As a parent, taking care of your child's teeth is an important duty. While teaching them how to brush and floss properly is important from an early age, you, of course, must also monitor their dental health to make sure there are no problems.
One particularly important area to keep an eye on is your child's molars. The surfaces of molar teeth naturally have more crevices than the rest of your teeth, allowing food and bacteria to build up and cause tooth decay. Since the molars are not as visible as the front teeth, the buildup can remain hidden without close examination.
Here are some molar teeth facts:
- Generally, the first molars come in around 13 to 19 months of age, with the remaining ones coming in some time after age 2. Each child is different, however, so you should not be concerned if your child's teeth come in a little sooner or a little later than this estimate.
- Most children will have lost all of their baby teeth, including molars, by around age 12.
- Taking care of baby molars is important, as decay in these teeth can make it hard for your baby to chew; if this causes him to refuse certain foods, poor nutrition can result.
- Healthy baby teeth will help permanent teeth erupt free from infection and decay.
Besides a good toothbrush and floss, there are other tools you can choose to help you to care for your child's molars:
Dental MirrorA dental mirror is a small, round mirror that is angled to allow you to see hard-to-reach areas of the teeth. Many drug stores carry them as part of affordable kits, and they are even available in lighted models for better visibility.
Dental SealantBecause of the pits and crevices on the surface of molars, a dental sealant might be a good choice for the prevention of cavities. Ask your dentist if your child is a good candidate for this procedure, which involves applying a liquid that hardens to form a shield over the tooth surface to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride RinseFluoride is an important ally in the fight against tooth decay, so encourage your little one to rinse regularly for extra protection against cavities.
If you properly care for your child's molars, they should last a lifetime!