Shark Teeth!

Does your child have shark teeth? (Ectopic eruption)

If your child’s permanent teeth are erupting behind the baby teeth, your child has shark teeth!  Don’t worry, this is a common occurrence and we can help.  If the baby teeth are extremely loose, you can let nature take its course and allow the baby teeth to fall out in a few weeks.

However, once the permanent teeth have erupted 25% (see picture), no amount of wiggling will get those baby teeth out.  It is important to remove the baby teeth as they are an obstacle to the proper growth pattern.

shark teeth

Why did my child’s teeth come in like this?

Ectopic teeth can be caused by genetic factors such as having a narrow jaw, crowded teeth or teeth that are too large for the jaw size.  Other times, it is simply result of where the permanent teeth started developing.

What will happen if I don’t have the baby teeth removed?

The sooner the baby teeth are removed, the quicker the permanent teeth can move into the right spot.  A delay in removing the baby teeth could create a loss of jaw space and create more complex orthodontic (braces) problems in the future.

How quickly will the permanent teeth move in the right spot?

Nature is truly amazing, and the permanent teeth will start moving immediately after the obstacle is out of the way.  Pressure applied naturally from the tongue will guide the new teeth into the right spot within a few weeks.

Will it hurt to take out the baby teeth?

Dr. Gretchen is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist.   Most children are surprised at the end of the appointment to learn that teeth are out and ready for delivery to the tooth fairy!  Children sense parent fear, so it is important not to worry your children with words like needles or shots.  We encourage you to sit with your child, and we’ll take care of the explanations!