12-Year Molars

portrait of 12 year old girl

Find out what to expect with 12-year or second molars coming in around age 12 if you or your child are getting new teeth or experiencing pain in the back of your mouth.

Growing up can be exciting — you get taller, stronger, and more mature. However, people don’t realize that you may also get some new teeth a little late in the game. That’s right! The new teeth we’re talking about are your 12-year molars, also known as your second molars. They got their name because at around age 12, the molars start to come in, erupting through your gums, and causing some unexpected discomfort. Luckily these should be the last of your (or your child’s) adult teeth coming in. 

Take care of your 12-year molars and surrounding teeth

Like any other tooth, you need to make sure to take care of your molars and practice proper hygiene even though your mouth and gums are probably a bit sore. Be sure to brush and floss every day regardless of the discomfort. 

Misaligned 12-year molars

If your molars grow in out of alignment, you can get braces to put them in the correct place once they’ve fully grown in. Since molars are so large, they can impact your other teeth by pushing them out of place. That’s why many children get braces shortly after their 12-year molars come in, and middle school-aged children often have braces or retainers. In some cases, if your molars come in with healthy alignment, they can tighten gaps in your teeth by pushing your teeth toward each other.

Painful molars coming in?

You’ve probably heard of the term growing pains, and unfortunately, most people will experience that with 12-year molars. In most cases, you’ll feel some discomfort during a molar eruption, because if your molars happen to grow in misaligned or your teeth are crowded you can experience a lot of pain. This is called impaction (when molars come in misaligned) and is pretty common in 12-year molars and in wisdom teeth.

So, whether you’re 12 years old and looking into what’s bothering your mouth at the moment or you’re the parent of a 12-year-old doing some research to find relief for your child, you’ve come to the right place. If the usual home remedies don’t seem to provide enough relief, call your dentist for an appointment. They can ensure everything is coming in correctly and give you some pain relief advice to help soothe your sore gums.