Opinion Wanted - Have Baby Teeth Pulled Because Adult Teeth Have Popped Through?

Updated on April 12, 2013
K.K. asks from Bondurant, IA
26 answers

Just seeking some opinions out there...My 7 yr old daughter has 2 baby teeth on top that are not loose yet, however some adult teeth have surfaced behind them! They are not all the way in yet, but have a good start. I know the dental assistant said they woulld most likely recommend pulling them to make room, but do you think this is neccessary? I am thinking it probably should be done, but just like to cover all my bases and get lots of opinions! Thanks!! :)

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the advice ladies! I took her to her appointment today, and come to find out, the 2 grown up teeth are not the same as the 2 baby teeth that are in front of them. She said they would NOT pull them since they are different teeth, and that the 2 baby teeth won't be ready to fall out for probably another year. With that being said though, they did talk about having to eventually go see an orthodontist since she doesn't appear to have "room" for them all. They said they probably won't do much until she is closer to 9 or 10, but if I wanted, I could go see the ortho now. I opted to just wait awhile...here's hoping her mouth grows, LOL!! Thanks again!!

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answers from Cleveland on

My 7 year old had the same issue on the bottom. We called the dentist because I had never seen anything like it before. The dentist said that pulling the baby tooth would be traumatic (especially when you want kids to learn to like the dentist) if pulled unnecisarily. She said to give it a few weeks and see if the baby tooth falls out. I was also worried about it being crooked.

WIthin a week, the baby tooth fell out, and the adult tooth moved right into the spot where it should be. I am so glad we followed these instructions.

My nephew just had the same issue - my sister took to their dentitst, and their dentist told them the same thing. The teeth would loosen quickly, and fall out to make room for the adult teeth that were popping in.

I just wouldn't pull a tooth on a child unless it is neccessary. I had one pulled at 28 and it was traumatic, imagine a 7 year old.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

If they are coming through and dentist says you should get them pulled, I would do it. Not just go with the detnal assistant's recommendation.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

What's suppose to happen is:
as the adult tooth forms beneath the baby tooth, the roots of the baby tooth dissolve (I wouldn't say decay - it's not like a cavity) allowing it to loosen and fall out - and the adult tooth emerges shortly afterward to fill in the space.

If the adult tooth came up in front or behind the baby tooth, then the baby tooth's roots didn't dissolve - it won't loosen or fall out on it's own.
That's when the dentist needs to pull that tooth.
Because it's hard to clean when there are too many teeth crammed in together and it can also mean teeth will be crooked because there's no space for them all to line up.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

Our dentist gave my daughter 3 months from the time the adult tooth popped through behind her baby teeth to get the baby teeth out.

The adult teeth can decay. The roots of the adult teeth can get more solid and really take hold in the bone and then they will "stay" in place - but not where they are supposed to be.

My daughter had 5 baby teeth pulled - she just wasn't getting the baby tooth loose enough to pull. It was easy breezy and her adult teeth moved right into where they were supposed to be.

If you don't want the baby teeth to be pulled by the dentist, then YOU and YOUR DAUGHTER need to get those baby teeth outa there. She needs to wiggle them, turn them, get them loose so that you can pull them.

you do NOT want to get cavities on the front side of an adult tooth, and that is where you will end up with decay, because that is where the food will get trapped and wear off the enamel. Even though they can do teeth colored fillings, they are still noticeable.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

They need to be pulled before the others come in far enough to not shift. My son had that happen.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Yes they need to be pulled. My daughter over the course of a few years had 11 baby teeth pulled and ultimately braces. She has a very tiny mouth and this was the only way things were going to end up normal for her teeth.
She'll be fine.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I had a couple of teeth that would not fall out on their own. They pulled them so that the adult teeth could come in properly/straight. I did not need braces and my adult teeth are fine. I would talk to the actual dentist, but not be surprised if they pulled them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

My older son needed to have a baby tooth pulled for this reason. We waited for awhile to see what would happen, and that tooth was not even starting to get loose after a couple of months. The adult tooth was beginning to push the other adult teeth wonky.

We consulted with an orthodonist at that point who said "wait and see" but that felt wrong. We got a second opinion that was strongly in disagreement with the first ortho. He didn't come right out and say it, but it was clear that he thought the first was intentionally setting situation that would require future work.

