Fun Facts about Shark Teeth
It is quite fascinating to know that sharks are born with teeth that are arranged in anywhere between 5 to 50 rows per jaw, depending on the species. Unlike human teeth, shark teeth are not attached to the gums on a root and they never develop cavities. Sharks also have the unique ability to naturally replace lost teeth, in as little as a day’s time. Now, if only we humans had teeth like the sharks, then a lot of our dental woes and treatments could have been totally eliminated!
Interestingly, when children are in the process of losing their milk teeth (baby teeth) and growing their permanent teeth, they sometimes develop two rows of teeth in their mouth, a condition called shark teeth. Your family dentists in Red Deer offer insights and advice to address this condition, if your child develops shark teeth.
Why and When Does a Shark Tooth Occur?
Most children develop their permanent teeth between the ages 5 to 12, and tend to lose their baby teeth, usually in the order that they first erupted. When the permanent tooth is ready to erupt, it starts dissolving the root of the corresponding baby tooth, until that tooth is no longer supported and falls out. However, at times, the root does not completely dissolve or the permanent tooth does not have the force to push the baby tooth out. When it lacks space to erupt, the permanent tooth may grow in just behind the baby tooth.
Most children tend to develop shark teeth in two common development periods. Initially, when they are around six years old and the permanent lower incisors erupt, and subsequently when they turn eleven and the upper back molars appear.
What to Do If Your Child Develops Shark Teeth?
Usually the permanent tooth that has erupted in a second row will move forward to its correct position on its own. To hasten the process so that your child’s regular routine of eating or talking is not disrupted, you may want to:
- Ask your child to wiggle the baby tooth and see if it falls out with some effort
- Let the tooth hang there until it eventually falls out naturally
- Use a tissue and try to tug gently at the tooth, if it is loose
If your child’s baby tooth does not budge, then it will need to be cared for by a dentist. While this is not an emergency, proper care and treatment may be needed to rectify the situation and avoid future problems. Book an appointment with your family dentist; depending on the situation, your dentist will create more space for the permanent tooth by extracting the stubborn baby tooth or performing the process of ‘disking’ to make the baby tooth slimmer. After a few months, the permanent tooth will move into its correct position.
While the sight of shark teeth may be unsightly, as a parent, you should avoid any unnecessary panic and treat this condition as part of your child’s dental development. You will also need to assure your little one that this is a completely normal occurrence which need not impede their confidence or morale.
Dentistry for all ages at Your family Dentist in Red Deer
The family dentists at Parkland Mall Dental Centre work with children of all ages for detection and treatment of early dental issues. Our friendly team also engages the little ones in informative conversations about brushing, flossing, eating healthy and maintaining good oral hygiene. While we can address the ‘shark teeth’ condition for cases that need specific attention, we want all kids to have strong teeth and gums, just like the sharks!
Entrust your child’s oral health in the hands of the pediatric dentists at Parkland Mall Dental Centre. Call us at 403-342-1118 or contact us online and book an appointment today. We welcome new dental patients of all ages.