“Shark Teeth” in Toddlers: Cause for Concern?

Some parents may feel a slight panic if they notice the appearance of two rows of teeth forming in their toddler’s mouth. These teeth are sometimes referred to as “shark teeth” and can be a normal event in children’s physical development. Find out more about this situation, why shark teeth occur and if a trip to the dentist is needed when they appear.

Shark Teeth

1. What Are Shark Teeth?
Shark teeth can occur during two periods in a child’s development. At six years old, the permanent lower incisors erupt behind baby teeth. This also happens at 11 years old when the upper back molars appear. When this happens, two rows of teeth may be visible, just as sharks have double rows of teeth.

Shark Teeth

2. Why Do Shark Teeth Occur?
In normal circumstances, baby teeth are slowly replaced by permanent teeth and then fall out. The permanent teeth then move into the vacated space. Sometimes there is not enough space in a toddler’s mouth for the newer teeth or the permanent tooth fails to exert pressure needed to push out a baby tooth. In these cases, the new tooth will position itself behind the baby tooth.

Shark Teeth

3. Should I Be Concerned?
In most cases, shark teeth do not warrant an immediate visit to the dentist. Baby teeth will start to loosen on their own and fall out. Parents should not remove any tooth by force because it may still have a considerate amount of root attached. If baby teeth are taken out before they naturally start to unhinge from the gums it could result in pain, infections and other serious oral health problems.

A visit to the dentist is warranted when the appearance of shark teeth has not resolved itself after three months.

Your caring dentist at Springdale Dental Centre will evaluate and decide if baby teeth need to be extracted to make way for adult teeth. We provide a relaxed and unintimidating environment for your little one. Call us today at (905) 458-1212 for an appointment.



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