Any aspect of your child’s development that goes against “what to expect” can often bring concern or alarm. After all, we know that there are certain benchmarks that every child should be meeting at various ages.
We know that at a certain point in their development, children start to lose their baby teeth; when that doesn’t happen within a reasonable time, it’s common to worry. While everything is fine in most cases, we’ll look at some of the possible causes of late-stage loss.
It’s a Little Crowded in There
One of the most common reasons for late loss of baby teeth involves a bit of overcrowding. If the adult teeth are crowded in the gumline, possibly due to one or more extra teeth, it’s possible that they’ll have difficulty pushing out the baby teeth.
Extra teeth could also block the permanent teeth from erupting at all. If the adult teeth are pushing before the baby teeth fall out, it’s possible your child could develop double rows. While this is a concern, particularly cosmetically, it is not an emergency.
The Adults Are Away
There is also the possibility that some of the adult teeth that would normally erupt and push out the baby teeth simply aren’t there. In such cases, the body will naturally retain the baby teeth that it needs in order to preserve overall normal function. In some cases, there can be a psychological component to losing baby teeth too late, as well.
At the recommendation of a professional, there may be a time where baby teeth are removed and synthetic adult replacements are installed. You may be wondering if it’s time to simply pull your child’s baby teeth. Most of the time this is unnecessary, but your orthodontist will discuss with you when it may be of benefit.
Don’t Sweat It
Although the above reasons are some of the most common, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are likely. Most of the time, qualified professionals give at minimum a year in either direction with regard to “normal times” for losing baby teeth.
And some children may develop more slowly than that; usually, there still isn’t a reason to worry here. Most orthodontists do not worry too much about delayed baby tooth loss unless they can actually see that the primary teeth might cause problems for the incoming ones. In such cases, misaligned teeth may form when they do come into view.
However, even here, there are solutions. Many professional practices, such as Cobbe Dental & Orthodontics, offer services to realign your child’s teeth and achieve that natural smile. Such places can help not only with alignment but deal with harmful oral habits and reduce the need for future dental work in some cases.
In short, while there are some medical causes that could relate to late loss of baby teeth, don’t panic just yet. An orthodontist can allay your fears with one simple x-ray. Children develop differently, and many who lose their teeth late just need a little extra time for everything to fall into place.