Teeth Growing Behind Baby Teeth
If your child has ever ran up to you afraid that they have two rows of teeth—you’re not alone! When permanent teeth come in before baby teeth have fallen out, we call it “Shark Teeth”. Adult teeth growing behind baby teeth is common among children. If you’re a concerned parent, rest assured that it’s easily treatable.
What Causes “Shark Teeth”?
When a child has two rows of teeth it’s because their baby teeth didn’t fall out before the permanent teeth started to come in. Typically when permanent teeth erupt, even if baby teeth are still present, it adds pressure to the roots of the baby teeth. The added pressure should break the roots that connect the baby teeth to the gumline, ultimately causing the baby teeth to fall out as they should. But, when that doesn’t happen the permanent teeth will start to grow behind the baby teeth, causing a child to have two rows of teeth.
What Should You Do If Your Child Has Two Rows of Teeth?
If your son or daughter has multiple rows of teeth you have a couple of options:
- If the tooth is loose, encourage your child to try and wiggle it out.
- In the case where the tooth isn’t loose, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist.
A pediatric dentist will remove the baby tooth/teeth so your child’s permanent teeth can grow in.
Permanent Tooth Eruption
Permanent tooth eruption occurs over a seven year span, during which baby teeth fall out and are replaced by adult teeth. This usually starts around age 6, and the permanent teeth typically appear in the same order that your child’s baby teeth came in. Children will have 20 baby teeth and eventually have 32 permanent teeth.
Just like teething in babies, permanent tooth eruption is different for each child. Regular dental visits not only helps ensure your child’s optimal oral health but also gives you the chance to ask questions along the way if you’re concerned about their baby or permanent teeth. If you have questions about baby or permanent teeth, contact us today!
Are Baby Teeth Important?
Tiny, but important ― that’s how baby teeth are referred to, especially by dentists. While most parents would look at their babies’ tiny teeth and wonder what in the world they could be thinking about, dentists realize early on that these tiny teeth aren’t just for looking at cute smiles and giggles.
Functions of Baby Teeth
Taking good care of your child’s teeth early on is crucial to their oral health now and for the rest of their lives. We’ve come up with several reasons why you want to keep your baby’s teeth in tip top shape.
- These teeth are crucial to your child’s health and development. They help with the development of permanent teeth by saving space for them in the jaw. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift to the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in.
- Baby teeth aid in speech development. Taking care of your child’s teeth will help them speak and communicate better.
- They help your child maintain good nutrition by permitting him/her to chew properly.
- Baby teeth help children feel good about themselves and their smile. It’s so important for children to feel confident from a young age and keeping their teeth healthy is imperative.
Baby teeth can get cavities, just like adult teeth. In addition to the pain caused by cavities, they can also lead to dental infections. Tooth decay is a serious, infectious, and transmissible disease that can spread quickly and lead to infection. If a tooth needs to then get extracted, this can cause the teeth to drift, which may lead to overcrowding and difficulty for the adult teeth to grow in.
Be sure to visit a dentist within six months of your child’s first tooth appearing and definitely by the time they reach the one year mark. Our team will check for cavities and any other pediatric dental problems. We’ll also help show you and your child how to properly take care of their teeth. Give us a call today at 402-420-8020!
Pediatric Dental Sealants
Pediatric dental sealants are an important preventive measure designed to give your child’s smile every possible advantage. Many dentists recommend children get sealants on their teeth as soon as their permanent molars grow in to prevent decay from the beginning. It is essential to protect your child’s oral health early on and prevent problems that may trouble them later on.
What Are Pediatric Dental Sealants?
The “grooves,” or crevices and pits along the back molars are highly susceptible to germs and bacteria that build up when food particles, such as sugar, become trapped inside them. Regular brushing goes a long way, but even the most dedicated of brushers can struggle to clean those grooves properly.
A pediatric dental sealant is a thin white or clear resin liquid applied to the surface of a child’s molars with a small brush. This thin coating placed over the biting surface of the molars protects them from decay. The protective coating reduces a child’s risk of cavities by 80% according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
Are Pediatric Dental Sealants Safe?
Dental sealants are safe and pose minimal risk to children. They are a great non-invasive way to help protect your child’s teeth from cavities. No materials go inside the tooth as fillings do. Sealants are made of a medical grade resin. The materials are similar to the white filling material used when patients have cavities filled. The main difference is the sealant material; it’s runny in nature. Sealants are applied to teeth using a small brush to easily flow into the micro grooves of the teeth.
