We see a lot of concern from parents because there are two rows of teeth in their child’s mouth. This sometimes happens, usually with 6 – 7 year old kids when their lower front teeth erupt into the mouth. It’s an indication of future crowding in your child’s mouth.
How adult teeth should come into your child’s mouth
Normally the adult tooth forms and grows towards the surface, resorbing (think dissolving) the root of the baby tooth. As the adult tooth surfaces, it essentially pushes the baby tooth right out. Since there is no root left, it falls right out.
How two rows of teeth happen
But what if the adult tooth grows behind the baby tooth? The baby tooth root does not resorb or dissolve and remains there. Think of a tooth root, like an anchor holding it into the jaw bone. Since the root remains, the baby tooth does not become loose and does not fall out.
The adult tooth, still growing, needs somewhere to surface and typically erupts into the mouth behind the lower anterior baby teeth. We call this Ectopic Eruption. Some of our parents call this phenomenon ‘Shark Teeth’ because sharks have two rows of teeth.
The fix for two rows of teeth
It’s easy to fix Shark Teeth by having a pediatric dentist extract the baby teeth. Once the baby teeth are gone, oftentimes the adult teeth will slowly shift towards the front by way of the natural constant pressure of the tongue.
Upper teeth too
Not every ectopic eruption happens in the lower front teeth. Sometimes we see the problem in the upper front teeth and sometimes even the back molars. If not corrected, there is a higher chance of needing braces or orthodontic treatment as your child gets older.
If your child has two rows of teeth
If you see a double row of teeth in your child and the baby teeth aren’t loose, we recommend calling your pediatric dentist for an evaluation and possible correction of this issue. If you are looking for a new pediatric dentist, please call Junior Smiles Children’s Dentistry® at 303-455-3313 for an appointment.