There’s nothing as cute as the smile of a young child. Their beaming grin can melt your heart even on your worst of days. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your child’s pearly whites stay healthy and bright. However, the unfortunate truth is that white teeth don’t always stay white. If they don’t take proper care of them, your kid’s teeth may become yellow.
If you’re wondering how to whiten a child’s yellow teeth, Children’s Dentistry can help. Try these tips from one of the leading pediatric dentists in the greater Las Vegas area.
Preventing Yellow Teeth in Kids
The best solution for how to whiten a kid’s teeth is to prevent them from turning yellow in the first place. In situations like this, the old adage is true: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By teaching your child good oral care habits, you can ensure that your child’s teeth remain clean, white, and healthy for a lifetime.
Under normal circumstances, you can prevent your child’s teeth from staining by teaching them good oral health habits. To avoid yellow teeth in kids, here are some tips to teach your child (or to remind them again):
- Brush twice a day: Ideally, your child should be brushing their teeth after breakfast and before going to bed at night. This will help brush away bacteria and food particles and keep them from attacking their teeth and gums. By brushing once a day (or not at all!), they’ll end up developing plaque, gingivitis, and tooth staining over the long term.
- Brush two minutes each time: Dentists often use the phrase “2 by 2” to remind children (and adults) how to brush their teeth. Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time they brush. Kids often quickly brush their teeth in 30 seconds or less, then quickly scurry off to do something else. Make sure they put in their full two minutes brushing the front, back, and tops of all their teeth.
- Change your brush every three months: Just like a painter can’t paint with worn-out bristles, your child can’t effectively clean their teeth with an old, dirty brush. Make sure you replace their toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles have worn down.
By ensuring that your child follows these simple steps, you’ll have them off to a great start!
What Causes Yellow Teeth in Kids?
Even if your child has good oral care habits, you should make sure they’re careful with what they eat and drink. Some common foods and beverages are known to stain kid’s teeth and make them yellow over time. Items to avoid on a regular basis include:
- Sodas: Colas and other bubbly beverages are a favorite of children, but they can easily stain teeth over a long stretch of time. Between the citric acid, large amounts of sugar, and artificial colors, soda is a bad choice for young people’s developing smiles.
- Coffee: Many teenagers love drinking frappuccinos, lattes, and other coffee drinks. However, coffee is one of the greatest offenders of teeth staining. Beware the brew!
- Popsicles: There’s nothing like a popsicle on a hot day. However, most popsicles are loaded with artificial colors and tons of sugar. Make sure they’re an occasional treat, not a daily habit during the summer.
Also, there are certain medications, like tetracycline and doxycycline (common antibiotics), which can stain teeth when used for an extended period of time. If your child’s pediatrician has prescribed medication for long-term treatment, call your pediatric dentist to find out if there is any potential for yellow teeth in kids.
How To Whiten Your Kid’s Teeth
Occasionally, even if your child is diligent, you may notice that their teeth are tinged with yellow. If this happens, you have some at-home remedies available:
- Whitening toothpaste: Check your local drugstore or big-box store, and you’ll notice many different whitening toothpastes. Although these are moderately effective at temporarily removing minor surface stains, they can’t help with much else.
- Whitening strips: These kits have become more commonplace over the past few years. Although they are more effective than whitening toothpaste, they do not usually offer dramatic results. They can also be a hassle for children to use, even with supervision.
- Bleaching trays: Although these are the most effective at-home option, they are also a poor choice for children. The bleaching solution can be messy, painful if misapplied, and trying to keep a child still for the treatment can be extremely difficult.
If you notice yellow teeth in your kids, your best option is to call your child’s pediatric dentist for a consultation. They’ll give your child a thorough oral exam and let you know your options. Keep in mind that, if your child still has primary teeth, your dentist will give you options other than bleaching. This is because your child’s permanent teeth have not fully come in yet. If their adult teeth are all in place, they may be a candidate for in-office bleaching. This type of whitening will turn your child’s teeth several shades whiter than at-home remedies.
Treating Yellow Teeth in Kids At Children’s Dentistry
If you live in the greater Las Vegas area and you’re wondering how to whiten children’s yellow teeth, give us a call at Children’s Dentistry. Our professional and caring staff will be glad to help you assess all your options. We offer pain-free sedation dentistry for anxious patients, and our dentists are also specially trained for patients with special needs.
If you’re new to the Children’s Dentistry family, we’re currently accepting new patients. We accept many forms of dental insurance, including Medicaid. Paying out of pocket? We have special programs and discounts to help make dental care affordable and accessible to all. Give us a call today at (702) 832-0508 or contact us online to schedule your child’s appointment today!