Comedians, sitcoms, and parents have lamented “the terrible twos” for generations. You’ve undoubtedly heard stories about constant crying, mischief, and other frustrating behaviors, and some of these can be due to the stress of new teeth emerging. Teething is an unpleasant experience for a child, and the two-year molars are the last set of baby teeth to erupt. Here’s some information from your dentist about what a parent should know about making life easier while the two-year molars are emerging.
When Do Two-Year Molars Emerge?
A child’s two-year molars usually begin erupting between 20 and 33 months. Every child is different, and these teeth may come one by one or all at once. While some children may exhibit no signs of discomfort, others may make their distress quite audible. The process can bring several challenging physical symptoms such as:
- Sleep interruptions.
- Chewing on found objects.
- Soreness and redness of the gums around the area where the molars are erupting.
- Moodiness. You may notice that your normally happy child has become sullen and irritable.
How Can I Help Manage My Child’s Pain?
Medications containing acetaminophen are the pain management medication most recommended for babies and toddlers. One should not give children with asthma medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician about the correct dosage. Products containing benzocaine are not recommended for infants and have not been shown to reliably provide relief for the symptoms of teething.
While medication should be saved as a last resort, there are many effective home remedies that can help relieve the pain of teething. Try chilling a wet washcloth in the freezer and giving it to your child to chew on, but take it away if it starts coming apart in their mouth. You might also try positioning a cool, wet pad of gauze directly on their gums. You can also massage the gums with a finger or a cold spoon. One of the best solutions is to feed your child healthy, crunchy foods like carrots, apples, and cucumbers that can apply pressure to the gums and help the teeth emerge.
Knowing how to recognize the symptoms of the two-year molars erupting and what to do about it can make the process smoother and more comfortable for everyone involved. Teething can be an ordeal, but your child’s smile afterward will be well worth it.
About the Author
Dr. Maria Murad completed her dental education at the University of Detroit Mercy and worked as a general dentist before pursuing her specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She is a proud member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Her office in Pickering, ON offers pediatric preventive, restorative, and emergency dentistry. For more information on helping your child as their two-year molars erupt, contact her office online or dial (289) 302-6065.