Toddlers are notorious for their temper-tantrums, picky eating habits and strong-willed personalities, but it may come as a surprise to learn that toddlers can suffer from teething pain. Toddlers between the ages of 12 and 19 months of age start to develop molars, according to What to Expect. Luckily, treating toddlers who are suffering from teething pain (and the often-accompanying fever) is not much different from soothing a teething baby.
Canines and Molars
The canines, first, and second molars are the teeth that usually appear during the toddler years, according to the Simply Teeth website. The canines (or “pointy” teeth) can break through between ages 17 and 22 months. It’s the molars, however, that are usually the major cause of discomfort in toddlers. These teeth have a large surface area and do not easy poke through the skin of the gums. The first molars, which are the ones in front, usually appear between the ages of 12 and 17 months. The second molars, which are the ones furthest back, begin to come in between the ages of 24 and 36 months.
Toddlers suffering from teething pain usually becomes irritable. She may not sleep well, and she may refuse to eat what used to be her favorite foods. You might also notice that she is drooling a lot, or biting on things. She may cup her jaw or rub her face. The most obvious sign of teething is sore, swollen gums, and later, the appearance of molars breaking through the skin.
The medical community is divided when it comes to determining whether teething causes low-grade fevers in toddlers. Teething alone does not usually cause a child to develop a fever, according to the MayoClinic.com. Sore, swollen gums, however, can make a child’s face feel hot to the touch, and the resulting irritability and crying may increase the toddler’s body temperature, making it appear as if he has a fever.
Treatment for teething toddlers is often easier than treating teething babies. Toddlers can eat a wider range of foods and are usually big enough to be given medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Always carefully check the label for proper dosage amounts. Never give aspirin to a teething child. If the discomfort is minor, or you want to avoid medicating your child, give your toddler cool things to eat, such as cold applesauce, a Popsicle, or a frozen bagel to chew on.
Sometimes what seems to be a teething problem may be something more serious, according to Kids Health. If the fever is more than 100 degrees F, and there is pain in the back of the jaw, it could be related to an ear infection and not teething at all. If you suspect this is the case, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
- crying baby image by Ivanna Buldakova from Fotolia.com