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One common dental concern parents have with their children’s teeth is when their adult teeth come in before their baby teeth are out. This can cause crowding, toothaches, and even a condition that is sometimes referred to as “shark teeth” or when there are two rows of teeth. Although shark teeth may seem concerning, it is easily treatable and is actually common among children.
What Causes “Shark Teeth”
Shark teeth, or two rows of teeth made up of both baby teeth and adult teeth, are caused when new teeth come in before the baby teeth come out. Generally, when permanent teeth begin to grow up (usually when your child is between 5 to 7 years old) the tooth pushes on and breaks the roots connecting the baby tooth to the gum line. The baby tooth will become loose and will eventually fall out. However, if the baby tooth’s roots to not break this will force the permanent tooth to have to move around the baby teeth. Most commonly, this causes the shark tooth phenomenon where the permanent teeth grow in behind the baby teeth.
What Should You Do If Your Child Has 2 Rows of Teeth?
If your child has two rows of teeth in their mouth there are few solutions. First, if the tooth is loose you should encourage your child to try and wiggle it out. If the tooth is very loose it may come out on its own which is the best outcome. However, if the tooth is not very loose or not loose at all you will need to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist can perform a tooth extraction to remove the baby teeth. However, before you schedule an appointment it is important to know that for your child’s top two front teeth or bottom two front teeth if one tooth grows in behind, the other tooth will likely do the same. Pairs of teeth often act in the same way. So instead of needing to schedule two separate appointments, it may be beneficial to wait for both permanent teeth to come in so that both baby teeth can be removed in one visit.
Frequently Asked Questions About Multiple Rows of Teeth
Not necessarily, if the baby tooth is wiggling or loose, it is best to wait and see if that tooth will come out naturally on its own. However, if the baby tooth is not loose, your child may need to have their baby tooth extracted.
Every child’s teeth are different. And in many cases, baby teeth may not get loose on “schedule”. In fact, most dental schedules for when a child’s primary teeth are supposed to come in purposefully include wide ranges to account for differences between children. If you are concerned that your child’s baby teeth are not getting loose when they should be, you should schedule a dental appointment that includes x-rays.
As parents, you likely want to make sure your kid’s teeth are right on schedule. However, it is very common for children to have their teeth come in early or late. Generally, a child’s baby teeth (primary teeth) come in between ages 2 and 3. These teeth will start to get loose around age 6 or 7 to make room for adult teeth. The process of replacing baby teeth with adult teeth will happen over the course of a few years. Even after this, sets of molars will erupt through the gumline with wisdom teeth not appearing until your child is likely an older teenager.
It is recommended that your child gets x-rays every other dental appointment, or once a year. Dental x-rays give important information to pediatric dentists. This includes seeing how teeth are coming in. In fact, if your child has two rows of teeth your dentist is likely to recommend x-rays or an exam before recommending tooth extraction, that way they can see if there is an issue or if it will resolve itself.
Orthodontists will sometimes recommend what is referred to as an interceptive approach; which includes using braces or other dental instruments on a child’s baby teeth and then doing a second round of braces when the child is older. The interceptive approach argues that by using orthodontic approaches early, you can decrease the time needed during the second round of braces. It is recommended that children see an orthodontist when they are around 8 years old or when their dentist recommends it. This is especially true for children that already have issues with gaps, crowding, or two rows of teeth.
Other Helpful Links
Here are a few other dental blogs we have written that can help you and your children learn more about their teeth.
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If your child or teenager needs dental work including tooth extractions or just a regular cleaning, please contact our team at All Pro Dental in Revere Massachusettes. Our team of pediatric dentists can help ensure that your child’s teeth are taken care of and that their permanent teeth all come in safely. For Chicago residents, please click here to learn about our dental offices in the greater Chicago area.