What are the 6 year old molars?

The first adult molar erupts between 6-7 years of age, commonly termed the “6 year old molar” or “first molars” and they represent new growth, meaning they don’t replace any baby teeth.  These first molars help to determine the shape of the lower face and affect the position and health of the other permanent teeth.

They sit right behind the last baby tooth. As they start to erupt your child may experience teething symptoms such as mild fever, swollen gums and soreness when eating or chewing.

What to expect when these teeth come in!

When your child’s molars get close to breaking the surface of their gum line, they may experience gum discomfort for up to about a week.
Most of the time, the new tooth will appear without complications. However, sometimes an infection may occur. If you notice white pus around the tooth, irritation that lasts more than about a week, or if your child has a fever, visit a doctor.

As the 6 year old molar is a permanent tooth, it is important to ensure good oral hygiene habits are formed (eg. brushing and flossing) so that the tooth lasts throughout the child’s lifetime.

Here are some of the most common symptoms you can expect when your child’s 6-year molars are coming in:

  • gum inflammation
  • headache
  • jaw pain
  • swelling
  • infection
  • irritability
  • sleep disturbances
  • low-grade fever
  • trouble eating solid foods


1. Use a teething gel such as Bonjela

2. Rinse with warm salt water to reduce the inflammation

3. Keep the area clean, as food can get trapped around the tooth and gum which can cause irritation and swelling


Your child may not want to eat solid or tough food while their gum is sore. Offering soft and cool foods may help minimize your child’s pain while their tooth breaks through their gum. Mashed potatoes and soups both make great meal options.
Icy poles and smoothies are other great options for pain relief. You can easily make both at home as healthier alternatives to store-bought options that are often loaded with sugar.

In addition to soft and cold food, these home remedies may offer some pain relief:

  • Gum massage. Gently rubbing your child’s gum with wet gauze, or having them do it themselves, may help temporarily reduce pain.
  • Ice water. Drinking ice water or cold beverages might help reduce irritation.
  • Ibuprofen. Taking ibuprofen may offer temporary pain relief.
  • Peppermint. Soaking a cotton ball in peppermint extract and placing it over the painful area may reduce pain.

Some discomfort is expected when your child’s 6 year old molars are emerging. However, in some cases, your child may develop an infection.

If your child experiences a fever higher than 40°C, you should take them to a doctor. If their symptoms last longer than a week, you may also want to visit a doctor to check for complications.

It’s also a good idea to bring your child to a dentist for routine checkups to check for cavities, bite problems, and to monitor potential tooth problems before they occur.

Your child will get their first permanent molars when they’re about 6 or 7 years old. Your child will have these teeth for the rest of their lives.

The 6-year molars are often the first teeth to decay in adulthood. Teaching your child proper dental hygiene habits can help them maintain a healthy mouth throughout their lives. Here are some good dental habits you can teach your child:

  • brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice per day
  • flossing once per day
  • visiting your dentist for regular checkups

Once your child’s 6-year-old molar erupts it is an ideal time to apply a great prevention measure of fissure sealants. Find out more about how this can help on our blog on Fissure Sealants


This video is a great resource to explain to your child how and when their adult teeth erupt and the process of baby teeth replacing adult teeth.

Thanks to our wonderful Oral Health Therapist, Tu-Anh.
She works at the Essendon clinic.
If you would like to talk to her or any of our amazing team, about this or any other questions you may have, please contact us on 03 9372 8960.