Teething is a difficult time whether your child is an infant or a two-years-old. Your child’s pearly whites probably began to popping up from the time they were around 4 months old while other babies don’t get them until they are a year old. If you thought teething stopped once your child had a mouth full of chompers, think again.
Around the age of two years old, most children will start cutting their two-year molars. Molars can be quite troublesome so don’t be surprised if your child wakes up miserable anywhere from 18 months old or during their second year. The two-year molars are larger teeth found in the very back of your child’s mouth. Molars give your child the ability to help them chew their food properly.
Disclosure: We wanted to make you as prepared as possible so we came up with a list of useful tips and suggestions that worked well on our own children. If you have any questions or concerns about your child, please contact their health care provider or a pediatric dentist.
Classic Two-Year Molar Teething Symptoms
Like we already mentioned above, most children can begin cutting their two-year molars anywhere from 18 months and two years old. Do remember that every child is different and it is possible that their two-year molars come in after their second birthday. Due to the size of their two-year molars, they can be quite painful for your child as they break through the gums. Here is a list of typical symptoms:
- Mild or low-grade fever
- Chewing on their hands, toys, or anything that they can get into their mouth
- Irritated Skin
- Night waking, especially, if your toddler is normally a good sleeper
- Excessively cranky
- Swollen or tender gums
- Ear pulling
- Rubbing on their cheek
- Refusing to eat foods that are hard to chew
Most of the teething discomfort will subside once the tooth breaks through the surface of the gums. When my kids started teething, they got cranky and you could feel the tooth below the surface. The symptoms listed above should not last more than a few days. If it does last longer, you should have your child seen by their doctor to rule out other illnesses. Don’t be surprised if they get sick while they are teething too.
How to Keep Your Child Comfortable While Their Two-Year Molars Erupt
It is important to keep your child as comfortable as possible while they are teething. Use the following suggestions to help keep your child comfortable:
Over the Counter Pain Medication
Ask your child’s pediatrician if they recommend using over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Motrin to help ease the pain. We recommend using it only if your child is miserable or running a fever while they are getting their two-year molars. It is best to use medications sparingly if possible. But if you need to give it, do make sure that you are giving them to correct dosage.
Teething gel gets mixed reviews and most parents tend to skip it due to the numbing ingredient used. But teething gel can be used to help your child cope with the pain associated with their two-year molars erupting. Do make sure that you keep a close eye on your child if you do use it. Some kids end up biting their tongue or inside of their check because it is numb.
Invest in Quality Teething Toys
As a mom, I typically used the fluid-filled teething rings and put them in the refrigerator. But with toddlers, these teething toys are now being discouraged because their teeth are sharp enough to puncture it. We suggest finding alternative teething toys from Target (aff link) to give to your child to chew on. Chewing on soft toys can help relieve pain. Do avoid putting teething rings in the freezer, unless you leave it in there long enough to chill it. Frozen teething toys can cause frostbite or damage their gums.
Are Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces Helpful With Teething Pain?
Baltic teething necklaces have gained popularity over the last decade as moms are willing to try natural remedies to help relieve pain including pain caused by two-year molars. Most pediatricians will agree that Baltic amber teething necklaces pose several risks that could potentially harm your child, even a toddler. Plus, there is no evidence backing up the claims that Baltic amber teething necklaces work.
Use Cold Fruit To Help Soothe Sore Gums Using a Mesh Baby Feeder
Pick up a few mesh baby feeders so that you can safely give your toddler cold fruit to chew on while they are cutting their two-year molars. The cold fruit can soothe their irritated gums while the mesh teether prevents them from swallowing big chunks of cold fruit without properly chewing it. You can try strawberries, peaches, apples, and their other favorite fruits. Do avoid citrus to avoid irritating the gums.
Keep an Eye Out for a Fever
It is not uncommon for your child to run a low-grade fever when they are teething. A low-grade fever is nothing to worry about but if your child starts running a temperature over 102, then you should schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician. As mentioned earlier, you can give your child a dose of over the counter fever reducer to help make your child more comfortable. Depending on your doctor, our pediatrician usually wanted us to let the fever run its course for a day or two before making an appointment unless your child has other visible symptoms besides a fever. Waiting a day or two before running to the doctor’s office can save you unnecessary trips to the doctor especially if your child is acting normal.
Give Your Child Extra TLC
The best way to help your child cope with teething pain is to give them extra TLC and provide them with plenty of snuggles. Teething pain shouldn’t last more than a few days and once the tooth erupts through the gums the pain should subside.
How to Deal with Biting
Some children start biting when they are cutting teeth, so don’t be surprised if you get a call from your child’s daycare provider telling you that your child has bitten someone. Young children don’t know to express or deal with pain, unlike adults. If your child bites you or one of their peers, the best thing that you can do is firmly tell your child “no” and redirect their attention to a teething toy. Once their two-year molars surface, the biting should automatically resolve itself.
Treat Irritated Skin Around Their Mouth
Drooling during teething is very normal. However, drooling can irritate your child’s delicate skin. Prevention is the best way to help keep irritated skin from becoming a problem. Do dry off the skin as much as possible without rubbing. Then apply a thin layer of Vaseline or a thick lotion like Moisturel. Apply it several times a day for best results.
Do You Have a Picky Eater?
Teething toddlers may turn into picky eaters when they are getting their two-year molars in. If they typically will eat foods, just chalk it up as teething symptoms and they will return to eating normally soon. Do offer plenty of soft foods that are rich in protein. You can try smoothies, yogurt, shakes, and ice cream.
Teething is a difficult time for your child but it shall soon pass. Two-year molars can be very painful until the tooth erupts from underneath the gums. Once the tooth erupts, the pain should go away. The best way to help your child cope with their two-year molars, it to give them plenty of TLC and use the tips above to help make them comfortable.