Small Bites by Jessica

What to Do When Your Child’s Tooth is Growing Behind the Baby Tooth

When a child’s permanent teeth begin to emerge, it’s a significant milestone in their development.

However, sometimes these new teeth can start to grow in behind the baby teeth, a condition often referred to as “shark teeth.”

This situation is relatively common and usually occurs when a child is between 5 to 7 years old.

The primary concern with shark teeth is the potential for crowding and misalignment of the new, permanent teeth.

When a permanent tooth starts to come in behind a baby tooth, it typically means that the baby tooth’s roots haven’t dissolved properly to make way for the emerging tooth.

In many cases, the baby tooth will eventually become loose and fall out on its own, allowing the permanent tooth to move into the correct position.

For parents and guardians, it’s important to monitor the situation closely.

If the baby tooth is slightly loose, encourage the child to wiggle it to help it along.

However, if the baby tooth shows no signs of loosening, we recommend consulting with a pediatric dentist.

The dentist can assess whether the baby tooth needs to be extracted to prevent future dental issues.

In some instances, if the permanent tooth is growing in and the baby tooth is still firmly in place, a dentist may recommend extraction to allow the permanent tooth to align properly.

Other Issues Related to Shark Teeth

It’s also worth noting that if one tooth is experiencing this issue, its counterpart (the tooth on the opposite side) is likely to do the same.

Therefore, it might be more efficient to address both teeth in a single dental visit if the situation arises for both.

Regular dental check-ups are crucial during this phase of a child’s dental development.

X-rays may be taken to evaluate the position and health of the emerging permanent teeth and to plan any necessary interventions.

Additionally, maintaining good oral hygiene and a balanced diet can support healthy dental development.

In summary, while the emergence of a permanent tooth behind a baby tooth can be concerning, it’s a treatable condition.

With careful monitoring and timely dental advice, children can transition smoothly from their baby teeth to a healthy set of permanent teeth.

For more detailed information and guidance, it’s best to consult with a pediatric dentist who can provide personalized recommendations based on the child’s specific dental needs.

Will shark teeth move forward on their own?

The answer is yes.

In most cases, shark teeth will gradually move into the correct position on their own as the permanent teeth continue to erupt and exert pressure on the baby teeth, encouraging them to loosen and fall out.

However, this natural process can vary from child to child. Some may require assistance if the baby teeth do not fall out in a timely manner to make way for the permanent teeth.

If a child’s shark teeth do not resolve naturally, a dentist may recommend intervention. This could include the extraction of the baby teeth to make room for the permanent teeth to move into place.

With the right care and attention, shark teeth can be just a temporary phase in a child’s growth, leading to a healthy, aligned set of permanent teeth.

When should I be worried about shark teeth?

Parents should keep an eye on their child’s dental development and seek professional advice if the baby teeth remain stubbornly in place or if there are signs of discomfort or potential orthodontic issues.

Regular dental check-ups will also help in monitoring the situation and ensuring the child’s oral health is on track.

Are shark teeth hereditary?

According to research, there is a possibility of a genetic link.

Studies have indicated that siblings of children with ectopic tooth eruption, which is the dental term for shark teeth, had a higher chance of experiencing the same issue.

This suggests that there might be a hereditary component to the condition.

However, it’s important to note that shark teeth are not primarily genetic.

The main causes are localized mechanical factors that disrupt the natural tooth eruption process.

Genetics can play a minor role, but it’s not the sole factor.

Siblings have only a slightly higher chance of also developing shark teeth.

As a dentist, when faced with a case of shark teeth, the approach is typically to monitor the situation.

If the baby teeth are loose, we encourage the child to wiggle them to help them fall out naturally.

The permanent teeth will usually move into the correct position over time, aided by the tongue’s natural movement.

In cases where the baby teeth do not become loose, or if there’s concern about the alignment of the permanent teeth, a dentist might recommend intervention, such as extraction of the baby teeth, to allow the permanent teeth to come in properly.

Child’s Tooth Growing Behind Baby Tooth: Conclusion

While there may be a slight hereditary factor to shark teeth, it’s not the predominant cause.

Parents should not be overly concerned if they notice shark teeth in their child.

It’s a common occurrence and one that dentists deal with regularly.

If there are concerns, a visit to the dentist for a professional opinion and potential intervention is the best course of action.

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