Do You See Shark Teeth in Kids? Get to Know Why They Exist and How to Deal With it
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When I was still expecting my first baby, I dreamed of seeing her lovely face, charming smile and smooth skin. I wanted my baby to look perfect, and I cannot wait for the day when I will get to hold her.
Then, I saw a kid with two rows of front teeth, and I was surprised! It never occurred to me that such things could happen to a child. So, I did my research and found out that the two rows of teeth are called shark teeth in kids, and it is perfectly normal!
The Occurrence of Shark Teeth
As children grow old, their normal body tendencies will include getting rid of the baby teeth and give way to permanent teeth. Children will lose their teeth between the age of 5 and 7. Eruptions of the permanent teeth begin while the baby teeth start to become loose.
There are instances when the baby tooth does not loosen up even if a permanent tooth starts to erupt. The tooth begins to grow while the baby tooth is still in place, making it sprout up behind it. Once this happens, your child will have two rows of teeth in a single location.
Shark teeth usually occur in the lower incisors. However, there are also rare cases of children having shark teeth in their upper incisors or the primary molars.
Children who are at the age of 6 can experience their first set of shark teeth when the lower front teeth grow. At the age of 11, the upper back molars grow, and with the presence of baby teeth, shark teeth can happen.
*Why the name "Shark Teeth"? It is because sharks also have two rows of teeth.
Reasons why shark teeth happen:
• There is not enough room in the lower jawbone where the permanent teeth can grow, so it sprouts behind the baby teeth.
• The roots of the baby teeth did not dissolve thus creating resistance during a permanent teeth eruption.
When do Kids Lose Their Teeth?
Children can lose their first tooth as early as four years. However, the normal age for most kids when it comes to tooth loss is between 5 to 6 years. If your child has not yet lost any of his teeth, do not worry. The latest a child can lose his teeth is at eight years old.
Most of the time, girls will first experience losing their teeth as compared to boys. Still, kids will have their permanent teeth when they turn 12 years old.
Falling off of the teeth comes in the following order. The two center bottom teeth will lose first then the two central upper incisors. The lateral incisors and the first molars will follow next. Then, the canine teeth will fall and lastly the second molars.
What You Need to Do When Your Kid has Shark Teeth
Do not panic! Bear in mind that shark teeth are normal occurrences and must not be a reason to worry. Once the baby tooth falls off, the permanent teeth will gradually move forward to its correct position.
When you see your kid with shark teeth, check his primary tooth first. Sometimes, the permanent teeth sprouts while the baby tooth is still loose, making it grow behind. When the baby tooth is loose, chances are, it will fall off anytime.
Ask your kid to wiggle their loose tooth always. They can also eat more solid foods to encourage falling off of the tooth. However, never force a tooth to come off even if it is already loose. The roots are not yet fully dissolved so forcing the tooth can lead to infection.
But, if the baby tooth fails to loosen and the permanent tooth is already at the same height with the baby tooth, set a schedule with your dentist to have the situation checked. Your dentist can evaluate why the tooth did not fall off and would recommend if the tooth will be removed or not.
- Note to remember: While shark teeth may indeed be normal, there is no reason not to take notice of it. Neglecting shark teeth for a long time can result in the deflecting of the permanent teeth and move out of its position. It would mean a more serious dental problem later on.
Proper Dental Care for Kids
Good dental hygiene is a key to a healthy set of teeth. Oral problems such as tooth decay can be a tough time for our children since they go through a painful process. So that they will not go through such experience, it is crucial for us to teach our kids how to maintain their teeth.
Here are some tips on how to properly take care of your child’s teeth:
- Practice oral care once your baby had his first tooth. Use a clean piece of cotton to clean off his tooth and get rid of plague build up.
- Set a regular appointment with the dentist. Ideally, your baby should have his first appointment six months after his first tooth came out. Your dentist can check the condition of the tooth and identify any warning signs for his next set of teeth.
- Establish a regular time for brushing of teeth. Teach your toddlers and older children to follow through a strict time of brushing. They must brush their teeth every after a meal and before they go to sleep.
- Teach your kids how to floss. Brushing the teeth may not always thoroughly clean in between the teeth. Flossing can clean off these areas that are hard to reach.
- Provide healthy foods for your kids. An unhealthy diet can lead to early tooth decay since there are elements in some foods that can damage the teeth. Avoid eating too many sweets and junk food. Children must also limit their intake of sugary drinks. They must pack their bodies with more fruits and vegetables.
- Use a proper technique in brushing. How you brush your teeth can affect its quality. Aggressive brushing can lead to damage to the gums and teeth. Instead, gently brush the teeth in tiny circles with the bristles tilting towards the gums.
We all want our children to have a good set of teeth. However, shark teeth are inevitable and therefore must be taken lightly. Never lose your control in front of your child when he gets shark teeth. Encourage him that everything is okay and his teeth will go back to normal.
I was worried about the thought that my child can have shark teeth. I do not want her to suffer going through dental treatments because she has two rows of teeth. I was relieved after knowing that it is perfectly normal.
Does your child have shark teeth? How did you react? I would love to hear more about it!