There are few things that are as upsetting as your child suffering from teething pains. As most parents know, babies' teeth erupt in a particular order, starting with the upper and lower front teeth. Just when you think it's over, your toddler starts to develop molars. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, these appear between 11 and 18 months for first molars and 20 to 30 months for second molars. This is often a painful experience, not only because the teeth are bigger than incisors and have double edges, but because the child is older and more aware of the discomfort.
How To Deal With Toddler Teething Pains
Dig out the tools and aids you used during the first round of teething pains, sterilize them and put them back to work. Look for teething rings that are big enough to reach to the back of the mouth easily, or search online for teethers in interesting shapes and colors that will be as entertaining as they are soothing.
A clean, wet washcloth can be helpful for your child to chew on, and you can also massage the gums with a clean finger dipped in chilled water. Anything cool provides extra comfort, so try refrigerating the teething aids for added relief. Don't freeze them, though — according to the Mayo Clinic, this could result in the hard surfaces bruising the child's gums.
Help your child maintain a good oral hygiene routine using products such as Colgate Trolls Mild Bubble Fruit toothpaste. It's a mild, bubble fruit-flavored toothpaste providing clinically proven cavity and enamel protection that strengthens and protects developing teeth. It is also specially designed for kids ages two and up.
Some over-the-counter pain relievers are specially formulated for young children, but it's still best to use these sparingly. Most children only need pain relievers at night to ensure that everyone can get some sleep. You can also try topical anesthetic gels, which help numb the gums temporarily. These should be used with caution to avoid ingestion. Bypass gels containing benzocaine for kids younger than two years, as some have been associated with negative side effects in young children.
Once toddlers have all of their baby teeth, you'll know the teething pains are over and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Until then, you'll need a range of teething aids to use — and the patience to match.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.