It can be exciting for children to start getting their first wriggly teeth. It will be the lower front teeth in the middle, usually between 5-6 years old. But to the concern of many parents, they have a look only to see the adult incisors coming up on the inside of the baby teeth (tongue-side). The size of the adult incisors is wider than the baby teeth they are to replace, and the children are often brought in to see if anything needs to be done.

At this early stage of life, the adult teeth are coming into a child-sized jaw, and this appearance is very common. The adult teeth will nearly always gradually push the baby teeth out, and squeeze into the space, although they may be a bit twisted. As your child grows, the space for the incisors will increase, and often there is no need to do anything drastic like extractions. In fact, early extraction of the baby incisors can complicate the fitting of the adult teeth, and a short-term gain may turn into a long-term problem.

If your child has regular check-ups, the dentist can check how things are going, and usually only has to reassure the parents. If the crowding does seem to be worrisome, the dentist will refer you to an orthodontist for an opinion before extracting. This is rarely done before the age of 8 years old after the 4 lower incisors have fully come through the gums.