If your toddler seems cranky, is drooling more than normal, and seemingly bites on anything (even your fingers!), then your parenting instincts might kick in – something could be off.
Teething in a toddler is a common phase. Everyone (even mom and dad) went through the same painful and frustrating ordeal once upon a time. If your toddler isn’t his or her usual jolly and playful self then you’ll know there’s something wrong somewhere.
Soothing and pacifying an irritable toddler in the teething phase can be frustrating because you don’t know what is best to soothe his or her aching gums. You get panicky in finding relief as soon as possible. This is where a New Westminster Dentist can help you.
What is Teething?
Teething would usually start in the infancy stage or between 6-10 months old which is referred to as the baby incisors. However, the first molars would come between 14-20 months old.
These would be much larger than the first teeth so it’s normally more painful. Common signs and symptoms of teething in toddlers would be drooling, irritability, fussiness, chewing or gnawing on anything in sight, putting things in the mouth, and biting.
Toddler Teething Timeline
6 months to 1 year
The incisors are the first teeth to erupt – these are the anterior or front teeth, and this usually happens between 6 to 10 months. It’s also worth noting the lower front teeth tend to break out first followed by the uppers.
1 to 2 years
The first toddler molars appear soon after turning one, although some children have them erupting a bit late or possibly in the second year.
These pearly whites are relatively larger than the incisors so it’s not unusual to expect more crying bouts and tantrums during this phase.
Your toddler’s canines will begin to erupt soon after, although it’s important to note that there can be significant overlap during this time frame. Don’t be alarmed if the teeth don’t erupt in exactly the same sequence as listed here.
2 to 3 years
The second molars begin to erupt as your toddler turns 3. By this age, he or she will most likely have a complete set of 20 baby teeth.
There are a lucky few toddlers that experience little to zero teething pain. However, there are those who have a more difficult and challenging experience. This is where recognizing the symptoms and being aware of what’s happening to your child can be very helpful.
Common Toddler Teething Signs and Symptoms
If your toddler is usually cheerful and turns cranky all of a sudden, then you should suspect teething.
Check your toddler’s gums. If you note some redness and inflammation in your little one’s gums, then his or her molars could be coming at any moment now.
If you notice your little one is touching their cheeks more often than usual, then this could be a sign of teething.
The gums and cheeks are part of the same nerve pathway, so the discomfort could be interconnected.
Loss of Appetite
Toddlers who are teething likely have gum pain and sensitivity. It’s normal that they would refuse to eat or lose their appetites for a couple of days.
If your toddler is having trouble falling asleep or exhibits frequent wakings during the night, teething could be the culprit.
Toddlers normally drool. However, if the drooling or saliva becomes excessive then that’s one sign that that new teeth are coming in.
How Early On Should Your Child See a Dentist?
You should take your child to see the dentist either 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth, or by age one. These guidelines are recommendations from the BC Dental Association and the Canadian Dental Association.
Providing early oral care and hygiene is important even for babies, as they can get cavities as soon as they develop their first set of teeth. Early childhood caries refers to decay or cavities that begin at a young age, from poor brushing habits, eating foods high in sugar content, or both.
Regular checkups with your dentist should be done every 6 months. This routine dental checkup schedule is recommended for both adults and children. There is great value in having your child getting accustomed to seeing the dentist early on, so they understand what the dentist does, and to minimize any fear they may have about having their mouths examined.
When to Call Your Dentist about Teething
If you’re confident that your child is teething, a visit to the dentist isn’t required. Recognize the symptoms, and you can provide simple home remedies. A frozen chew toy or washcloth may be all that your child needs to help relieve discomfort.
However, if your toddler is experiencing extreme pain, a trip to the dentist may be worth it to rule out any other problems and to provide some support and guidance. Feel free to contact our office at any time if you have concerns about your toddler and teething.