When your child gets to the age that they start losing their baby teeth, there can be many questions about the process. One of the most prevalent questions is why their adult teeth are not coming in quickly or “on-time”. Months can go by after they lose a tooth without the new tooth coming in, which can lead to questions about if there is something wrong or if the tooth is completely missing. What is important to understand is that it is often common & healthy for kids’ teeth to be ahead of or behind schedule. If you are worried about their teeth, read-on to learn some of the main reasons your child’s adult teeth aren’t coming in, or contact your child’s dentist to set up an appointment.
The most common reason for an adult tooth to not come in is a lack of space. Generally, baby teeth are smaller than adult teeth. When a single baby tooth comes out, an adult tooth may be impeded by the surrounding baby teeth. The solution to this is for neighboring baby teeth to be removed by either waiting for them to get loose and fall out naturally or, in some cases, having them professionally extracted. That being said, most dentists only recommend tooth extractions if they are absolutely necessary. Generally, the best thing to do is wait, many adjacent teeth fall out around the same time. So if you are waiting for a tooth to come-in consider waiting a few weeks-months and bringing it up at your child’s next dental appointment.
Although not as common as a lack of space, in some cases permanent teeth come in the wrong way. This is primarily due to the fact that permanent teeth are supposed to follow the same paths that the primary (baby) teeth created. However, in many cases (especially with upper canines) teeth can fail to grow in the right direction. Because of this, they will get trapped under baby teeth that have not fallen out yet. Orthodontics and tooth extraction is the best way to deal with this issue. By realigning your child’s teeth it can help the new teeth to come in with the correct orientation. And again, if the issue is another baby tooth that is in the way, the best case scenario is to wait, otherwise extraction might be necessary. X-rays can help determine if your child is having this problem.
The time it takes for teeth to fall out and be replaced is not entirely universal. Once again, it is important to understand that kids will likely be ahead of or behind the “predicted schedule” and that that isn’t a sign of an issue. Although there are general timeframes that most children follow there are factors that might explain why your child is behind schedule. Genetics tend to play a role in dental development. If your own teeth took a long time to come in or you needed braces to solve orthodontic issues, it is likely your children will as well. Tooth growth also varies between boys and girls. Girls tend to get their adult teeth earlier than boys as they mature quicker.
What your child eats or doesn’t eat has a large impact on the development of their teeth. Teeth require calcium as well as other nutrients that help give them the strength to push through the gum line. This is why milk, vegetables, and other healthy foods are so vital to your child’s diet. Avoiding sugary foods and sodas can also have a positive effect on tooth development. Like with any part of the body, healthy eating can have a positive effect on development, while eating foods that are not nutrient-rich or are damaging to the body can cause delays. Making sure your kids eat green vegetables and calcium-rich foods can help not only the timing of their teeth but also the strength of their teeth.
You might associate the word “impacted” with wisdom teeth. But the term impacted simply means that a tooth is unable to erupt through the gumline because it is stuck. While we often do talk about this in regards to impacted wisdom teeth which are usually surgically removed to prevent infection, other teeth can also become impacted for many of the reasons we have covered above. A lack of sufficient space, narrow jawlines caused by genetics, or similar issues can cause a tooth to be impacted. If a tooth isn’t coming in for a long period of time, you should consider calling your family dentist. Using x-rays it is possible to tell if your child has impacted teeth. This is why we recommend yearly x-ray services during dental exams. As long as your child is seeing a dentist twice a year their dentist will be able to flag any problems.
Never force a tooth out. While there are many movies showing the “tie a string around the tooth” trick, that is bad choice. Not only can it be very painful, it can damage the gums and surrounding teeth. Instead, you should encourage your child to wiggle the tooth gently with their tongue or fingers (just make sure they know to always wash their hands before putting them in their mouth). Wiggling gently can slowly break down the connection between the tooth and the gums allowing it to fall out on its own. If you are concerned a tooth is not loose or not falling out, call your dentist. They can provide their opinion on what will help the most.
As mentioned above, your child’s teeth are unique to them. While there are many online articles about when to expect teeth to fall out or come in you will likely notice that they give large ranges of months to years. Your child is one-of-a-kind and it is likely that their teeth can fall out earlier, later, or in a different order than the expected order. This isn’t cause for concern. The best thing to do is have your child see a dentist twice a year. With x-rays and exams the dentist will notice anything that is odd or cause for concern. Plus you and your child can talk to the dentist about how teeth are progressing.
Emergency dental appointments are made whenever a patient has a dental need that requires immediate assistance but is not a life-threatening emergency. For example, a severe toothache that isn’t going away, a lost filling, or bleeding can all be reasons to see a dentist. If your child is experiencing a painful toothache or is having other issues, you might need to consider seeing a dentist before the next scheduled appointment.
If Your Child Swallows A Baby Tooth: If your child swallows a baby tooth because it falls out while they are eating, it can seem very scary at first. There is no need to panic. This actually happens quite often. The good news is that a baby tooth is mostly calcium and will likely dissolve in your child’s stomach, if not fully, mostly. It should be small enough to pass through your child’s digestive system.
If Your Child Swallows An Adult Tooth: Hopefully your child is not losing their adult teeth any time soon. However, due to a sports injury it is possible for an adult tooth to get knocked out and potentially swallowed. The first thing to do is go to a doctor and get an x-ray. Unlike baby teeth, adult teeth can cause problems with digestion. Afterwards you will want to call your dentist to discuss adult tooth replacement options.
Dental insurance varies greatly from provider to provider and from plan to plan. Because of this, there are sometimes instances where a dentist might recommend a
It is finally summer! And while that is exciting news for many kids and parents, one issue that is fairly common during the summer is that