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Ask the Pediatrician

Dr. Jennifer Shu and her team of pediatricians answer your health questions.

Dr. Jennifer Shu

Question & Answer


My son is nine years old and his teeth have a yellow tint. I make sure that he brushes and we use whitening toothpaste. Please help!


By: Dan Brennan, MD, CLC, FAAP

We are all looking for that pearly white smile and it is terrific that your son is taking such great care of his teeth!

The enamel of our permanent (adult) teeth is relatively translucent, with a slightly different texture, than the enamel found on primary (baby) teeth. As a result, your son’s new adult teeth will have a yellow tint when compared to his remaining baby teeth. Once the full set of adult teeth has come in, his smile will look more uniform in appearance.

Darkening of a tooth can also be the result of dental trauma or consumption of colas, dark juices, popsicles, coffee and other foods.  Regular exams with your dental professional will help ensure that your child has healthy and strong teeth.


About Dr. Brennan:

Dan Brennan, MD, CLC, FAAP is a Board Certified Pediatrician and Certified Lactation Counselor. He is a graduate of UCLA, Albany Medical College and completed his pediatric training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2001. Dr. Brennan is a native of Santa Barbara, proud father of two boys, health care columnist, distance runner, soccer coach, Little League manager, contributor to several national health magazines and websites, and a medical consultant for the USA television show Burn Notice.

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