INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY - DO NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE
Yellow or Stained Teeth
Typical Level of Urgency:
Teeth can be yellow or stained for a variety of reasons. Naturally, everyone has a different hue to their teeth and young people typically will have more yellow hue than older people, which may be particularly noticeable as the adult teeth erupt. The baby teeth are naturally brighter white than the adult teeth and so it is most noticeable during "mixed" dentition - the time of life when the adult teeth and baby teeth are present in the mouth together.
Stain on the exterior of teeth can be yellow or brown and may build up easily with dietary choices such as artificially colored foods, berries, sodas, or teas/coffees. Less frequently, stain can also be due to an interaction of bacteria with minerals in our diet like iron - this stain is typically harmless and can be reduced with proper brushing technique.
Of concern for our young generation is the presence of a thick, tenacious, orange plaque - which has been found to occur in those experimenting with "vaping"or e-cigarette use - ask your child if you notice this type of stain as it will not resolve if the habit is continued. If you notice a change in the color of teeth between checkups, the first step is to improve brushing or flossing technique and to check your lifestyle factors for possible reasons.
While stained teeth is typically non-urgent, a discussion with your dentist may help explore other reasons for stains or discolored teeth. If the stain also looks like a hole - it may be a sign of dental disease. Teldentistry is often a useful way to evaluate these issues quickly between checkups.