Sharks are infamous for their rows and rows of sharp, jagged teeth. As adult teeth start to develop sometimes baby teeth like to hold on a little too long.  This can create a second row of teeth instead of the adult tooth simply taking the baby tooth’s place.

Baby teeth have important roles in your child’s dental development. They serve as placeholders and guides for the permanent teeth to grow in their right places. This is exactly why pediatric dentists keep baby teeth taken care of and in peak health as long as possible!

Usually, when a permanent tooth is ready to break through, the baby tooth root dissolves naturally and gradually. Eventually, these teeth usually become very wiggly and fall out.  The baby tooth loses its hold inside the gum and it will soon fall out by itself or with help from an impatient child eager to gain his/her tooth fairy rewards!

But around 20% of the time the baby tooth root doesn’t dissolve fully and your child’s permanent tooth soon grows behind or in front of that persistent baby tooth.

Should you worry?

No. It’s not an emergency, and it can easily be resolved naturally or with help from your dentist.

Is the baby tooth super wiggly yet? If it is, you may be able to just wait it out. Your child can certainly push on that baby tooth to coax it out! This is okay as long as he/she is also maintaining good dental hygiene. Very loose teeth can trap food below and this can lead to stains, marks or even cavities on newly erupting teeth.

If it’s not wiggly yet, a call to one of our pediatric dentists or orthodontists may be necessary. As mentioned above, these types of eruption events are very difficult to clean and can mar the new adult tooth if left for too long.  Additionally, new adult teeth can be pushed into improper positions that can compromise the quality of the gum tissue around the new tooth or create more complicated orthodontic work down the road.

If the baby teeth are still being stubborn when the permanent teeth are clearly visible we recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our pediatric dentists or orthodontists so we can look at what next steps are most appropriate. Sometimes the best course of action is to wiggle out the over-retained baby tooth to help assist with appropriate and timely eruption of adult teeth. Properly addressing this common situation is very important to assure your child has a great chance of normal dental development.

If you still have questions, give us a call and one of our doctors would be happy to help you develop a treatment plan for helping with your child’s optimal dental development and health.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932