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Losing a tooth is a rite of passage that all children must go through sooner or later. Most people choose to celebrate the loss of a baby tooth and the arrival of permanent teeth as their children grow. Unfortunately, sometimes permanent teeth become delayed and parents begin to worry. Why aren’t my child’s permanent teeth coming in? This is a valid question, and there are multiple explanations for why this might happen. Here, we will explain some of the most common reasons why permanent teeth are delayed as well as answering the following questions for future reference:
- How does it take for permanent teeth to come in?
- How to know if the teeth is permanent
- What are the proper ways to take care of permanent teeth?
How does it take for permanent teeth to come in?
The growth of permanent teeth takes place over the course of several years. In general, girls begin to lose their baby teeth about six months earlier than boys, starting around age six. Once a baby tooth is lost, the permanent replacement may begin to emerge immediately, or it may take several months to push through. This process continues up until the age of thirteen or so when most of the permanent teeth are in place and all of the primary teeth have fallen out. Later, from age 17-20, a new set of permanent molars or wisdom teeth will emerge.
Why aren’t my child’s permanent teeth coming in?
If you have checked the calendar and realized that your child’s permanent teeth grows behind schedule, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be alarmed. In some cases, new teeth are slow to break through because they are waiting for more space to open up. Either your child’s jaw has not grown enough to give them space, or his or her baby teeth were too crowded initially and there isn’t room for all of the teeth to come in right away. In addition, diet, gender, and growth patterns can also affect permanent teeth. For instance, children who are on the shorter or thinner side tend to see their permanent teeth later than their taller and larger peers. As far as diet goes, teeth require a significant amount of calcium to develop properly, so a diet that lacks calcium may slow down the emergence of permanent teeth.
In other cases, permanent teeth do not come in immediately because they are blocked by something or because they are emerging in the wrong direction. This can cause impaction or discomfort as the teeth try to push out of the gums without following the path that was previously made by the baby tooth. In some cases, mild correction may be required with the help of braces or extraction to redirect the permanent teeth to the correct position.
How to know if the teeth is permanent
The simplest way to distinguish a primary tooth from a permanent tooth is to look at its size. Baby teeth are smaller than permanent teeth, and they tend to be very white. Permanent teeth are slightly off-white in color, and take up far more space inside the mouth. You will also notice that primary teeth are mostly flat, while permanent teeth have ridges to handle chewing heavier foods. This is especially true when looking at a new permanent tooth which has not been ground down to a smooth top surface yet.
What are the proper ways to take care of permanent teeth?
Hopefully, your child was in the habit of caring for their primary teeth before their permanent teeth came in. After all, poor dental hygiene at a young age can actually damage permanent teeth before they have even emerged. More importantly, permanent teeth cannot be replaced if they become damaged due to poor hygiene later in life. For this reason, it is extremely important that children learn to brush, floss and rinse their teeth appropriately to protect their second set.
To start, you should make sure that your child is brushing their teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristle brush and Fluoride toothpaste. This will help prevent cavities from forming. In addition, children should floss at least once a day once they have enough permanent teeth touching to create tight gaps. Keeping these gaps free of food and debris will help protect the tooth and gum. A mouthwash can be used to rinse before bed as well.
Aside from daily dental hygiene tasks, you can also help take care of your child’s teeth by watching their diet and making regular cleaning appointments with your dentist. Also, many dentists now recommend sealants for molars to protect them against harm for years to come. This small investment can make a big difference in preventing tooth decay for your child. Sugary drinks are main culprits that you should be avoiding as much as possible. These drinks allow sugar to stay on the teeth and gums for extended periods of time, causing rapid decay.
If you are concerned that your child’s permanent teeth have not come in as expected, you should speak with your family dentist and an orthodontic professional. If the permanent teeth have been impacted or become too crowded to come through, temporary braces or other products may be needed to create an opening for the permanent tooth. By working with an orthodontist, you can also be sure that the new teeth come in straight and in the proper position to avoid future damage. The earlier you correct misaligned teeth, the easier it is to keep them looking good in the long run. If you wait until later to have misaligned teeth straightened, they may require ongoing treatment to keep them in place.
To learn more about orthodontic options for missing permanent teeth in children, visit Childer’s Orthodontics today! Our team can help identify any obstructions that are preventing your child’s teeth from coming in straight, and create a treatment plan that will produce a beautiful smile in the end.
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201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815
Why Aren’t My Child’s Permanent Teeth Coming In?
I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree at Southern Illinois University and then received my Doctorate of Medical Dentistry at the University of Kentucky. After, I attended the University of Tennessee to complete my Master of Science in Orthodontics degree.
I consider every minute of continuing education to be vital for my patients and myself. Staying current with the latest trends, techniques, and technologies within my field allows me to improve treatment efficiency and provide higher quality results for each person I treat.