This medical information was provided by Monica Fisher, M.D., a Licensed Pediatrician.
Growing new teeth can be a pain. I think all of us have experienced that. They have to come eventually and let’s talk about when they come in.
Do 7-year-olds get molars? It is completely normal for molars to begin to erupt in 7-year-olds. It is usually called “6-year molars” but it is not a problem if they start coming in when about 7 years old. It is around the age of 6 or 7.
Children start out with 20 teeth. They eventually lose those for 32 teeth. These ones are stronger and have molars which help to chew food.
What are Molars?
The word “molar” actually comes from Latin word “molaris dens” which means “millstone tooth.” This actually explains what molars are really well. We use molars for grinding our food so we can swallow smaller bites.
They are large and flat. They are strong and we chew things like meat and other tough substances before swallowing. Believe it or not, we have more molars than other types of teeth in our mouth. There are 12, including 4 wisdom teeth, followed directly behind by premolars or bicuspids.
Now that you are educated on molars let’s talk about how to aid your child with the new teeth.
How to Aid Your Child
So you’ve already had to deal with your children and their growing teeth once when they were two years old. Hold on, because you are not out of the woods yet.
At around the age of six, all the baby teeth are going to start falling out and be replaced by the new adult teeth. Your child will go from 20 to 32 teeth. The most painful and difficult? Molars and eventually, wisdom teeth.
Symptoms and Signs
Symptoms and signs that your child’s molars are coming in can include headaches, cheek biting, and any pain around the area like your ears and jaw. some swelling can happen. Nothing serious though.
Your child could experience a non-serious fever. That one has never made sense to me, but I guess that is why I am not the doctor. Although fevers are not a common symptom, it can happen.
How can you help?
If your child is experiencing pain in their gums, and trust me they will let you know, have them message their gums. They can do this with a soft toothbrush or have them eat cold foods to calm down the gum.
I used to rub my finger on my gums to massage it. I don’t know if that was the smartest idea and I would not recommend it because who knows where your child’s fingers have been.
When the teeth finally break through and start to come in, a warm salt water rinse can be helpful for fighting against inflammation. This is an easy and natural treatment for your teeth that you can do at home.
Why is it good you ask? Well, there is this thing called an “osmosis effect” which the salt draws fluids from the rest of your mouth to relieve the area from infection. It also breaks up mucus that can form. The mucus will hold things like allergens or bacteria and the salt gets rid of it.
Basically, the warm salt water helps with calming inflammation and fighting against infection that could form while the teeth erupt and come in. It has other positive effects like destroying harmful bacteria and other things that you can read about in this article.
Eating During Molar Eruption
Straight up, your child’s eating habits will probably need to change. I’m just going to lay that out right now. Softer foods will be a need. Their mouth is going to sore throughout this period, that much is obvious.
Whether they tell you or not, you will want to start looking for soft foods. So things like smoothies or applesauce. Even some fruits and vegetables are good for this period like watermelons or cucumbers. Get some frozen fruit while you are at it.
I recommend frozen fruits like blueberries and mangoes. They can just put in their mouth or wait for them to defrost a little. Whatever works for them. I loved having these when I went through this. I would highly recommend it.
I’ve even read about healthy Popsicles. You are most likely not going to find those at the store so if you are the crafty type, make some. I went to the internet to find some ones that I think would be good. Your child may not like my choices and that’s fine. You can get their opinions. Here are the ones I found:
- Mango Almond Popsicles
- Strawberry Banana Popsicles
- Raspberry Coconut Popsicles (my favorite)
- Healthy Chocolate Fudgsicles
- Superfood Very Berry Popsicles
If you really don’t have the time to make your own popsicles, then you can find some at the store but they are a little more expensive. You can find organic ones or the Nestle Outshine Fruit & Veggie popsicle bars.
Let’s talk about warmer foods.
Probably the easiest thing to eat is soup. It’s more like a drink but it holds lots of nutrients. You could even have chili. Another fantastic meal that is easy on the teeth. With soups, I would not recommend anything with big chunks that your child has to chew to swallow.
Everything should be swallowable without having to put much work on their teeth to work. You know when you have a soup with carrots in it and it just kind of melts when your teeth bite into it. That’s the kind of soup you want.
Something that is not as warm, mashed or soft vegetables. Peas, carrots, or even sweet potatoes. These have great nutrition and they are easy to eat. You could even steam vegetables. Those are soft as well.
Visiting the Doctor
Growing up I didn’t visit the Dentist a lot but I did visit the Orthodontist a lot. I remember getting my teeth x-rayed and having him check up on the growth of my teeth and whatever else the Orthodontist does to keep your teeth healthy.
I would recommend visiting a doctor periodically. Keep an open dialogue with your child and make sure that you are talking to them about their teeth. Make sure you know how they are feeling that way you can know how best to help them or take them to the doctor if needed.
It is possible to get a fever from teeth coming in. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you call and visit the doctor or even take a trip to the emergency room immediately if your child has a fever above 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Watch how your child acts. Are they their normal selves? If you are at all worried, I would suggest taking a trip to the doctor. Parents have a sixth sense for things like that.
Teaching your child how to brush their teeth is extremely beneficial and will be helpful as they proceed to have new teeth come in. If they are cleaning their teeth well now, It will help with inflammation and bacteria while the new teeth are coming through.
Can molars come in at 4 years old? It is usually around the age of 6, but they did find that the children in Plovdiv, Bulgaria were having their teeth come in around the age of 4. Yeah, weird fact. The average age is 6 to 7 and the late ones have theirs coming in at 7 to 8 years of age. If your child has them coming in around the age of 4 and you are unsure about it, I would visit your doctor or pediatrician.
How many molars should a 6-year-old have? Well, your child should have 12, including the four wisdom teeth. Eventually, they may have to get rid of the wisdom teeth. Also, don’t expect all the teeth or molars to come in at the same time. They will all come eventually but it’s a process. By the end of the process, your child should have about 12 molars and 32 teeth in total. Sometimes not all your teeth will come in until the age of 21 but I have not seen that often.