Tooth Behind Tooth

Do you know what happens when a permanent tooth starts coming in behind a baby tooth? Well, this week Amy Morgan, the marketing coordinator at Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics, answers one of the most frequently asked questions about tooth behind tooth or TBT, also known as “shark teeth.”

TBT occurs when a baby tooth isn’t loose enough to be moved out of the way for the incoming permanent tooth but the permanent tooth is insisting on coming in anyways. This typically happens with the front lower front teeth, as these four are often the first ones children lose, but parents do not need to stress about this because TBT is completely normal and shouldn’t cause any alignment issues with their bite or orthodontic concerns. TBT does not always cause orthodontic issues, but in some cases, there is a potential for orthodontics later on should there be crowding issues.

If you should notice this happening with your child, first and foremost, encourage your child to wiggle the baby tooth to facilitate its natural shedding so the permanent tooth is not delayed trying to get into position. If, after a wait of two to three weeks, the baby tooth is still holding strong, we advise giving us a call for some guidance. In some cases, an in-office appointment may be needed to gently remove the baby tooth, allowing the permanent tooth to take its rightful place.

Even if an in-office appointment is necessary, these extractions are quick, noninvasive, and generally painless for the child. Plus, they get to take the extracted tooth home for a visit from the tooth fairy!

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