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Child's teeth concerns
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tmj0008 posted:
My friends child is 5 and has about a 1/8" space between all his teeth. The teeth also seem to be vary small.

I have a 4 yr old niece that has all her teeth and they look normal. They all touch and are about normal size.

I want to know if my friends child might have something wrong that could be explained by his teeth. He is extremely hyperactive and seems to be taken a little longer to learn basic life skills. Should we be concerned?

Thank you for your help.
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Zev Kaufman, DDS responded:
Dear tmj0008:

It is difficult to give you an answer without a proper examination. The social and intellectual abilities of your friend's child should be evaluated by an appropriate professional. The pediatrician should give your friend guidance.

However, when it comes to the teeth, your friend's child is actually in a more advantageous position. Spacing between baby teeth is normal and is actually desirable. It is called leeway space and it allows the adult teeth more room to grow in. One of the major problems we as human beings have is lack of space for the adult dentition and this is why so many children have to wear braces to allow the adult teeth to fall into proper place.

When a child's baby teeth are close together and look "perfect" as you described your nieces teeth, it is sometimes a problem, since the adult teeth might not have enough space to grow in, and orthodontic treatment is necessary.

The bottom line is that no two people are alike and the treatment they require (or not) are different.

The best thing to do is to make sure that the children are routinely seen by a pediatric dentist, their oral hygiene monitored, and treatment, if required, is done in a proper, timely manner.

Best of luck,
Dr. Zev Kaufman