There are a lot of physical changes when your child blooms into a teenage boy or girl. Teeth are part of those changes – teenage teething. Yes, you heard it right but calm down, this is not as bad as teething when your little one was still a baby.
Around the age of 11-13, your child will get their permanent/adult canines, premolars and molars. They can erupt in the mouth at the same time or one at a time. Just like normal teething, there are things to watch out for.
Around 11-13yo, your child may get their second adult molar, commonly known as 12-year-old molars. Just like any other teething experience, some children may experience discomfort or even pain. During the eruption process, it is very important to have dental check ups as the molars may have deep pits and fissures (fancy terms for grooves or valleys). If they do, the teeth are at high risk of getting pits and fissure caries/decay. Your dentist or oral health therapist may recommend the application of fissure sealants to protect these susceptible grooves.
Most of us will have 8 premolars around our teenage years. They replace the first and second baby molars. It is quite common for us to see baby molars that still present in the mouth while the premolars are trying to erupt. This does not necessarily cause pain but the food/plaque may get trapped between the baby molar and the new premolar, putting the new premolar at risk of getting decay/holes. Just like molars, premolars can have deep pits and fissures which may require the application of fissure sealants.
Adult canines are one of the last few teeth to erupt. They have big, bulky roots. It is not uncommon to have adult canines that are “stuck” (impacted) under the gum especially if your child’s mouth is crowded.
The importance of routine dental examinations around teenage years cannot be overlooked. This is the age where a lot of things are happening in the mouth and, if your child has not seen an orthodontist yet, this is perhaps the right time to do so especially if your teenage son or daughter have crowding or impacted teeth.