It seems that teething goes on forever. The first bottom ones seem so cute, but the crying and fussing and then -- more teeth. Of course, there’s the worry that they’re coming in straight, and should you start saving for braces. Then the little chompers seem okay, until — the big boys start poking through. And the pain and the fussing starts all over again, except this time the teeth are bigger and so is she.
Symptoms of Teething
Discomfort is a major symptom of teething for your toddler. Unless she’s one of the lucky few, the symptoms she experiences can be one or all of irritated skin around the mouth from the drooling, the need to gnaw on something — anything, refusing to eat, sore ears, inability to sleep, and, of course, our favorite, crankiness. Teething pain can diminish throughout the day, especially if she’s distracted. Good luck!
Which Teeth to Expect
The first-year molars can be expected around the age of 18 months. The second set by 24 months and the third and fourth sets — yes, there are four altogether — by the time she is 3 years old. Molars are the back teeth with the flat tops. Their flat shape and larger size makes them harder to push through the gum and can cause more pain than her earlier teeth.
The Care and Feeding of New Teeth
Because teething pain does tend to subside now and then, work with it. Get the naps in and soft foods and cooling drinks during this time. When she has flare-ups, provide a chilled washcloth or teething ring to chew on. To help irritated cheeks and chins, keep a soft cloth or tissue handy to pat — not wipe -- away the drool as it happens. Try frozen bananas, yogurt or cold chunks of cantaloupe for her to chew on. Baby’s Tylenol (acetaminophen) can also help relieve some of her discomfort. To keep her teeth clean, use a cool cloth daily to wipe them down or a soft toothbrush dipped in water (no toothpaste until she can spit).
Symptoms Confused With Teething
Some symptoms that have been confused with being associated with teething over the years are fever and diarrhea. Research shows that this is just not the case. If your little one does exhibit a fever or has persistent loose stools, seek the advice of your pediatrician (infection with teething — can it get worse?). Ear infection is another ailment that is sometimes blamed on teething. How do you tell the difference? Teething pain comes and goes; the pain with an ear infection just gets worse. To be sure, call the doc.