Parents often get concerned when their child’s permanent tooth is coming in and the primary or baby tooth is still present. This actually happens quite often. Children start losing their baby teeth around the age of 6 depending on their development. The permanent teeth are usually larger than the baby teeth that are to be exfoliated and will find the path of least resistance to erupt. When there is enough room the permanent tooth will resorb the primary tooth’s root and erupt in its place or its proper position. However when there is not enough room, the tooth can erupt in front of or behind the retained primary tooth.
Have no fear parents! This condition does not render an emergency visit to the dentist. Typically this is something that can be checked when the child goes in for their regular 6 month check-up. If the tooth is loose, encourage the child to continue “wiggling” the tooth with hopes that it will come out naturally. If the tooth does not come out naturally or is not loose, it can be evaluated for treatment at the check-up appointment. At this time your dental provider may suggest monitoring the tooth’s eruption. In some cases it is recommended that the retained primary tooth is extracted to allow proper eruption and minimize malocclusion. Your dental provider will determine the best option after looking at your child situation.
For further discussion, ask your dentist at your child's next appointment with Life Smiles, a family friendly dental practice in Plymouth,MN.