What to do when permanent teeth erupt behind primary teeth

 In Frontpage, Health

Each day our office receives any number of phone calls to discuss dental concerns that can range from dental pain to bumped primary teeth to canker sores. However, the most common call we receive at Lincoln Pediatric Dentistry pertains to the permanent teeth erupting behind the primary (baby) teeth.

Some people refer to this phenomenon as “shark teeth” due to the appearance of a second row of teeth forming. It can occur on both the upper and lower arch of the mouth, but only one of these would be cause for concern. But which one is it?

If the teeth are erupting in the lower arch of the mouth behind the primary teeth, which is more common, this is not generally concerning. This simply means that the child should really focus on wiggling on those baby teeth to get them out. It may appear that the permanent teeth are erupting too far back in the mouth, but the tongue will gradually work to push those teeth into place.

There may be some exceptions to the rule though. Sometimes the permanent teeth erupt fully and the primary teeth are still not loose. In this instance, we may want to see your child to help get the primary teeth out. The root structure of the primary teeth may be too strong and your child may be unable to wiggle those teeth out on his or her own.

If the permanent teeth begin to erupt behind the primary teeth in the upper arch of the mouth, we often like to schedule an appointment to see the child because the permanent teeth could erupt into a crossbite (often referred to as underbite) with the lower teeth. If you are unable to schedule an appointment for the same day, please help to wiggle on the primary teeth until you are able to make it to the office.

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