I already asked our pediatric dentist this question, so don’t worry. I am just getting opinions from other dentists. We have 5 kids and our youngest son is the only one who has 2 rows of teeth. The permanent teeth are coming in behind the baby teeth. Why is this happening? Thanks Lanai
Lanai – This is an issue that understandably causes some concern, and parents often want a second opinion.
This occurrence is most common for lower central incisors, or the lower front teeth, but it can occur with other teeth. It affects about 30% of children who are between the ages of 5 and 9. The growth of teeth behind teeth in children is sometimes referred to as “shark teeth.” Permanent teeth usually start their growth directly beneath primary teeth, and their eruption shortens and loosens the roots of primary teeth, forcing them to come out. If the position of the erupting permanent teeth is off, and they erupt before primary teeth fall out, the permanent teeth appear in a second row.
As the permanent teeth continue to grow, they eventually push out the primary teeth. It usually takes a few weeks for the primary teeth to loosen and fall out. Some kids wiggle the primary teeth to help them loosen and fall out, but others refuse.
Depending on the discretion of your pediatric dentist, if the permanent teeth have erupted halfway, or if the issue persists beyond three months, your dentist may take an x-ray to determine how much of the primary tooth roots are left. If there are no signs that the primary teeth are loosening, they will be extracted. The extraction will help the permanent teeth to grow into the correct position, and reduce the chances for needing orthodontic treatment in the future.
Don’t worry. The removal of the primary teeth will be painless and quick. It’s a procedure that most children tolerate well and return their regular routinely quickly.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Ralph Stanley, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and Dr. Rogé Jacob of Hillsdale Dental Care.