Are Your Child's Permanent Teeth Coming In Behind Their Baby Teeth?

If your child has a permanent tooth that seems to be erupting behind their baby tooth, you may be (understandably) concerned. But usually, this is not a big deal. In this blog from The Little Royals: Dentistry For Kids, we’ll take a look at the phenomenon of “shark teeth,” and give you all of the information you need about this condition.

What Are “Shark Teeth” And Why Do They Happen?

If your child has a baby tooth that hasn’t fallen out and the permanent tooth begins to erupt behind it, this is sometimes called “shark teeth,” referencing how sharks have multiple rows of teeth that grow into their mouths. 

Shark teeth begin when the permanent teeth erupt between 5-7 years of age. Usually, the adult teeth cause the roots of the baby teeth to dissolve when they erupt. Your child’s baby tooth will come loose and fall out, then the adult tooth will take its place.

But sometimes, this doesn’t happen. If your child’s baby tooth root doesn’t dissolve, or it doesn’t fall out on schedule, the permanent tooth may grow behind it until it falls out. You may be concerned about this, but usually it’s not a big deal! 

What Should I Do If My Child’s Permanent Teeth Are Coming In Behind Baby Teeth?

If your child’s mouth is healthy, they’re between the ages of 5-7, and their baby tooth is starting to wiggle and come loose, you probably don’t have to do anything. Eventually, the baby tooth will fall out, and the adult tooth will take its proper place.

Keep taking your child to their routine dental visits, and make sure you maintain a strong at-home oral care routine. As your child wiggles their tooth, it’s likely to fall out eventually. 

However, don’t “help it along” by wiggling it yourself or trying to pull it out! Pulling out the baby tooth can cause pain, discomfort, and other oral health issues. Let it happen naturally.

Signs Your Child May Need To See A Dentist For Shark Teeth 

Shark teeth usually resolve themselves, but there are a few situations where you may want to see Dr. Sal or Dr. Yasi for further treatment. 

  • Baby tooth isn’t loosening – If the baby tooth doesn’t seem to be loosening within about 2 months of noticing your child’s “shark tooth,” the root may not dissolve. You may need to see a dentist to have the tooth extracted.
  • Shark teeth in the molars – Shark teeth are the most common in the front teeth, which are narrow and small, so they don’t cause any serious orthodontic problems. However, if your child’s molars are experiencing the same issue, you may want to see a dentist and orthodontist.
  • Pain or discomfort – If your child’s baby tooth hurts or they are experiencing any other kind of tooth pain, besides a wiggly tooth feeling a bit sensitive, you may want to see The Little Royals: Dentistry For Kids for a consultation. 

Worried About “Shark Teeth?” Come In For An Appointment! 

As part of your child’s routine dental appointment, Dr. Sal or Dr. Yasi can assess their “shark teeth” and determine if there is any cause for concern, or if your child may need any further treatments to keep their smile healthy. Contact us online or give us a call at (561) 510-1450 to get the help you need for your little one.

Schedule a Royal Appointment!