Most people will have two sets of teeth in their lives. There are the “baby” teeth, which are the ones they are born with, and the “adult” teeth which are the permanent teeth that erupt once the baby teeth have fallen out. Teething can start as early as 6 months old and will usually end by 33 months or at the latest around 3 years old when the 2 year molars arrive. A toddler’s 2 year molars are the second set of molars to come through and the last four teeth to erupt of a child’s twenty primary teeth.
The lower set of the 2 year molars typically start poking through between 23 and 31 months and the upper set between 25 and 33 months. If your child is approaching two or has already turned two and there are no signs of their molars, don’t worry, they are on their way. Teething can often cause discomfort or even pain for your child leaving parents feeling helpless to solve their little one’s discomfort. Here are signs and symptoms to watch out for 2 year molars and simple ways to help provide a little relief for this unpleasant experience.
Signs & Symptoms For 2 Year Molars
The signs and symptoms for cutting 2 year molars may look very similar to those of the other 16 teeth that have sprung up over the last 2+ years of their life. While many toddlers show no visible signs of pain, and you may see little to no behavioral changes, all children are different as to when their molars come in and whether they show signs of discomfort while they continue to teethe. Here are some common signs and symptoms you may see with your child while they take on getting their last 4 molars:
Irritability and crankiness. Cutting 2 year molars can send the most precious, well-behaved child into random moments of meltdowns, crying, and extreme fussiness for no reason. Getting four extra molars is hard work and so is being a toddler. Handle it as you would any other toddler meltdown. Console them for their big feelings, keep them busy and active and even ignore some unwanted emotions and change the subject. Just remember, this is only temporary.
Increased chewing on clothing, fingers, and objects. When babies and toddlers are teething there is some pressure that causes pain or discomfort for them. Chewing on things helps to alleviate that pressure for them. Frozen waffles are a great food for them as a snack or meal because not only is it, well, froze, but the cold waffle will also help soothe some pain. You can also refrigerate some wet washcloths and give that as another option.
Interrupted sleep. Laying down can put extra pressure on their ears and cheeks which are also on the nerve pathway with their gums. Hence, you may see your perfect sleeper struggle to fall asleep, wake frequently, and even have a hard time just settling down for naps or nighttime sleeping.
Drooling. Increased drooling can be a sign that your little one has some teeth that are ready for their debut. Keep an eye out for the skin around their mouth, chin, and cheeks. The extra saliva can cause already sensitive skin to become irritated and red. Using a thin layer of petroleum jelly on those areas can be used as a skin blocker, keeping out the extra saliva and protecting that sweet baby skin.
Swollen, visibly red, and sensitive gums. Ouch! As these wide, flat teeth start erupting, you may see that her gums are red and swollen and tender to the touch.
Read More: 10 Quick And Healthy Snacks For Toddlers
4 Ways To Relieve 2 Year Molar Pain
You may have a child who is a little older when they get their two-year molars so communication for what and how they are feeling might be a little easier. Or you may be a lucky parent and lucky toddler who starts to get their molars before their 2nd birthday so it might be a little more difficult to know what is going on right away. Regardless, of whatever situation you are in, there are ways to help your kiddo alleviate some of that pressure and discomfort. Here are 4 simple ways to relieve 2 year molar pain.
1. Cold crunchy food. By now your toddler has probably mastered the art of chewing. Offering cold and crunchy food is a great way to help your little one alleviate some pressure. Try offering peeled cucumbers, apples, pears, and even baby carrots. If you can encourage them to chew on the sides of their mouth that could help with some discomfort. There is also the option to just go for cold soft food such as applesauce and yogurt. Their appetite might fluctuate during this time so don’t panic, they will definitely eat when they are hungry!
2. Chilled washcloth. Take a nice sturdy washcloth, dampen the cloth and stick it into the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes. This is a great thing for them to chew on and doesn’t cost you a dime. If they are into this, it might be a good idea to use a refrigerator bin and keep a couple already chilled, so they can have one anytime they start to get a little extra fussy from the 2 year molar discomfort.
Read More: A Mom’s Natural Medicine Cabinet Checklist
3. Massage gums. If you can get your fingers in their mouth without them chomping down this can really help. Before starting to massage their gums, tell them that you will be taking your finger to rub their gum to make their mouth feel better. If their jaws feel the need to chomp down no matter what you do, try giving them a chilled spoon to hold on their gums. The coolness can help with any swelling and provide a little pain relief.
4. Over the counter medicine. If nothing else seems to be working and your child appears to be pretty uncomfortable, ask your physician if you can try using ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The symptoms and age will determine which product to use and always make sure to check the dosage before administering to your little one.
Teething is a marathon, not a sprint, and can last for the first 3 years of your kiddo’s life. Yes, 2 year molars can cause discomfort and pain for your little one, but thankfully there are ways to help them alleviate some pressure, even if it is just temporary. There will be some tears, additional meltdowns, and moments where you feel so helpless because you have tried everything. In those moments give a little extra grace, attention, and distraction from the pain. A little extra love could be the best remedy yet!
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