The Eruption of the Permanent Teeth

At or around the age of six, two things happen to a child’s mouth:

  1. The first four permanent molars erupt. This may happen easily, or it may be difficult and painful. The tops of the molars are very broad and can create havoc with the gums when breaking through the skin. As the tooth erupts, it slowly pushes through the gum tissue, often leaving a flap of tissue over-handing the tooth. If food gets jammed under this flap, the irritation and the toxins released by the germs eating the impacted food may cause the gums to become sore, swollen, and painful. This could turn into a gum infection, or even an abscess, either of which could cause more swelling, more pain, and possibly even a fever. So at the first sign of irritation, call and make an appointment with the dentist.  If the child is in a lot of pain and tolerates aspirin, you can give the child the recommended dose of children’s aspirin, or whatever other pain reliever your doctor may recommend。  If need be, the dentist can easily cut and clean the area, and eruption will proceed normally.
  2. The child starts to lose the baby teeth. In a sense, the permanent teeth push the baby teeth out.  Under pressure from the permanent teeth the roots of the baby teeth dissolve.  Since the teeth are no longer firmly anchored in the jaw, they loosen more and more until they fall out.  This is why, when the baby teeth fall out normally, there are not roots to be seen. So you can let the baby teeth fall out of their own accord. Or, if a tooth seems to be taking an inordinate amount of time, the child can’t stand it hanging around anymore, and the permanent tooth is scheduled for arrival, you can have the dentist take it out.