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Should You Be Concerned About Your Child's "Shark Teeth?"

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If your child seems to have an extra set of teeth coming in behind their baby teeth, then they may have "shark teeth." This condition is not uncommon but can look disturbing. However, often it's nothing that can't be solved. Here is more information about shark teeth in children, why they happen, and when you should be concerned.

What Are Shark Teeth?

Shark teeth is a term used to describe a condition where the permanent teeth erupt behind the baby teeth. The term originates from the fact that sharks tend to have many rows of teeth. When you look into your child's mouth, you will see what looks to be two rows of teeth. In some cases, the baby teeth may seem wobbly or loose at the same time.

Why Do Shark Teeth Happen?

Usually, when adult teeth begin to push through, they dissolve the roots and push out the baby teeth. However, sometimes the adult tooth pushes up before the roots finish dissolving. When the baby teeth won't budge, the adult teeth often push out behind or in front of the baby teeth.

Which Children Get Shark Teeth?

A child can get this condition any time their adult teeth start to push through. For most children, this begins around age six. These ages are usually when your child loses their front teeth. Shark teeth are also a possibility again when your child is about 11 or 12. That age is when the molars erupt.

What Should You Do About Shark Teeth?

Much of the time, you won't need to do anything special about shark teeth. However, keep an eye on the condition. In many cases, the baby teeth eventually fall out on their own. The adult teeth will then move into their respective spots without any more assistance.

Sometimes the process doesn't work that well, and your child may experience discomfort. If you notice the adult teeth reach the same height as the baby teeth, then your dentist may want to intervene. The baby teeth may need extra help and extraction. Fortunately, baby teeth don't have deep roots, so the procedure isn't as complicated as pulling an adult tooth.

Changing from baby to adult teeth is a normal part of childhood. However, sometimes things don't work the way they're supposed to. If your child's teeth concern you, then pediatric dental care services can help. The dentist can do a more thorough examination to see what is going on with your child's teeth. Then, you can determine a course of action for your child.