This non-invasive and painless procedure is quick and completed in one visit. The procedure starts by cleaning the teeth being sealed with a polishing brush and pumice (gritty toothpaste). Once the teeth have been dried, they are isolated from any saliva from the tongue and cheeks using a small cotton roll or triangular intraoral cheek shield called a “dry angle.” Then, an etching solution is applied to the surface of the teeth to disinfect and prep the tooth for better sealant adherence. The teeth are rinsed off and dried once again. A thin bonding layer is painted on the teeth, then the sealant is applied directly onto the surface of the teeth, covering the enamel. After that is complete, the teeth are “cured” or dried using an LED blue light. This allows for faster application because it hardens and bonds the sealant to the tooth surface.
This entire process only takes about one minute for each tooth needing to be sealed. There are also no restrictions following the procedure, patients can eat and drink right away and can return to school immediately after. Dental sealants for a child are designed to protect their teeth for a minimum of 3-5 years, with a maximum of 10 years if they are well maintained. During your child’s regular dental checkups, the dentist will check the sealants to ensure they are still in place and haven’t cracked or worn away. If they do get damaged, they can be easily repaired.
Is Silver Diamine Fluoride Application Right for My Child?
Silver Diamine Fluoride application is a common tooth decay treatment and prevention option in babies, toddlers, and children. As a parent, you are likely wondering if silver diamine fluoride (SDF) application is really right for your child.
SDF is often times the ideal in the following situations:
- Babies and toddlers: This is the least-invasive option to treat baby tooth decay. It can also keep teeth from decaying further. Some parents wonder if it’s necessary to treat baby tooth decay since the teeth will fall out—it is necessary. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food and to speak.
- Multiple cavities: SDF application can cover up to eight teeth at once. Filling multiple cavities takes longer and is less comfortable for children, making this the preferred option for kids with multiple cavities.
- Special needs: Children of all ages with special needs may not have the ability to restrict their own movement enough to receive numbing. They also may not understand the process enough to remain calm. SDF can treat their cavities in just minutes, without causing undue distress.
- Older kids: Kids up to age 13 can deal with tooth decay in baby teeth while their permanent teeth come in. With a skilled application, SDF can keep decaying baby teeth from negatively impacting surrounding permanent teeth as they emerge and develop.
- Genetic predisposition: If you have a family history of more-easily getting cavities, SDF can lower your children’s risk of getting cavities.
SDF is not recommended if your child has: a silver allergy, significant damage to their front teeth, been diagnosed with gingivitis or lichen planus, or if they don’t want to have stained teeth at all.
Silver diamine fluoride application is internationally-recognized for its safety and effectiveness of treating and preventing cavities. SDF is a commonly-used tooth decay treatment option in infants all the way through the loss of the last baby tooth. Additionally, it has a lower cost and requires less time at the dentist than traditional fillings. If you have any questions or would like a consultation, contact our office.
One Year Update: COVID-19 and Dental Offices
It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed almost every aspect of our daily lives—including regularly visiting the dentist. However, this should soon be a thing of the past. Not visiting the dentist was one of the many ripple-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and even though it is not over, yet, things are looking up.
According to the ADA Health Policy Institute, confidence in going back to the dentist hit a new high since the pandemic started, with 94% of patients stating they are ready to go back to the dentist or they have already gone back to see the dentist, compared to August of 2020 where only 78% of patients had been back or were ready to go back to the dentist.
If you’re ready for your next dental checkup, contact us today to setup an appointment!
Continued Safety Protocols
As more and more people become fully vaccinated, the CDC has started to provide less-restrictive guidelines for these people. However, most recommended precautions, such as using personal protective equipment, have not changed for health care settings, including dental offices.
Even though we are seeing COVID-19 case numbers trending down, we still ask that you follow our guidelines for your safety and the safety of others, including:
- Do not come to the office if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
- Limit the number of people you bring to your appointment, if possible
- Wear a mask until notified that you can remove it
Per the CDC, we are regularly consulting with our state and local health departments for region-specific information and recommendations, as they monitor trends in local case counts and adjust accordingly.
We understand that you may not feel comfortable quite yet, or you have questions about the protocols we’ve implemented in our office to keep patients safe. You can review our entire list of COVID-19 Safety Protocols or you can contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.