Dear Dental Diary: When Do Molars Fall Out?
Molars on the Move
It’s perfectly natural for teeth and molars to fall out as a child grows up. Our baby teeth eventually need to make room for adult teeth so they can come in bigger and stronger. However, many people don’t know when baby molars fall out, how they fall out, and what happens after they’re gone.
If your child still has their baby molars, don’t worry! They’ll eventually fall out on their own. Read on to learn a bit more about baby molars, when they fall out, and why.
Meet Baby Molar
Imagine for a moment the life of Baby Molar. They first moved into your child’s mouth when they were about one to two years old. They’re a part of the flat, square group of teeth in the far back of the mouth. Those other molars are their brothers and sisters, and they work together to help your child chew their food. Baby molars are grouped in packs of two in the back of the jaw, on both top and bottom. Adult molars, on the other hand, are grouped in packs of three, including the wisdom teeth.
The front teeth you see in the mirror are incisors and canine teeth that help you bite into food and pull it into your mouth. But not Baby Molar. Baby Molar’s job is to grind food and break up the food pulled in by the teeth in front so your little one can swallow it. And Baby Molar is an important part of a multi-system process that affects your child’s overall health. They help kick-start the digestion process for tough foods like vegetables. When you see horses and cows chewing their food like crazy, they’re putting their molars to work.
Baby Molar has a great job. They’ve worked hard to grind all that food away, but as your child grows up, they have to move out to make room for Adult Molar.
When do the molar siblings move out?
When your child is a baby, “primary” or baby teeth pop into their mouth to help them chew their first solid foods. Many parents know pretty well when their babies start teething because of the pain they often go through. As a child grows older and their “permanent” or adult teeth start coming in, the experience isn’t nearly as painful, so there’s no need to worry.
Exactly when baby molars come out depends on their location and how ready the adult molars are to break through.
The first baby molar to come through is the most forward molar, and it appeared around 13 to 19 months of age. It worked very hard to do its job of chewing, and it will start to fall out at around eight to 12 years old.
The second molar is the later sibling who popped into your child’s mouth around 23 to 33 months old, or about age two to three years old. While they were a little late to the party, they will leave soon after their older sibling by age 10 to 12 years old.
When do adult molars move in?
Adult molars start growing in the jaw after baby teeth emerge, and they slowly push against the baby teeth. These adult teeth are needed, as they are larger and can better support a growing body. Eventually, the triplet molars of adult teeth will push enough that the baby teeth will start to loosen and fall out.
Because there are three adult molars against two baby teeth, the baby teeth can leave earlier, and adult molars can come in later as their sibling has made extra room for them.
The first adult molar will move in around age six to seven years old, the second adult molar will emerge around age 11 to 13 years old, and the third molar (commonly called wisdom teeth) can come far later at age 17 to 21 years old.
Common Concerns During the Moving Process
As children age, they start to become aware of their looks and appearance. Especially for a “tweenager” or “tween” between the ages nine and 12 years old, these kids might worry about Baby Molar falling out and their smile looking weird, but it’s important to remind them that this process is perfectly natural and all of their friends are going through the same thing whether they talk about it or not. Adult Molar will come soon and fill in those awkward gaps.
Sometimes there can be some troubles when baby teeth move out and adult teeth move in. However, regular checkups and dental X-rays can help your child’s dentist identify these small issues and avoid future ones with preventable actions.
Wrapping Up the Moving Cycle
We hope we’ve given you valuable insight on the baby molar process and how you can prepare your child for this exciting stage in their life. If you have any questions about your child’s dental care, it’s important to speak to your dentist as soon as possible.