Orthodontics Blog

A Note from Dr. Caudill––Shark Teeth!

There are many ways that children's teeth can incorrectly develop which can cause issues, and one of the more common ways is what's known as "Shark Teeth." I thought I would share what has taken place so far with my kids so you can see what may happen with yours.

Both of my kids have gotten “shark teeth,” which is a term used when the permanent incisors (incisors are the four front teeth on the bottom and four front teeth on the top) come in behind the current baby teeth. This picture is my son Elliot before we could wiggle the lower two front teeth out. He was 5 ½ years old at the time and you can see the bumpy edges of the two lower permanent incisors poking through completely behind the baby teeth. Ugh!


My daughter Ryleigh is now 8 and had this happen with both of her lower two front teeth a couple years ago. Notice the watery eyes after her worn out orthodontist dad was finally able to pull the lower two front teeth. I gave up at home two times after she cued the water works. The 3rd time was the charm once I took her to the office and succeeded with a little numbing gel. It’s harder for me to work on my kids than yours because mine don’t hesitate to give me a hard time. ;)
I knew Ryleigh was doomed for crowded teeth because her baby teeth were so perfectly lined up without any spaces. On top of this she doesn’t have genetics on her side because both my wife and I wouldn’t have straight pearly whites without our awesome orthodontists (love ya, Dad!).


Given some time, Ryleigh’s backward row of permanent teeth started to slowly straighten and move into the baby tooth space. About six months later around Christmas (of course) the upper two front teeth came out uneventfully with just a little help from dad at home. By that time, the lower two front teeth to my surprise didn’t look too bad. Unfortunately, the next two lower teeth that erupted traded places with the first two and were twisted. I was next glad to see a space develop as the upper two front teeth erupted. I’m sure it won’t be there long because I expect the next upper teeth to erupt to push it closed and use up all the space.
I see shark tooth eruption happen in kids all the time, especially on the lower teeth. As you can see a little patience and growth has allowed Ryleigh’s teeth to straighten some naturally. I have an advantage knowing how her teeth are erupting and positioned on her x-ray along with of course knowing what should be going on and when. I’ve been waiting to throw some braces on her teeth but I don’t find it necessary yet. For now, I’m going to let things continue on their own even though she wanted me to put braces on her teeth about a year ago. Her time will come!
We are always happy to see your little sharks to figure out what is the best course of action. We have always provided all of our patients complimentary orthodontic examinations. I’m expecting the time will pass when Ryleigh wants braces and she may end up in Invisalign.

Stay tuned…!

Dr. C