Molars are the large teeth near the back of your mouth and they provide a specific purpose. These teeth are not shaped like the rest of your teeth but instead shaped to do their job well. What do molars do, and how can you make sure that you’re taking care of them? Read on to learn more about the essential molar anatomy, function, and maintenance.
Molars are the strongest teeth in your mouth but also some of the last to develop. Young children have only a couple of these teeth, while adults have three sets of molars and smaller teeth called premolars and bicuspids. The American Dental Association states that the first molars typically appear around six or seven years old. The second molars come in around ages 11 and 13.
Wisdom teeth usually arrive between the ages of 17 and 21. These are called third molars. Because people only need the first and second set, and wisdom teeth often have some difficulty emerging, your dentist will likely recommend you have your wisdom teeth removed. If wisdom teeth stay in, they can lead to overcrowding or make your teeth vulnerable to infection.
How Molars Function
Molars are essential for eating. Your canine and front teeth bite down and tear food into pieces, while the molars are used for chewing those pieces. Your back teeth are responsible for breaking down food before swallowing. The large size of these teeth and their broad, jagged surfaces make them the workhorses of your teeth.
How to Care for Your Molars
Naturally, because molars are the teeth most in contact with food, they are also the most susceptible to accumulating food particles and bacteria. These bacteria then create cavities. The back teeth can also be positioned close together, which creates bacteria breeding grounds as food and bacteria becomes stuck between the teeth.
You can care for all of your teeth by:
- Brushing at least twice a day and making sure to clean the top and side surfaces of your molars.
- Cleaning between every tooth daily with floss, a water flosser, or your interdental cleaner of choice.
- Remembering to schedule regular dental appointments at Olney Dental for preventative treatments that ward off gingivitis, tooth decay, and other oral care problems.
If you feel any pain in any molar, contact your dentist right away. This may be a cavity. Filling a cavity early helps stop decay in its tracks and protects the important and sensitive root deep inside the molar. By practicing careful oral care, you can preserve the health of your molars and keep them functioning well.
You Can Trust Olney Dental for All of Your Dental Care Needs
For all of your oral care questions and concerns, Olney Dental has the expertise and professionalism to get them the answers they need. Olney Dental is ready to supply you with expert service in a professional environment. Schedule an appointment online today! For more information on how we can give your family the best dentist experience available, give us a call at (301) 250-1057 or contact us online. For more dental tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.