The tooth was pulled and my son's teeth went straight. :-)

@Jackie P - baby teeth do have roots until they decay. The roots dissolve and that is why the tooth gets loose. When a baby tooth isn't loosening, they often have most or all of the root intact.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I read your question and SWH, and wanted to chime in because we are going through this right now with my 7 year old daughter. If teeth are surfacing in the wrong places, and behind the baby teeth, you need to take her to the orthodontist NOW. The preference by far is to expand her jaw while she's still growing, and before the adult teeth come in crowded one in front of the other (hard to clean and floss = cavities in permanent teeth! Not ideal). My daughter has a jaw expander in right now, which she'll have on for less than a year. They'll expand her jaw by 5mm (which doesn't seem like much, but will give her adult teeth the room they need to grow in). Then they'll let her baby teeth fall out, adult teeth grow in, and with any luck they'll grow in mostly straight because they'll have room to do so. If she needs braces as a pre-teen, it will be a lot easier than trying to expand her jaw then, after she has stopped growing (or god forbid, pulling a bunch of adult teeth to make room).

My daughter also has the "shark teeth" phenomena - adult teeth growing in behind baby teeth that aren't loose yet. Our dentist and orthodontist both told us that she needed to actively wiggle those baby teeth (and the dentist actually pulled one the other day for us). It will help the roots dissolve if she wiggles them. The last thing you want are big adult teeth behind baby teeth, where they can't be cleaned.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

If the adult teeth are showing then yes get the baby teeth pulled. It will only cause more problems later to leave them in. Also, baby teeth do not have roots so it won’t be a major surgery. I am sure they can do it right in the office with some Novocain.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My son had the shark tooth thing going on--but on the bottom.
I was told that the only time it is a concern & they would reco to pull the baby teeth is if it's on the TOP teeth.

So, she might be right.

It might cause the permanent teeth to shift unnaturally or be crooked.
My son had a top front tooth (not loose) pulled due to an injury. It was in the office with a novocaine shot at about age 5 and he did just fine.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

our dentist would not pull my daughters that did this, we waited it out for 4 months and then they came out on their own. He said it's never good to pull teeth unless absolutely necessary and he didnt want her fearing the dentitst. he said no matter what they do it will still hurt and he wanted the dentist office to be a good place

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Both of my kids have had to have most of their baby teeth pulled because they don't want to come out on their own. Even with having the teeth pulled they both need to wear retainers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Just a week ago we had one of my son's last baby teeth pulled. It was one towards the front of the mouth. Unlike all his other baby teeth that once they became loose came out easily, this one was stubborn.. It wasn't budging.. Even after the NEW tooth was nearly all the way in. However, we didn't have it pulled at first because the Dentist said, it would be out "soon"
After nearly six months, we opted to have it pulled for the following reasons:

my son wasn't chewing properly on that side of his mouth because he was afraid to wiggle the tooth.
It still bled at times when brushed.
and it was blocking the new tooth's growth (this was of major concern)

I am not one to go overboard on surgeries, medications or things of this nature, but in my son's case... after 6 months, it was time to get that tooth out. Since then, my son has remarked that he should have done it sooner...

good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I woud get a 2nd opinion.

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answers from Dallas on

My son had to have one pulled for that reason. They waited a few months to see if it would fall out on its own, but it didn't.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

if they were loose, yes. since they are not, I would wait it out.

my son had a loose tooth that had one come up behind it. It was literally holding on by a thread. we waited, and waited, and waited some more. then during the regular dental cleaning, the doctor said, we'll wait some more, but then said, you know what, let's just do it. so out it came.

now i have to beg my son not to pull his teeth out the second they get loose.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I suggest you need more information. Are the adult teeth coming in straight or are the baby teeth hindering the adult teeth's placement? My granddaughter had 2 baby teeth pulled because they were causing the adult teeth to come in crooked.

Later: What's this about trauma. Pulling teeth does not have to be traumatic. My granddaughter had no difficulty, physically or emotionally, with having her teeth pulled. My grandson had major cavity issues with a baby molar. They ground it into shape and put on a cap. Again, no difficulty for my grandson.

I suggest that when we suggest trauma, even if only in our minds, that children pick up on the anxiety/tension and the situation can become traumatic for them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Reno on

My daughters teeth did the same thing, she has only lost two naturally. (so far) The way her adult teeth were coming in were causing major issues because of the baby teeth. Her dentist and orthodontist waited as long as they could. I know in our case it was needed and she did fine with it. She is 10 and in her braces almost a year and 1/2. For us braces and extractions have made her mouth so much better.
It never hurts to get a second opinion.
Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

I had this same problem happen to me when I was younger. Pretty much all my front teeth had this issue. My baby teeth needed to be pulled to make room for the teeth to go/try to go into their correct spot (and I literally mean, pulled. They weren't loose). Once the dentist knew the top eye teeth (or bottom eye teeth or whatever tooth was poised to come out next) were visble on the x-ray film, I was in there getting the baby teeth pulled so the adult teeth could come through. My mouth was too small for my teeth, so they didn't have any choice but to pull baby teeth as my adult teeth came in. My teeth would have been in MUCH worse shape if they hadn't done the pulling.

