Permanent Teeth

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Permanent teeth coming in behind baby teeth

Oct 2003

My daughter just turned 6, and this morning I noticed that she has a permanent tooth coming in behind a lower front baby tooth that's still in place. We recently moved from Berkeley to a country with a less developed system of dental care. I'd like to find out what dentists do about this in the U.S. before we take her to a dentist here, so that I'll know if the dentist's decision is one I should go with. Does the dentist usually just pull the baby tooth in this situation, or is it a more involved process? What kind of anesthetic is used? What sort of aftercare is necessary? Thanks. Tracy My son has had the same thing happen with his first two permanent teeth. My dentist's advice was to wiggle the baby tooth in front to get it to loosen up so the permanent tooth could move into place. I wiggled it several times a day and after 4 or 5 days it was really loose and it came out naturally. I tried to get my son to wiggle it but he was half-hearted about it (he wasn't that crazy about me doing it either). For the second tooth my dentist actually saw it before it got loose and said if it didn't come out in a couple of weeks to bring my son back to see him. We did the same thing and it came out on it's on as well. Not a problem

Go see your dentist -- now! The baby tooth should be pulled to make room for the permanent tooth. Usually the permanent tooth moves down and cuts the roots to the baby tooth. No blood flow, it wiggles and wobbles and falls out. When the permanent tooth ''misses,'' the baby tooth has to be helped out. No biggie, but the sooner it's out, the sooner the permanent tooth can take its ''rightful'' place. It's not a big deal to pull it, either. had two pulled myself

My experience with this is that the dentist usually waits to see if the new tooth will push the baby tooth out (it usually does). But I'm sure every case is different - there may be reasons to pull but if it is not bothering your daughter I would say leave it alone and wait to see what happens. Betsy

I had the same thing when I was your child's age, with both of my bottom ''eye teeth.'' My dentist pulled them (I didn't feel a thing, actually, and I remember asking him when he was going to pull them and he showed them to me!!). I later had braces, but the teeth weren't disgustingly crooked, just slightly crooked. This was 25 years ago... so maybe someone else has more current advice. Maria

We just went through this with my 6 1/2 year old daughter. Dr Iezman who is an excellent orthodontist here in Berkeley, assured us that this is not uncommon. The baby tooth will eventually come out on it's own. (This already happened with my daughter) Then within about 6 months, the adult tooth that was behind should start repositioning to its appropriate position. If you don't see any migration forward by the adult tooth by this time, you should check with an orthodontist or dentist the next time you are back in the States. Some professionals are anxious to pull teeth, and rest assured, you do not have to have this done. monika

My 12yo has 2 permanent molars coming in front of the baby teeth. His dentist feels that the baby teeth will eventually come out on their own and since it isn't bothering him there's no need to take any action at this point. annon

This happened to my son with his bottom front teeth. We did nothing. Eventually the baby teeth fell out. I was worried that the permanent teeth would be too far back but they appear to have shifted forward on their own. Spare your child the trauma and steer away from pull-happy dentists is my advice. anon