Delayed Tooth Eruption: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Your children’s teeth are one aspect of their health that you likely monitor more often. After all, it’s easily examinable by instructing your child to open wide. One concern that parents express is when their baby teeth seem to take longer than expected to grow above the gumline.
This is known as delayed tooth eruption, or delayed tooth emergence (DTE). Is this something parents should be worried about, and when is the delay considered too long?
When Do Children’s Teeth Erupt?
First, it’s important to note that the timetable for children’s primary “baby” teeth eruption can vary significantly. Primary teeth also grow in stages rather than the entire set emerging together. The central incisors, or front teeth, typically emerge first between six and 12 months of age.
From there, the rest of the primary teeth emerge from the center and moving back, including the lateral incisor, canine, and first molar, in that order. The second molars, or most rear teeth, erupt last and at around 23 to 33 months of age.
The primary teeth shed with the adult teeth emerging in the same order. Permanent central incisors typically emerge by the time the child is around six to seven years of age. The adult second molars appear by 10 to 12 years of age. To learn more, see these teeth eruption charts.
See also: The Stages of Tooth Eruption
When Is Teeth Eruption Abnormal?
Keep in mind every child is different, so an eruption slightly later than the above-mentioned timeframe isn’t a serious cause for alarm. However, pediatric dentists normally consider these eruption times to be atypical:
- The central incisors appearing between 12 and 24 months of age
- All other baby teeth appearing after four years of age
What Can Delay Teeth Eruption?
The following factors may increase the risk of a late teeth eruption:
- Premature birth and/or low birth weight
- Malnutrition – vitamin D deficiency is especially believed to be a contributing factor
- Syndromes, such as Down syndrome and Apert syndrome
- Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism and hypopituitarism
- Genetics and family hereditary
Does Late Eruption Cause Health Concerns?
The issue itself isn’t a major cause for alarm. However, the lack of teeth may impact their ability to thoroughly chew food, which may lead to digestion issues. It may also affect their ability to speak clearly.
These problems, though, are correctable once their teeth do eventually erupt. In the interim, continue to feed your child a nutritionally balanced diet. Avoid hard foods, and stick to purees (i.e. apple sauce instead of whole apples).
In summary, parents don’t need to be overly concerned. However, your child exhibiting DTE does warrant a trip to your local pediatric dentist.
Treatment for Delayed Teeth Eruption
Immediate treatment isn’t required, and there actually isn’t a treatment available, nor is it really necessary. Just be sure you continue to feed your children a diverse diet rich in vegetables and fruits, and prepare soft foods as needed.
We do recommend, though, that parents set a pediatric appointment once their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. An initial exam and x-ray will determine if there are problems requiring future dental procedures.
Your child’s oral health may not require treatment but does require consistent monitoring from a professional.
See also: When Should Children Begin to See The Dentist?
Seek a Pediatric Dentist in Lafayette, LA, for Delayed Teeth Eruption Diagnosis
Don’t worry; it’s highly unlikely your child has been afflicted with a serious disease because his/her teeth haven’t erupted within the normal timeframe.
Nevertheless, it’s still important to arrange an initial appointment with a pediatric dentist to verify the gums and emerging baby teeth are healthy.
In conclusion, visiting a pediatric dentist is an essential step towards ensuring your child’s overall health and well-being. To give your child the best chance at a lifetime of good oral health, make an appointment at Maestri Family Dental today, your pediatric dentist in Lafayette, LA!