaque builds up on the teeth. This can make the teeth appear up to 3-4 shades darker than they actually are. If you see a layer of "fuzzy" looking film that looks as if it could be scraped off, then your child needs to improve their brushing and flossing to prevent discoloration and most importantly, decay!

There are generally not many foods or drinks that will cause staining at this age (i.e. coffee, tea, wine). If you are seeing dark stains on your toddler's teeth, it may be due to the iron in their multivitamin. If your child is prone to this kind of stain, you'll have to be a little more attentive about brushing thoroughly and regularly staying on top of it. The good news is that most stains caused by food or vitamins wont affect the health of your child's teeth and usually can be removed during regular dental check-ups.

Above all, remember to check with us so that we can perform a thorough exam and definitively rule out trauma, infection, and developmental disturbances in the tooth's formation.


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Maggie N. Davis, DMD, LLC serves Palm Harbor and the surrounding Tampa Bay area, including including Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Holiday, North Pinellas, Tampa, Oldsmar, Dunedin, Safety Harbor, Clearwater, Ozona, Odessa, Port Richey, Hudson, New Tampa, Trinity, Hillsborough, East Lake
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Dr. Johnny Johnson and Associates, Pediatric Dentists