Toddler teething

There is good news and bad news when it comes to a teething toddler. The bad news is that the teeth children struggle most with, those that generally appear between the thirteenth and nineteenth month of age, are the largest in surface area and therefore among the most painful. Wait, remember I told you there’s good news. The good news is that now your child is likely old enough to communicate to you what’s wrong—that it’s his or her teeth that are causing the pain and general grouchiness.

When my son was almost two, and dealing with molar pain, he was able to clutch at his mouth, say “Owie,” and make the baby sign for “toothbrush.” This let us know that it was time to run for the remedies.

It’s important to note that the same soothers that worked for your teething baby may not be safe or appropriate for a toddler. For example, an older baby with newfound strength could bite right through a traditional, liquid-filled teething ring. But here’s more good news: Most toddler teethers are old enough to improvise ways to soothe themselves.

My son loves frozen peas, and will chew on his plastic spoon or other object (supervised, of course) when he needs relief. Use caution if letting your child walk around with a teething biscuit or other food item: Not only could it pose a choking hazard; it could promote tooth decay if chewed on for too long.

After the two-year molars make their appearance, teeth generally take a “rest” for a few years, until the six-year molars and other permanent teeth start doing their thing, sometimes bringing with them memories of the moodiness and other side effects your child went though as a baby and toddler teether.

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