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Help! My child has 2 rows of teeth!

If your child has a tooth growing in behind another tooth, don’t panic! It’s a relatively common occurrence in children, and although it can look scary, it’s easy to treat and sometimes just might be a situation to monitor.

Most children will start to lose their baby teeth and get permanent teeth between the ages of five and seven. When a permanent tooth erupts directly underneath a baby tooth, it resorbs the root of the baby tooth, causing it to become loose and fall out so that the permanent tooth can take its place.

Sometimes, however, a permanent tooth will not grow in directly underneath the baby tooth, and the root of the baby tooth will remain intact and it will not get "pushed out". When that occurs, the permanent tooth will usually start to come in right behind the baby tooth, giving a child a "shark tooth" appearance. The most common place for this to occur is the lower and upper front teeth, but it can happen anywhere. If your child has a tooth behind a tooth, you need to check how loose the baby tooth is. If it’s very loose, encourage your child to work on wiggling the tooth out. If he or she can get it out on their own, that’s always best. If the tooth is only a little bit loose or not loose at all, he or she will probably have to come to our office to get the tooth extracted. Once the baby tooth is out, your child’s tongue will naturally push the permanent tooth forward into the correct position if there is room for the tooth to come forward. Children who have moderate to severe crowding may not have room for the permanent tooth even after the baby tooth is out, and in this case, we may recommend the next two teeth on either side of the problem being removed as well. This is called pre-orthodontic guidance and we will often times refer to Dr. Kay Daniel for an orthodontic consultation at this time.