Overlapping teeth in children

Are overlapping teeth causing you to worry? Children’s tooth development is an important part of their overall health, impacting not only their ability to eat and speak but also their self-esteem and confidence. Typically, children start to develop their primary (baby) teeth around six months old, and by age three, they usually have a complete set of 20 primary teeth. These teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth, which begin to emerge around age six and continue to develop into the late teens.

One common dental issue that can arise during this developmental period is overlapping, gappy or crowded teeth. This condition can occur when there isn’t enough space in the jaw for all the teeth to fit properly. Now, we want to be clear that in many cases there is no need for concern and that overlapping, gappy or angled  teeth are part of a transitional stage. Typically, as the jaw grows and the canines erupt, the incisors straighten up and gaps close. All without intervention! Overlapping teeth where the permanent teeth have erupted before the baby teeth, can look a little odd. But this is often resolved naturally, with the tongue gradually pushing the permanent teeth forward to the normal positions. Concurrently, the deciduous incisors loosen and fall out without the need for removal. Isn’t the body wonderful! -Of course, you can always check with your dentist for a professional opinion to alleviate any concerns. When you take your child for their regular dental check-up the dentist will assess and discuss any issues.

However, in some cases it doesn’t resolve and can lead to a variety of problems, including difficulty in cleaning teeth properly, increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and potential issues with chewing and speech development.

Does my child need to see the dentist for overlapping teeth?

It is essential to take your child to see a dentist if they show signs of overlapping or crowded teeth. Early intervention can prevent more serious complications down the road. Dentists can assess the severity of the crowding and recommend appropriate treatments. These might include orthodontic solutions like braces or spacers to help guide overlapping teeth into the correct position.

In some cases, the dentist may determine that extracting one or more teeth is necessary to alleviate crowding. Tooth extraction, especially of primary teeth, can create more space in the mouth. This allows the remaining teeth to align properly as the jaw develops. While extraction might sound intimidating, it’s a common solution that can prevent more complex orthodontic problems.

Image below: An MC Dental dentist, checking a child’s dental development:
children dentist checking for overlapping teeth in Melbourne

The benefits of treatment for overlapping teeth

Addressing crowded or overlapping teeth can improve oral hygiene by making it easier for your child to brush and floss. This reduces the risk of cavities and gum disease, which can otherwise lead to more severe health issues. Moreover, correcting these issues can enhance your child’s ability to chew food properly and speak clearly, contributing to better overall health and development.

Additionally, early treatment can have a positive impact on your child’s self-esteem. A healthy, well-aligned smile can boost confidence and encourage social interaction, which is crucial during the formative years.

It’s important to receive proper dental care during your child’s tooth development, especially when dealing with overlapping or crowded teeth. Regular dental check-ups and early intervention can pave the way for a lifetime of healthy smiles and overall well-being.


At MC Dental, our dentists treat a lot of children at our 6 Melbourne clinics.

Feel welcome to ask us about any concerns regarding your child’s dental development. You can choose to book a consultation for your child with one of our many patient dentists. Our nurses and dentists are excellent with children. We take the time to show children the dental instruments and make their visit a positive experience.

Is your child eligible for Medicare’s Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS)? Our clinics in Glen Waverley, Doncaster, Brighton and Highpoint can help you with  on-the-spot CDBS claims.

Call us on 8608 8968 or email your nearest Melbourne MC Dental location for further details.