Losing teeth when growing older is a natural process. Specifically, when children lose teeth, it is an exciting milestone in their lives. They are losing their “baby teeth” and gaining their permanent, “adult teeth.”
When children turn about six or seven years old, they start to lose their baby teeth. Their roots slowly weaken and their teeth fall out. During this time, children may wiggle their primary tooth if they are loose but should avoid forcing teeth out.
This process signifies that a child is growing up and can be bittersweet for parents. Although, with this exciting addition of permanent teeth in children six and seven years can cause possible symptoms
Swollen Gums and Cheeks
For children that are experiencing oral development, the “six year molars” are the first set of permanent teeth to grow in. While these molars erupt and puncture the gums, swelling of the gums and face can take place. If your child seems to be experiencing swelling in either the gums or face you may be concerned as a parent. Do not be alarmed. However, you should be aware that swelling typically subsides on its own as the tooth breaks the surface of the gum tissue as it continues to erupt.
If your child is experiencing swollen cheeks or gums, we recommend that you watch the situation closely. Monitor your child’s gums and facial features after a molar has fully surfaced the gum tissue to see if swelling has subsided. The best practices for treatment are practicing healthy oral habits. As a recommendation, we suggest to give children softened foods such as mashed bananas and smoothies. These foods can help reduce irritation of the gums where the swelling may be taking place. Additionally, oral antibiotic rinses can be administered to help rinse food and bacteria.
Fortunately, swelling will resolve on its own as your child’s tooth breaks through the gum tissue and continues to erupt. In the event your child’s swelling persists, be sure to contact our dental office right away. We’ll evaluate your child’s mouth and determine whether their swelling is a sign of a more serious issue.
Other Symptoms of Six Year Molars
While swollen gums and cheeks are two of the most common symptoms of six year molars, there are several other symptoms that children going through this phase may experience. One of these symptoms is ear pain. Ear pain is the result of radiating pain and can be extremely difficult for young children. Fortunately, over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen and eating cold foods such as frozen berries or smoothies can assist with ear pain.
A runny nose and sore throat may also occur when children are developing their six year molars. If you notice these symptoms in your child, it’s a good idea to give them cold medicine and encourage them to rest. If these symptoms persist, you should take your child to a pediatrician as they may have a cold, ear infection, or another issue.
While it can be difficult to watch your child cope with swelling or other symptoms of six year molars, understand that these symptoms are completely normal and will not be present for a long period of time.
If your child is still experiencing ongoing swelling after their “six-year” molars have erupted, we recommend scheduling a visit with us at Costa Family & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Ashburn, Virginia and Great Falls, Virginia areas. We have excellent dentists that are devoted in treating and comforting children through each dental visit and procedure. With the appropriate resources our office has we will be able to identify and pinpoint cause of swelling in your child. We look forward to helping you with your dental needs! We have a pediatric dentistry office in Ashburn, Virginia allowing us to focus on your children’s oral health.