|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Tooth Alignment

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Henry Bernstein, M.D.

Q: My five-year-old just lost her tooth. I noticed that when it came out, there was one behind it. Will it become an overbite tooth or will it fit in place after she has lost the other ones?

A: It is common at this age for teeth to appear to be squished in the mouth and to seem to be pointing in funny directions. More often than not, everything tends to line up normally over time (this is not to say that your child will not need braces on her teeth when she is older, though). Although it is difficult to say for sure without actually seeing in your daughter's mouth, more than likely the tooth "behind it" will move nicely into place.

Remember that we have two sets of teeth--primary (first set) and secondary (final permanent teeth). Teeth erupt and fall out at varying times from one child to the next. The 20 primary teeth usually come out by two years of age, which are important for function as well as holding a place for the permanent teeth. There are 32 permanent teeth, designed to last a lifetime.

Between the ages of 5 and 12 years of age, your child will have a mixture of primary and secondary teeth. You do not mention which tooth of your daughter's has fallen out, but my bet is it is one of the front ones (usual pattern would be on the bottom). I am also assuming your daughter's tooth fell out on its own, not due to injury or trauma. If not or if there's any doubt, I would have her examined by a pediatric dentist, a specialist trained in the care of children's teeth.

More on: Expert Advice

Henry Bernstein, M.D., is currently the associate chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of Primary Care at Children's Hospital, Boston. He also has an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Bug Off! 6 Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Which bug bites are dangerous? Learn about 6 diseases spread by ticks and mosquitoes, the signs and symptoms, and treatment options if someone in your family gets infected.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Top 10 Backyard Party Games for All Ages
Looking for some fun outdoor games for your Fourth of July party or barbecue? Check out these awesome group games, from sack races to cornhole, to make your backyard a kid-friendly party spot!

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks