My child has two rows of teeth. Is this normal?

As your child gets older and ready to lose their baby (primary) teeth and develop their adult (permanent) teeth, you may notice that they have two sets of teeth. Moreover, although this may seem a concern, it occurs in almost 30 per cent of children we see.  Most importantly, it is a problem that can be managed, by your dental professional.

Where does it happen?

The most common site for two rows of teeth to occur is the lower front region of the mouth. In most cases, the primary teeth will fall out within a relatively short period.

When do permanent teeth start to erupt?

Primary teeth usually erupt around the ages of five to six. As mentioned in our previous blogs, primary teeth are crucial as they reserve space for the permanent teeth that will eventually erupt. Permanent teeth slowly tend to dissolve or resorb the roots of the baby teeth until ultimately the baby tooth is lost. The permanent tooth then appears in the space left by the primary tooth.

Have I given birth to a shark?

Yes, it is true that sharks tend to have multiple rows of teeth. However, do not be concerned as in human children this occurrence of two rows of  teeth (also commonly referred to as shark teeth) is for a relatively short period of “normal development”. It is undoubtedly beneficial to see your dental professional and ensure your child’s dental development is progressing well. Occasionally, your dentist may want to take an X-ray (Radiograph) to ensure your child is not a shark! Ok, just kidding here – a radiograph helps to diagnose how much of the baby root remains, and if removal of the primary tooth is warranted.

When does this happen?

This condition mostly occurs in the lower front region of the mouth when the child is around six years old. During this age, permanent lower incisor teeth begin to erupt behind the primary teeth thereby causing two rows of teeth for a short period. When children are in the ages 10-11, upper back molar teeth begin to appear and may do so behind the existing primary teeth causing two rows of teeth until the primary teeth finally fall out.

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