Life moves at different paces for everyone: some children learn to walk at an early age and some prefer crawling, some children take some time to say their first words and some begin speaking right off the bat. Each child grows at their own pace, and the same goes for their teeth!
At as early as 4 months old, you may experience little baby teeth sprouting from your child’s mouth. From there, the baby teeth continue growing in until around 3 years old, and you’re child will have a full set of temporary baby teeth! At around ages 6 years to 7 years old, the permanent teeth begin to grow in; thus, we begin the process of losing baby teeth! During this time, the temporary baby teeth begin to loosen and fall out to make room for the permanent teeth.
But, what happens if your child’s baby teeth don’t fall out in time for for the permanent teeth to come in?
This is a common question pediatric dentists are asked by parents. Rest assured, there is no reason it panic. It is not an emergency; however, it does need to be addressed by a professional pediatric dentist!
Generally, when your child’s permanent teeth erupt, the tooth coming in will slowly dissolve the baby tooth’s root as it loosens it. When loose enough, the baby tooth will fall out to leave room for the permanent tooth to emerge. Unfortunately, in some cases, the permanent tooth begins its descent without dissolving the root to loosen the baby tooth. Consequently, the baby tooth does not fall out, and the permanent tooth lacks space to grow into the gums. Without the proper amount of space to grow in, the permanent tooth continues descending while positioning itself behind the baby tooth. You’ll be able to see the baby tooth in the front of the mouth, and the permanent tooth sticking out from behind. This case is more commonly known as shark teeth.
If your child’s baby teeth don’t fall out in time for the permanent teeth come in, contact your Raleigh family dentist for a consultation for further treatment to make room for those permanent pearly whites!