Today, the top eye teeth are a little slanted and jut out a bit from the front teeth, and the bottom eye teeth sit a little behind the front teeth and the teeth next to them. (They had all literally been sitting north to south in my mouth instead of the usual east to west orientation.) And that's GOOD, after having had braces and retainers. All the other teeth are perfectly lined up because the dentist pulled the teeth as the next adult teeth were shown to be coming in/through on the X-ray.

When I was a teenager (I think 13), I wore braces to pull my front teeth into alignment because they were quite crooked because of coming in before their time. I know they usually do braces a lot younger these days. I wore mine for about 2 years and then had a removable retainer on the top and a permanent one on the bottom until I had my wisdom teeth removed in college. All 4 eye teeth had to do A LOT of moving to get to the point where they're fairly straight today. In fact, my orthodontist praised my childhood dentist for the work he'd done on my teeth. He said that with my type of mouth he usually sees teeth a whole lot worse than mine come in for braces--and braces can only do so much.

I just read the post about a jaw expander--wow. I don't remember there being anything like that when I was younger. That's actually a neat concept. I wonder if something like that would have worked for my mouth.

And the way my teeth came in/were pulled, I actually didn't have any issues with brushing or flossing and didn't have any cavities on the front teeth. My cavities were confined to my 6 year molars.



answers from Seattle on

We were at the dentist just about a week ago and DD has a somewhat loose tooth with an adult tooth already out behind it. Our dentist prefers to wait and see. He has told her to manipulate it manually to help along loosening the baby tooth (aka wiggle it a lot) and will only consider pulling the baby tooth if it is still there in 6 months...


answers from Jacksonville on

I wouldn't.
I mean... I would at least get a 2nd opinion before having them pulled. My daughter's top front 2 both came in behind the baby ones. Our dentist said usually it is no big deal. And it wasn't... one baby eventually got loose and came out and the other tooth moved up into place as soon as the baby was gone. The other tooth just didn't seem to want to come out... the nerve was dead and the tooth started to turn, but it never got really loose, so we let him pull that one. She also had several other "shark" teeth, and the baby fell out and the permanent one moved right in. The tongue tends to push it to where it belongs once there is a space open for it.

We did eventually have to have some teeth pulled, but not because the permanent ones were through. It was because the permanent ones were not coming in at all, and the babies weren't getting loose... and the permanent ones were coming up at the wrong angle and pushing on the roots of other permanent ones instead--- xrays can tell you some things. :)

I would wait before I rushed to have them pulled. You may not need to. And if you don't end up having to get them pulled eventually it is trauma your child doesn't have to endure--not to mention the added expense.
Time will help you decide. Don't be in a rush.



answers from Dallas on

I'm surprised the dental assistant said they would likely recommend pulling the baby teeth, my experience has been the exact opposite. This situation has happened with all three of my children. Each time we were advised by the dentist to wait it out which, for the most part, we did. There were a couple of instances when nearly a year had passed and the baby tooth was no looser, so at that point we opted to get it pulled because the permanent tooth was pretty much all the way in and totally out of position.

I would recommend going with the wait and see approach - right now, pulling is not necessary. And re-evaluate the situation in about 6 months.



answers from Miami on

Well, just now seeing your SWH, I do hope the teeth move around like they should. It doesn't sound like this is a common problem...


answers from Minneapolis on

I did see you took her in. I wanted to let you know this happened to my son with his 2 bottom teeth in 2nd grade - we called it shark teeth - the baby teeth eventually fell out and his teeth are fine.



answers from Chicago on

My daughter had this too. Her bottom front two adult teeth started coming in behind her baby teeth. The only difference was that the baby teeth were a little loose.

The baby tooth finally came out and the adult tooth is moving into it's rightful place. I was surprised because the adult tooth seemed so far back! Now her other front bottom tooth is the same. I'm assuming the same thing will happen.

It never occured to me to have the baby teeth pulled. She goes to the dentist and it was never recommended. Seems like a lot of pain for her and expense for you. I think leave it and the adult teeth will eventually push the baby ones out.

UPDATE: Wow, I'm glad you asked this question! I've made an appointment to see the dentist this Friday. I was surprised by the answers and got some information I didn't know I needed. Thanks!

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