Did you know that babies only have 20 teeth while adults have 32? It’s true, and each of those 32 adult teeth has a specific function. And all these functions working together are essential for healthy chewing.
That’s why it can be so alarming when children hang on to baby teeth. While retaining baby teeth is surprisingly common, it can be scary when you see it happen to your child.
There is good news, though. Understanding kids’ pediatric dentistry principles can help you figure out why your child still has baby teeth and what to do about it.
Ready to find out once and for all what you can do when your child has a loose baby tooth that won’t come out? Or how about a baby tooth that never comes loose at all? We’ve covered those questions below.
Why Your Child’s Baby Tooth Never Fell Out
Most children lose their baby teeth by the time they turn thirteen, and, usually, the first teeth that come in are the first teeth to fall out.
However, this isn’t always the case. It’s actually quite common for adults to have at least one baby tooth.
Here are the top reasons why your child’s baby tooth might not be falling out.
There’s No Adult Tooth Underneath It
The most common reason for baby teeth not falling out is that no adult teeth are coming in to replace them. Baby teeth tend to have shallow roots. That’s why, when adult teeth start coming in, the baby tooth gets pushed out.
It should be no wonder, then, that when permanent teeth never develop, children retain baby teeth. But why aren’t your child’s permanent teeth developing properly?
Dentists and researchers aren’t exactly sure why some children never develop certain adult teeth. Some speculate that it’s a genetic condition since retaining baby teeth runs in the family.
Crowding Prevented the Adult Tooth From Coming In
A similar reason for baby teeth failing to fall out is if pre-existing permanent teeth are too crowded to make room.
Baby teeth are much smaller than adult teeth. If the baby tooth fell out and left behind a space too small, the permanent tooth won’t be able to push through.
One big problem here is that the adult tooth could become impacted. That means it may partially break through the gums, creating a skin flap where bacteria and infection could build up.
The Baby Tooth Root Is Too Strong
So, what if your permanent tooth does come in but still fails to push out the baby tooth? This is often known as “shark teeth” because the baby tooth and the adult tooth align in two rows, much like a shark’s rows of teeth.
This can occur if the baby’s tooth’s roots are too strong. Or it could mean the adult tooth came in behind the baby tooth, missing the root altogether.
What to Do About Stubborn Baby Teeth
If your child hangs on to one or more baby teeth, it’s time to take a trip to the dentist. A dentist can determine the best course of action based on the type of problem your child is experiencing.
Most dentists recommend that children with shark teeth have the baby tooth pulled out. Retained teeth due to crowding may require extractions or more advanced methods, including braces and other teeth aligners.
The dentist won’t recommend pulling teeth if there’s no permanent tooth under the baby tooth. In this case, dentists tend only to recommend extraction if the tooth is unhealthy or crowding issues.
Still, some dentists may prefer to pull these kinds of baby teeth if they have shallow or thin roots. Why? If the shallow-rooted baby tooth falls out later in life, it could cause misalignment of your teeth, gaps, and shifting teeth.
For more information about why baby teeth don’t fall out and what you can do about it, check out this link: http://www.boisedentist.com/when-baby-teeth-dont-fall-out/.
What to Do if Your Child’s Tooth Is Loose but Won’t Fall Out
Pulling out a tooth before it’s ready is almost always a bad idea. If you remove a baby tooth too early, it could affect the new adult tooth’s alignment. That’s not even to mention how painful it can be to force a baby tooth to fall out.
If your child’s tooth is loose but won’t fall out, it’s time to give it a little push. Have your child wiggle the tooth with the tongue or fingers. Don’t ever apply too much pressure to avoid problems like the ones we talked about above.
When is it time to see a dentist? If your child’s tooth has been loose for two or more weeks and still hasn’t fallen out, head to your local dental clinic. Your dentist will perform an x-ray and help you decide what to do next.
Complications of Retained Baby Teeth
By now, you may be wondering: what if you don’t see a dentist about your child’s retained baby tooth? Infraocclusion, occlusal trauma, and diastema are complications resulting from untreated baby teeth.
Infraocclusion occurs when permanent teeth surrounding the retained baby tooth fail to grow in fully. Studies show that kids with one infraocclusion are more likely to have multiple infraoccluded teeth.
Occlusal refers to teeth that don’t align properly when biting down. Occlusal trauma results when the misaligned bite leads to gum tissue damage.
Diastema is the medical term for gaps between the teeth. While gapping teeth may not be harmful, they are unsightly and could affect your child’s confidence in their smile.
Kids Pediatric Dentistry Can Answer All Your Baby Teeth Questions
Baby teeth can present some real problems when they don’t fall out. If you’re worried about a loose tooth that won’t fall out or a baby tooth that isn’t loose at all, call a kids pediatric dentistry office near you.
Want more tips to maintain your health and your kids’ health in tip-top shape? Then you better check back here every day for more articles like this one!
Learn More @ How To Care For Someone