Common problems during Teething
1. Why is the newly erupted front teeth serrated on the edge (see Pic 1)?
It is normal for newly erupted front teeth to appear saw-shaped on the edge. It will be naturally grinded and smoothened after a period of time.
2. My child’s upper front teeth are flared with a gap in between. Does he/she need orthodontic treatment (see Pic 2)?
This is a transitional period called the “Ugly Duckling” stage. Usually, when the upper canines on both sides erupt, the front teeth will straighten and the gap will close up. If it does not close up, you can consult your family dentist or orthodontist at age 7.
3. My child’s lower permanent front tooth erupted behind the deciduous front tooth. Is it necessary to extract the deciduous front tooth (see Pic 3)?
Commonly, the deciduous tooth will become loose by itself. The tongue will push the permanent front tooth forward into position. Gradually, the deciduous tooth will exfoliate by itself. The permanent tooth will align itself into normal position.
4. The newly erupted permanent front teeth are not well aligned. Can the neighbouring deciduous teeth be extracted to allow front teeth to align correctly (see Pic 4)?
Since permanent teeth are bigger than milk teeth, and jawbones are not yet completely developed in children, the newly erupted permanent teeth may not have enough room to align properly and they look crowded. However, we usually cannot determine whether the permanent teeth will have a good alignment until all the milk teeth are exfoliated and replaced by permanent teeth. If you have any queries, please ask your dentist or orthodontist for further advice.
5. Is there a problem if the transition from milk to permanent teeth happens later in my child than his/her friends of the same age?
You do not need to worry since the timing of tooth transition varies between different individuals. If you have any queries regarding tooth transition, you may consult your dentist.