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Delayed Tooth Eruption: Should My Child See a Dentist?

Woodhill Dental Specialties07/08/20

When will my baby get his first tooth? It’s one of the biggest questions for new parents. They’re looking forward to those toothy, adorable grins and dreading those sleepless nights rocking them in. For most children, baby teeth erupt between 6 and 12 months. A slight delay is fine, but it may be time to see your dentist if your child has no teeth at 18 months.

Delayed tooth eruption usually isn’t a major cause for concern, but it never hurts to check. At Woodhill Dental Specialties, we can evaluate your child, determine if there are or will be any issues, and give you an idea of when you’ll be enjoying those adorable single-tooth smiles.

What Causes Delayed Tooth Eruption?

Delayed tooth eruption isn’t uncommon, but it also isn’t part of a child’s normal development. There are several reasons why your child’s teeth may be coming in later than usual.

  • Low birth weight or premature birth: Development delays can happen in babies born early or born with low birth weight. This can include teeth erupting later than usual. A baby born a couple of months early may see tooth eruption a couple months later than usual because the last couple of months of development take place outside of the womb rather than inside.
  • Genetics: Delayed tooth eruption may just run in the family. If the child’s parent had teeth that erupted late, there’s a chance the child’s teeth will erupt late, too. Genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, amelogenesis imperfecta, and regional odontodysplasia can also delay tooth eruption.
  • Developmental Disorders: Children with developmental disorders such as hypopituitarism (pituitary gland disorder) can have delayed growth and development, including a delay in getting their teeth.
  • Vitamin deficiencies: Children with vitamin deficiencies such as Vitamin D-resistant Rickets and other nutritional issues can have delayed tooth eruption.

What Are the Risks With Delayed Tooth Eruption?


So what happens if your child does experience delays in their tooth eruption? Some studies have shown that they may face an increased risk of tooth decay.

The best way to alleviate that risk is to make sure your child brushes and flosses regularly and that your child keeps up with their regular dental visits. Woodhill Dental Specialties can keep an eye on your child’s teeth and alert you to any potential problems.

Children with delayed tooth eruption often need orthodontic care later in childhood or as teenagers. However, nearly 80% of children need treatment with braces or clear aligners before adulthood, so the risk isn’t as severe as it may seem.

Can You Treat Unerupted Teeth?

As your child gets older, they may have teeth that still haven’t erupted or erupted in the wrong location. In such cases, we can treat your child with braces or clear aligners to straighten their teeth. In the most extreme cases, we may recommend oral surgery.

Treatment will rely in large part on the cause of the delay. The best thing you can do is bring your child in for an evaluation. We will take all of your child’s information into account, including genetics, delay time, and other factors, and figure out if your child will need orthodontic treatment and when.

Let Woodhill Dental Specialties Help!

Whether your child is facing delayed tooth eruption, tooth decay, or other oral health issues, set up an appointment with Woodhill Dental Specialties, and let us take a look! We specialize in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics, so your child can get the care needed all under one roof. 

You can begin by making an appointment online or by giving us a call at our Dallas, TX, or Rockwall, TX, office. You can rest assured that we will treat your child like a member of the family and put them on the path to a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime!

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