Every parent is familiar with the sleepless, teething nights associated with a sore, fussy baby. Once those first few baby teeth begin to pop through, you may think you're in the clear. That is until you hit the toddler years.
When To Expect Toddler Teeth
The majority of babies sprout their very first teeth generally between 4 and 7 months of age, roughly in the following order: bottom two middle teeth, top two middle teeth, then along the sides and back with the first molars bringing up the rear at around the age of one. Then there is generally a lull before the "terrible twos" take hold!
The second molars usually make their appearance around the age of two. These four teeth round out the full set of 20 baby teeth most children have in place by the age of three.
Toddler Teething Symptoms
Second molars are much larger than your child's first teeth so you may expect a more painful experience. Some children's molars come in with little fanfare and others with much pain and discomfort. Experts disagree about whether teething symptom such as loose stools and runny noses are directly related to teething issues but there are some commonly recognized teething symptoms:
- Excess saliva production potentially resulting in drooling, facial rash and diarrhea if swallowed
- Swollen, sensitive gums which could result in a low-grade fever
- Irritability or fussiness
- Pulling on cheeks and ear to relieve pain
- Biting behavior
- Refusing food
- Sleep problems
- Sore swollen gums
- General crankiness
Some common aids for dealing with teething pain are:
- Massaging the gums with a clean cool finger or a washcloth dipped in chilled water.
- Topical anesthetic gels that numb the gums temporarily. They should be used sparingly and special care should be used to avoid digestion. Skip gels containing benzocaine for kids younger than two years, as some have been associated with negative side effects in young children.
- Some over-the-counter pain relievers are specially formulated for young children but it's still best to also use these sparingly.
- Pull out those teething tools, rings, and soother from your first go-round with teething to help alleviate some of the pain.
Rest assured that, just like all things in childhood, this too shall pass. Do your best to help your little one through the pain and discomfort. If you ever have any concerns about your little one's teething symptoms or teeth in general, contact us at (248)852-3130.