By Dr. Drew Zima
It happens a lot. A concerned parent and their child visit my office with what they believe is a dental emergency. Their child is in pain; specifically, their gums are extremely sore and red. Eating is difficult for them. And sometimes, a number of other symptoms may accompany the gum pain, including:
The technical term for molars (or any teeth) coming in is “erupting.” And while it may sound dramatic to state that your first or second permanent molars are erupting, it makes perfect sense if symptoms are severe. That’s because it can hurt, something we forget about as we get older.
The good news is that there are a number of things you can do as a parent to help make the pain and various symptoms associated with erupting molars a bit more tolerable for your kiddos.
Food is a big one. Try softer foods if chewing is painful, such as soups and smoothies. Chilled or frozen foods, including fruits and vegetables, can also provide some cooling relief. You might also consider some ibuprofen, especially if there is a fever or headache present. Be sure to check the back of the bottle for the proper dosage.
At the end of the day, I can’t promise that molar eruption is the cause of your child’s pain and suffering. But if they’re in those aforementioned age ranges, and have one of more of these symptoms, there is a good chance that when those molars break the surface, your child will start feeling normal again.
In the meantime, feel free to give me a call and we can always take a look...
One of the most common questions I get is when children should start losing their teeth. On average, children lose their first tooth at about age 6. This is the average, so some may happen a little earlier and some a little later. Between the ages of about 6 to 8 years of age, children should lose their 8 baby front teeth (4 on the bottom and 4 on the top). Around the same time as losing their first tooth, they typically will also get in their permanent 6-year molars behind all of the back baby molars.
When a tooth starts to become loose, the child should begin to wiggle the tooth to help it to come out. Often, while loose, it can be uncomfortable to eat, so the faster it comes out, the better. Please make sure it is a baby tooth that they are wiggling and NOT a permanent one! (Note: If the Tooth Fairy makes visits to your house, it often helps speed the process along, if you know what I mean.)
While a child is losing their baby teeth and getting the permanent teeth, I will be evaluating them for many things, including, crowding, impacted teeth, malpositioned teeth, and when the baby teeth just don't seem to want to come out on their own.
Losing a tooth is a big milestone and should be a fun moment for both kids and parents. We hope you enjoy it!