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Your 8-year-old now
Sometimes a baby tooth falls out and its replacement fails to show up for months. What's happening?
Called delayed eruption, the slow appearance of the permanent tooth often happens when a baby tooth is knocked out or is damaged after a fall, turns dark, and then comes out a bit early. Sometimes the new tooth doesn't show up for well over a year.
Sometimes delayed eruptions happen because the pressure of the erupting permanent tooth displaces the baby tooth, even though the permanent tooth isn't quite ready to make an appearance. The permanent tooth sometimes has a developmental sac around it that dissolves the baby tooth's roots prematurely.
Your child should be seeing a dentist every six months, so just ask about it the next time you're in. X-rays are seldom needed to see what's going on.
Very rarely, a permanent tooth may have trouble erupting because the gums have hardened and, though the new tooth can be felt below the surface, it has trouble pushing its way through the gum. In that case, the dentist may make a small incision to help it along.
Your life now
When you tell your child you'll show up for an event, be sure you follow through. Not only will he love seeing you there, but you're signaling that your word is your bond. Few parents can make it to every school play, picnic, and special event, of course, and it's not essential that you have perfect attendance. Simply explain to your child when you can't be somewhere and why. Make an appearance at least once or twice a year for school-related events.
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