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How long is too long: Are you worried about your child’s adult teeth being delayed?

From the time that your child first starts to lose their baby teeth you get used to their gappy grin – however, you might find that these gaps stick around for a lot longer than expected.

Once the baby tooth has fallen out it can take as long as six months for the permanent adult tooth to appear in its place.

Sometimes the gap can remain unfilled for a lot longer, causing concern in parents about the development of their child’s teeth.

Why do some adult teeth fail to appear?

While the delay can sometimes just be down to the teeth taking longer to appear there may be other reasons, which will be diagnosed by a dentist.

These include:

  • Lack of space – If the baby teeth are very close together when they fall out the gap left may not be large enough for the adult teeth to grow into.

  • Impacted tooth – Sometimes teeth become lodged in the bone, this is most common when the baby tooth has been knocked out. It’s also common with the wisdom teeth, which may grow sideways into the side of the neighbouring teeth.

  • Hypodontia – Occasionally the tooth fails to develop entirely in which case the baby tooth usually remains in place as there is no pressure behind it.

  • Incorrect growth – Children’s teeth are often noted for their non-uniform appearance. Some teeth are so incorrectly placed when they grow that they fail to appear in the mouth properly.

  • Failure to erupt – The tooth may have, for no clear reason, failed to erupt from the gum.

What happens if your child's teeth fail to appear?

What happens if your child's teeth fail to appear?

While general guidance will give you an idea of what to expect when your child’s teeth start to appear, not every child will conform to that. Longer delays can be just that and as the surrounding teeth fall out teeth may appear.

However, it is important to always seek the advice of a dentist if you have a concern about the development of your child’s teeth.

Surgery may be needed to correct a problem with your child’s adult teeth failing to appear and the earlier the problem is identified the better. This can help to avoid the need to long-term treatments such as orthodontics, as it will enable the teeth to emerge correctly without overcrowding or overlapping.

Will my child need braces?

A common concern when the teeth fail to emerge correctly is that the teeth will become crooked or overlapped, which may mean that your child needs braces. Orthodontic treatment may be recommended even earlier than this, as it can help to keep space for the teeth to emerge correctly.

Regular visits to the dentist will ensure that your child’s teeth are correctly monitored. We recommend visiting every 6 months to ensure your dentist can keep an eye on the teeth as they emerge. As soon as we believe orthodontic treatment could be beneficial, we will discuss this with you.

How can children care for their teeth while their adult teeth emerge

How can children care for their teeth while their adult teeth emerge?

As the adult teeth are emerging, this is an important time in your child’s oral health development. This is the ideal time to teach your child about properly caring for their teeth and help them to create healthy habits that will last them a lifetime.

By this age, they should be actively engaged with the process of brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. You might encourage them to care for their teeth by investing in an electric toothbrush with a timer.

This is also a good time to teach them about the impact of their food and drink choices. They should limit their intake of juice and soda to special occasions only and to use a straw when they enjoy these drinks. Children should be encouraged to drink water instead of sugary or fizzy drinks. They should also learn about the risks of snacking between meals.

If you are worried about the development of your child’s teeth contact Bhandal Dental Surgery to book an appointment.

Call us now to make an appointment

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