Are you itching to play the tooth fairy as your child loses their first tooth but wondering why it’s taking so long? It is natural to feel concerned and an orthodontic evaluation is recommended just for this reason. Here are some clues as to why your child’s teeth may be taking longer to come in.
- Not enough space.
In order for an adult tooth to erupt into place there must be enough space. Ideally, baby teeth should have spaces between them so that when the larger adult tooth comes in there is enough space for it to develop and erupt on time. If this is not happening, then you may need to remove neighbouring baby teeth to create this space.
- Adult tooth is heading in the wrong direction.
If an adult tooth is not following the course of the baby tooth and veering off into another direction, then it will most likely not erupt without some help. This commonly happens with upper canines. The only way to know this is happening is with an x-ray; when spotted in a timely manner then an interceptive course of action can be taken.
- Adult tooth is blocked or stuck.
If an adult tooth is present but just does not come in, then it could be blocked by another adult tooth in the case of severe crowding or it could be fused to the bone. In this case orthodontics and/ or oral surgery will come to the rescue.
- There is no adult tooth at all.
Sometimes adult teeth do not develop at all. This is very common to see in upper lateral incisors. If a tooth is missing, then usually the baby tooth remains for as long as possible however future plans will need to be made to replace this tooth.
A timely orthodontic evaluation can help confirm correct eruption pattern, detect possible problems and plan for a solution. Ask us about our 7&UP Program!