Dentist (Pediatric) Questions Pediatric Dentistry

What are the chances that the spaces in my daughter's teeth will recur when her permanent teeth grow in?

My daughter is currently 4 years old and she has evident spaces in her frontal teeth. I understand that currently she only has baby teeth. But what are the chances that these spaces will be there in her permanent teeth too?

16 Answers

Having spaces in baby dentition is actually a good sign, depending on the size of those is what needs to be assessed by your pediatric dentist. Front Permanent teeth are usually and majority of cases bigger in the permanent dentition, so if she has room then it’s a big plus.
Most of the time spacing is a good thing as adult teeth are much larger and need more space. In all likelihood, there will not be spacing when her permanent teeth erupt
Yes, some spaces do close on their own, but depending on genetics and her bite it may not.
For most children with baby teeth only, it is not only common, but actually beneficial to have these spaces between their front teeth. Ideally, we like to see even spacing between the top four teeth and the bottom four teeth. If your daughter has no space between any teeth except for her two top front teeth, then this is mostly likely due to a thick/strong lip muscle attachment under the upper lip, which can keep a gap open when the permanent teeth come in. However, if the spaces are generally even between all four teeth top and bottom, consider yourself fortunate! These gaps allow for the MUCH larger permanent teeth to come into place without much if any crowding, and most often they close the gaps! Having even spacing at this age generally is a good sign that your child will have less problems that could require braces down the road. If your daughter has not yet seen a dentist, I recommend taking her to a pediatric dentist for an examination now - and they can tell you more about what to expect when her permanent teeth begin to come in, usually around 6 years old.
The chances that the spaces will close when her permanent teeth come in are really high! Baby teeth are much smaller than the permanent teeth that follow them so the spaces are necessary. That being said, if spacing between permanent teeth is present in other adult family members, there is a chance that there is a genetic predisposition to spaces in her permanent smile.
Baby teeth are generally smaller than the adult teeth that replace them. Furthermore, the Jaws also grow as your child does. It is quite normal for a child to have spaces between their baby teeth much like the look of a Jack-o-lantern. Usually those spaces disappear as your child transitions their dentition. However, if there is not enough or too much space to your liking, Orthodontic Treatment (Braces) can be performed.
There is a possibility that these spaces can be present when the permanent teeth but most often these spaces close due to the size differences of the permanent. teeth.
Every child is different when it comes to teeth, teeth size, and spaces. Space is a good thing in children's teeth. Adult teeth are usually 1.5x larger than baby teeth, so those spaces are there to help give adult teeth room. Also, if there is too much space in adult teeth, you can always go to the orthodontist when your child gets older.
Great Question! Actually having spaces in her front teeth are ideal at her age. The permanent teeth are typically large teeth and utilize this space as they start to erupt (grow in). Most likely these spaces will not be present as the adult teeth grow in
Many of my parents have this concern and I advise them that as both a Pediatric Dentist and an Orthodontist, I prefer to see spacing in the primary (baby tooth) dentition. There is not a guarantee that a child with spacing of the baby teeth will not be crowded when the permanent teeth come in. I do feel spacing of the baby teeth as long as there is not a lot of protrusion of the upper front teeth over the lower front teeth is desirable. It is possible that the spacing could be repeated in the permanent dentition but I feel the positive aspect of spaced baby teeth out weighs the negative. I hope this answers your question and thank you. Dr. Barbara Utermark

Spacing in the primary dentition is a great thing! The permanent teeth that follow are usually a lot larger than the baby teeth, so this gives the permanent teeth room to come in. There is always a chance there will be spacing in the permanent teeth as well, but it’s very difficult to tell this early on.
Spaces between all the baby teeth have a higher chance of a more desirable alignment of the permanent teeth with little to no crowding. Wait till the incisors and canines fully exchange to evaluate orthodontic and/or frenectomy treatment.
Space in the front teeth is preferred at this age. The developing permanent teeth are much wider and will fill in those spaces as she transitions to her permanent dentition. When you see no space or crowding with baby teeth, then it's a 100% guarantee that there will be crowding and orthodontic needs in their future.
It really depends upon how much space she has between the baby teeth and the size of her permanent teeth. Generally, spacing between the baby teeth is a good thing because the permanent teeth are larger and this lessens the chance that there will be crowding when they erupt.
The anterior primary teeth (front baby teeth) are always smaller than the permanent successors so good likelihood the spaces will go away. The exception might be if the top two middle teeth have a large thick frenum between them (the gum 'meat') or if there is a family history of diastema (spaces)

As an aside, the posterior permanent teeth tend to be slightly smaller in dimension....
Spacing between baby teeth is a good, healthy thing at 4 years of age. There is a decreased risk of cavities and it may be positive for her future dental alignment. Generally, the front adult teeth are wider than the baby teeth. If the spacing is even and not excessive, this can translate to very straight permanent teeth. A good way to predict would be to have your daughter have an X-ray to check the alignment of the developing front permanent teeth. 
Sometimes, people have a strong flap of skin connecting the upper lip to between the front teeth called a "frenum" or "frenulum." If this flap is too thick or strong, it will keep a gap or "diastema" open on the front teeth. This is the most common way to have spacing on the permanent teeth and sometimes requires a minor surgery to be removed. 
Marc D. Thomas, DDS