This is not the cute fairy tale that millennials grew up reading, the ugly duckling stage is a dental peculiarity in children aged 7 - 12 years.

Kids have baby teeth initially and by the age of 6-7, their permanent teeth start to grow. The baby tooth wobble and falls off and give space for the permanent tooth to erupt. 

The ‘Ugly Duckling Stage’ or Broadbent’s Phenomena occurs during this period. Before permanent canines erupt the upper front teeth (incisors) flares revealing an empty middle space. There is also space visible next to 2nd front teeth (second incisors) along with a very clear tilt of those incisors. Also, some permanent teeth may come out only partially.


The name is given due to the fact that children’s mouths may look like a duck while in this phase of life. But is this worrisome or non-reversible? 

No, this is a very normal stage of dental development and does not require any orthodontic treatments. This happens because of the crowding of teeth caused by erupting canines. The space in between the teeth is temporary in most cases and the tilt of the incisors take normal alignment after the full eruption of upper canines.

Braces can be advised by the dentist if and when the teeth remain flared, protruded and/or tilted, well after the full eruption of the canines. 

Children may get self-conscious during this pre-teen age, they need reassurance and good oral care. Take the child to the dentist and explain to them the problem, ignoring or advising to disregard the issue will only create more troubles.

At MyDentalPlan - India’s largest dental network find the best dentists near you. Book appointments as per your convenience and/or get video consultations done. Our aim being oral wellness, standardised costing and treatment cost financing options are also available to make dental care affordable to all.



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