As your child starts losing their baby teeth and their adult teeth come through, it’s normal to worry if things are going the way they should. Here are questions we often receive from parents who are concerned about how their kids adult teeth are developing.
Then, in our second article in this series, we’ll look at shark teeth – when adult teeth come through behind baby teeth, leaving two rows of teeth.
How can I tell if my kids adult teeth are coming through properly?
When your child loses their deciduous or baby teeth and their permanent adult or big teeth start coming through, we call this eruption. When a tooth is erupting, you have very little influence on where the tooth is actually going to come through. It’s a matter of waiting and seeing how your kids adult teeth develop.
For example, we recently saw a child whose first adult incisor teeth (the large front ones) came through sticking backwards toward the tongue; however, after a few months they became perfectly straight.
What if my child is missing their adult teeth?
The discussion nowadays is not so much about whether kids adult teeth are coming through properly; instead, what we’re seeing is an increasing number of children with missing adult teeth. In the past, we weren’t really screening for it.
If your child is missing adult teeth, from a planning perspective it’s much better to know about it really early. The reasons for your child not getting adult teeth – and the treatment – can be straightforward or more involved, so it’s important for us to check the progress of your kids adult teeth regularly.
My child’s wisdom tooth is coming through and it’s really hurting. Will they need it removed?
Another issue we see is when kids adult teeth don’t have enough space to come through, causing them to get stuck or impacted.
From the ages of eight to 13 years, the most commonly impacted adult teeth are the wisdom teeth. The next most impacted kids adult teeth are the upper canines (the pointy ones), and they’re the teeth that you don’t want to get impacted as much as possible.
Pain can be the first sign that a tooth is impacted. A dental X-ray can confirm for us which treatment is needed.
If there are problems with my kids adult teeth, what can my dentist do?
If you’re worried that your kids adult teeth aren’t coming through or aren’t in the appropriate position, there really needs to be an assessment to see what’s going on.
Do we think your child’s growth will outstrip the problems with their developing adult teeth, will those problems need to be monitored for the moment, or are there deeper problems, such as impacted or missing adult teeth? Is there some likelihood your child will need orthodontics in the future?
Seeing your child regularly will help us to monitor their developing adult teeth and come up with a planning perspective.