Dentists often get asked questions about children losing their primary (baby) teeth but not yet having their permanent teeth erupt in time to replace them. While this is understandably confusing for parents, there are actually a few common (and not-so-common) reasons why. No matter the reason, the best thing you can do is to take your child to see a dentist.
One of the most common reasons why a permanent tooth hasn't come in is for lack of adequate space. Given that permanent front teeth are wider than the primary ones they replace, without enough space, they can't grow in. Typically, there should be gaps between the front primary teeth to accommodate the wider permanent teeth when they grow in.
Insufficient space may require orthodontic intervention, such as braces, to facilitate the proper eruption of permanent teeth.
Misdirection of Permanent Teeth
Occasionally, permanent teeth don't erupt because they are facing the wrong direction. It's particularly common with upper canines and lower second bicuspids, as they may deviate from their normal growth course. Your child's dentist may eventually recommend braces if the permanent tooth needs assistance reaching its correct alignment.
Additional Factors That Can Keep Permanent Teeth from Erupting
While insufficient space and misdirection are primary reasons for non-eruption, other rare factors include:
- Natural Loss without Replacement: A primary tooth is naturally lost, but there is no immediate replacement by a permanent tooth.
- Primary Failure of Eruption: The permanent tooth encounters difficulty in naturally emerging.
- Ankylosis Condition: The permanent teeth are fused to the bone, preventing natural eruption.
Identifying and addressing these factors with a professional pediatric dentist will help promote the healthy eruption of permanent teeth in children.
Frequently Asked Questions about Baby Teeth
When Should My Child See the Dentist?
Make a dentist appointment for your child when the first teeth erupt from the gums or when they reach one year of age, whichever comes first. Look for a dentist with experience in pediatric dentistry to ensure the best experience for your child. Experienced pediatric dentists are well-versed in working with children who may be shy to strangers, and they have unique methods for comforting children who may not feel at home in the dentist's office.
Why Are My Child's Baby Teeth Spaced Apart?
Baby teeth are naturally spaced apart when they first emerge from the gumline. As their mouth fills up with teeth, these natural gaps will fill in. Suppose the gaps between your child's teeth are unusually wide. In that case, their dentist can monitor their dentition and make recommendations to correct problems as they become apparent. This is one of the reasons it's essential to bring your baby to the dentist early in their life and routinely.
Learn More About Your Child's Teeth from The Smile Architects
If you have concerns about your child's permanent teeth not coming in after they have lost a baby tooth, it's best to contact a pediatric dentist. Our dentists can help determine the reasons for the delay in permanent tooth eruption and offer the best solutions for your individual child. Call 704-875-1621 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.