Ask the Expert

My child is 6 years old and suddenly has new teeth growing behind the baby ones. Is this ok?

By Dr. Aimee Cassinelli from Peak Pediatric Dentistry July 13, 2017
My child is 6 years old and suddenly has new teeth growing behind the baby ones. Is this ok? 
A child’s first loose tooth brings so much excitement and anticipation! Sometimes, we get calls or visits from worried patients because their child suddenly has two rows of lower front teeth. It may look odd, but it is not a dental emergency. The technical term is an ectopic eruption, but we like to call them ‘shark teeth’ in the office! Ectopic eruption happens when the lower baby teeth haven’t fallen out yet, but the permanent teeth erupt anyway. It is a fairly common occurrence, affecting one in ten children. Most of the time, an ectopic eruption will erupt on its own, without intervention. The baby tooth will eventually fall out and the tongue will push the permanent teeth forward into proper position. Dr. Cassinelli usually tells patients “if the baby tooth is floppy, loose, and not causing any discomfort, encourage your child to have the satisfaction of wiggling the tooth out on their own. If the baby tooth is held in solidly or causing discomfort or it has been more than a couple of weeks without change, it’s time for the dentist to help the baby tooth out. 
Thank you, Peak Pediatric Dentistry for answering this dental question. Dr. Aimee Cassinelli can be reached at (770) 274-4428. Peak Pediatric Dentistry is on Facebook and Instagram. The office is located at 6095 Barfield Rd Ste 150 in Atlanta, GA 30328.
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