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Did you know that a shark has thousands of teeth throughout its lifetime? In fact, sharks usually have five rows and up to 3,000 teeth at one time! In contrast, humans only have one row of teeth so it is natural be concerned if your child seems to be growing a second row. Normally, children lose their primary or baby teeth, and then the permanent teeth erupt into the gap. However, sometimes a second row of “shark teeth” seem to pop up before the baby teeth have exfoliated. Does this mean something is wrong with your child’s smile? What should you do about it? When should your pediatric dentist get involved? Read on to find out.

Why Does My Child Have Shark Teeth?

“Shark teeth” is a term that refers to the dental condition when children develop adult teeth behind their existing baby teeth, creating a second row of teeth.

The most common reason for ‘shark teeth’ occurring is because the baby teeth roots fail to undergo resorption and do not loosen and fall out.  The permanent teeth erupt behind the baby teeth due to lack of space and create the second row of teeth

‘Shark teeth’ are most often seen in the bottom, anterior region of a child’s mouth, but can also occur in other areas.  This condition can happen at anytime during a child’s transitional dentition period which ranges from 5-13 years old.

What Should I Do?

Seeing an additional row of teeth can be disconcerting, but don’t panic! Encourage your child to wiggle their baby teeth and call your pediatric dentist for an evaluation.  An x-ray and exam will allow the doctor to let you know if you child will most likely be able to wiggle out the tooth themselves or if intervention is necessary.  In some instances, timely removal of the baby tooth can prevent dental mis-alignments or prolonged orthodontic treatment in the future.

During this transition period, it is particularly important to stay on schedule with your child’s 6 month dental visit with the pediatric dentist.  He or she has been specialty-trained to evaluate your child’s dental growth and development.  These growth and development checks ensure that your child’s teeth are developing properly and necessary intervention taken at the optimal time.

About Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry

At Hacienda Pediatric Dentistry, we are proud to have board-certified pediatric dentists on staff. Dr. Audrey Sheu brings years of advanced training and experience to every appointment, so you know your child’s smile is in caring hands. If your child has “shark teeth,” or any other dental developmental issues, feel free to call 626-507-9982and schedule an appointment.