Did you know that when a permanent tooth growing in front of a baby tooth gives you a double row of teeth it is called ‘shark teeth?’
Why? Sharks are born with, and have multiple rows of teeth throughout their life. Their teeth are arranged in rows and automatically push forward and come out over time. When children grow two rows of teeth, much like a shark, a baby row of teeth with a row of permanent teeth may form.
When children begin to lose their baby teeth and begin to get visits from the Tooth Fairy, it can be an exciting time for both parents and children alike. However, there are instances when the process does not go as smoothly as it should.
Does your child have a permanent tooth growing in front of a baby tooth? Here are the necessary steps you could take to fix this issue.
Let’s Understand The Tooth
First, let’s take a second to learn more about teeth.
Your teeth play an essential part in your everyday activities. For example, they allow you to consume things like apples and assist you in speaking.
Although the tooth buds are formed at birth, baby teeth do not erupt through the gums until babies are between 6 to 12 months old.
Following the eruption of the first tooth, an increasing number of teeth start to appear. The majority of children get their first full set of teeth by the time they reach three. Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth or milk teeth, are the first set of teeth to appear in the mouth.
There are 20 baby teeth in total. However, by the time a child reaches five or six, these teeth begin to fall out one by one and are replaced by permanent teeth.
A primary tooth (or baby tooth) is forced out by the adult tooth located either in front or behind it. That results in the tooth falling out. The permanent teeth gradually grow in and replace the baby teeth over the course of a few years time.
By the time they reach the age of 12 or 13, most children have lost all of their baby teeth and have a complete set of permanent teeth in their mouth. There are 32 permanent teeth in all.
How Do You Get a Permanent Tooth Growing in Front of a Baby Tooth?
Shark teeth are most likely to appear at the age of six, when the bottom front teeth, or incisors, begin to break through the gums. Around age eleven, when the top back molars breakthrough, is the next most probable period. Although that’s when shark teeth appear most frequently, shark teeth may occur at any age and can impact adjacent teeth.
Generally, the adult teeth start to develop below the baby teeth and begins to press up on the baby tooth. This pressure causes special cells called odontoclasts which break down and resorb the root of the baby tooth. As the baby tooth root is dissolved it loosens the baby tooth enabling the tooth to fall out. Once the baby tooth is gone there is room for the permanent tooth to continue growing upwards and replace the baby tooth.
If adult teeth begin to grow too far in front of or behind baby teeth, the root of the baby tooth will stay in place. Thus, the baby tooth will not be pushed out as it normally would. This condition gives the teeth a “shark tooth” look.
Although shark teeth may appear scary or odd, they are widespread in youngsters and seldom cause dental issues.
What to Do If Your Child Has Shark Teeth?
The baby tooth determines how you treat shark teeth. If it’s even slightly loose, a kid will usually wriggle it free. However, in many of these instances, over the course of time the baby tooth will ultimately come out on its own and be replaced by the permanent tooth.
However, if the baby tooth is not loose and feels extremely firm, schedule an appointment with your dentist to examined. After examining your child’s teeth, the dentist willl make the best suggestion, which may involve removing the baby tooth or just waiting for it to fall out naturally.
There are circumstances where your child’s adult tooth does not grow out. In this case, the baby tooth may be retained as the adult tooth. That is, of course, if the baby tooth is in good condition and healthy. That is an important reason for parents to make the oral health of their children a priority.
Can I Ignore Shark Teeth?
When a baby tooth is not removed in a timely fashion, the gums may cling to the adult tooth at a shallow level. That can result in gingivitis, which is a visible and sometimes painful condition. If the gingivitis becomes severe enough the child may need gum grafting in future years.
If the pediatric dentist determines that extraction is the best option for your child, you can be confident that it will be an effortless visit for them. This is because the roots of baby teeth are much smaller and shorter than adult teeth. Therefore, it makes removal of baby teeth much easier than extracting adult teeth.
Another good reason to have baby teeth removed is because if your child has adult teeth developing under their baby teeth, the adult could begin to distort and shift out of place. That is likely to result in dental problems that will need the services of a children’s orthodontist in the future.
Oh, the Joys Of Growing Teeth!
When you see that your child has a permanent tooth growing in front of a baby tooth, it’s normal to be concerned. However, knowing that it is common and simple to deal with will allow you to sleep much better at night!
On the other hand, shark teeth may raise the risk of dental issues and decay further down the line.
The best advice is to visit a family dentist who is comfortable treating children and realizes that children may be anxious. They will make a special effort to ensure that even their youngest patients have a positive experience and are as happy as possible.
Contact us if you are in Boise; we will take good care of you and your teeth!