Help: My child lost a baby tooth but the adult tooth isn’t coming in!

children missing teeth

The tooth fairy visited your house months ago, but your child’s permanent tooth still hasn’t made an appearance. Should you be worried? If your child has lost a baby tooth and the permanent tooth hasn’t come in after several months, it’s usually not a serious problem. This situation is actually quite common, and it most often resolves itself without any orthodontic intervention.

If you’re concerned about your child’s permanent tooth not coming in, schedule your appointment with Atlanta Orthodontic Specialists today. We can take X-rays to see below the surface and find out what’s causing your child’s tooth to stay hidden. Let’s explore the possible reasons why your child’s permanent tooth has not yet erupted.

The tooth doesn’t have room to come in

Lack of space is the most common reason that a permanent tooth takes a while to come in after its corresponding baby tooth is lost. Small mouths become crowded fast when adult-sized teeth start coming in.

We typically advise patients and their parents to wait for this situation to correct itself naturally. As the mouth grows and other baby teeth are lost, there will eventually be room for the permanent tooth to erupt. In rare cases, the baby teeth on each side of the unerupted permanent tooth must be extracted.

In some cases, a palatal expander may be necessary. This is a type of oral appliance that expands the roof of your child’s mouth to create more room for all of the adult teeth to fit comfortably. Expansion is done gradually, and there are many different types of expanders. Learn more about palatal expanders.

Genetic predisposition 

Every child’s teeth fall out and erupt on their own timeframe. Just because your friend’s kids are getting adult teeth in the blink of an eye doesn’t mean your child will, too. Try to be patient. Every child is unique.

Boys vs. Girls 

Tooth eruption also tends to vary between boys and girls. Girls mature more quickly, and they tend to get their adult teeth sooner than boys do.

The tooth is coming in at an angle 

Permanent teeth typically follow the same path of eruption that their baby tooth counterparts took on their journey into the mouth. But sometimes, nature decides to take a different route.

Permanent teeth that are moving in a sideways or angled direction may become trapped under existing baby teeth that have not fallen out yet. Upper canine teeth are especially prone to this condition. Sometimes this situation corrects itself, but other times, the baby teeth must be extracted so that the permanent tooth can finally erupt.

Your child isn’t eating right 

Nutrition has a huge impact on development of the teeth. If your child isn’t getting enough calcium and other nutrients, their teeth may lack the strength to push through the gums and into the mouth.

Make sure your child is eating a nutritious diet with plenty of calcium, vitamins and minerals from natural sources like milk, vegetables, and lean meats. Yes, we know it can be tough to get a child to eat right! If you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, supplements can help, but do some research on ways to sneak healthy ingredients into your child’s favorite foods, too.

Still concerned about your child’s adult teeth growing in? Atlanta Orthodontic Specialists can provide a free consultation to see if a treatment option is recommended. Learn more about our services or contact us today to schedule an appointment.