My son has his permanent teeth coming in, but his baby teeth haven’t even started coming loose. The adult teeth are coming in behind the baby teeth so it looks like he has shark teeth. He hasn’t been to a dentist yet, because he’s young and hasn’t had any cavities. Should I take him in about these shark teeth or will the baby teeth eventually fall out on their own?
We worry about our children constantly, don’t we? It’s not easy being a parent. You’re supposed to be a professional dietician, pediatrician, dentist, counselor, tailor, and much more, rolled into one. Sometimes we bump up against a situation where we have no idea what to do. You’re doing the right thing by reaching out for some information.
You actually gave the name many dentists call what’s going on with your sweet son. Shark teeth happen in about 10% of children. Usually, the adult teeth push up against the roots of the baby teeth, encouraging them to reabsorb. But, sometimes, they miss the baby teeth. My recommendation is to take your child in to see either a pediatric dentist or a general dentist who regularly treats children. While it’s possible the baby teeth will fall out on their own, it usually causes crowding in the developing teeth which will mean costly orthodontics later. Better to be proactive.
When Should a Child First See a Pediatric Dentist?
You mentioned you haven’t had your son to the dentist because he hasn’t had any problems. This is actually a very common idea that parents have, thinking children probably don’t have as much need for a dentist. Usually, it’s parents who’ve had poor experiences with their dentist in childhood. In reality, that will have the opposite effect of what you hope for.
If you wait until there is a problem, their first experience with the dentist could end up being an emergency dental appointment, which can be both frightening and painful. Instead, taking them to the dentist when there isn’t a problem will give them a positive, pain-free fun experience. It has the added benefit of being able to help prevent things like needing fillings.
Be certain to get dental sealants put on his molars. The sealants are just brushed on, so there are no pain or shots involved. They keep food from getting down into those deep crevices, which usually ends with a cavity.
One other thing to mention. I know you said you didn’t see any cavities in your son, but sometimes the cavities are between the teeth. Only x-rays can reveal them.
It’s hard being a mom sometimes. The shark teeth situation is an easy remedy in almost all cases. Take him in and the dentist should give you some recommendations after he gets a picture of what the roots of his baby teeth are doing.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Tammy Tran.