**Disclaimer, while I do have a Public Health degree, I am not a qualified dentist or pediatrician. Please consult a medical professional if you are concerned at all.**
So, you’ve got an unhappy, teething toddler driving you crazy? 2yr old molars not the fun time you thought they would be (ha!) What do I do, how do I make their pain go away!!? How do I look after their teeth!! I get it, it can feel super frustrating having to see your toddler in pain, let alone without knowing what to do to make it better or know if you need to visit the dentist or the doctor!
All of the tips and information below are from both our team’s learned experience with all of our toddlers and the advice of professionals’ we have spoken with and research we have done. What follows in this post are not only tips to help you with coping with 2yr old molar pain, but info on when they typically arrive and how to look after them when they are here! So, without further ado….
- When do the 2yr old molars come through?
- Signs & symptoms that they are here
- 2yr old molars: How to ease your toddler’s pain
- Toddler tooth pain resources
- Taking care of your toddler’s teeth
- When does toddler teething end?
- Can teething cause a cough?
- FREE printable toddler teething chart
- Why trust My Toddler Life?
Table of Contents
When do the 2yr old molars come through?
The molars are the last toddler teeth to come in (woo hoo, finally!), and they may come in one at a time (ok, not so woohoo).
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics Dentists, most children’s second molars will come in between 25 and 33 months on the top row, and 23 to 31 months on the bottom. Download our toddler teeth chart here for a more detailed guide.
Signs & symptoms that the 2yr old molars are here!
Each child reacts to pain differently (I had one whinger and one silent-treatment type). If necessary, soothe your little one with the same remedies you used when their baby teeth first started causing trouble. The good news is – this time around with teething, your toddler should have some ability to speak and may be able to tell you when they are in pain, instead of just crying!
Parents and caregivers can look for signs of the molars coming in. Your kid might:
- be chewing on toys, their fingers, or clothing (noticeably)
- be drooling more than usual
- be unusually cranky
- have visibly sore gums (all red and inflamed looking)
Toddler teething can be mistaken for an ear infection, since the teeth are close to that part of the body and may cause pain in that general area. Teething does not, however, cause ear infections.
Teething also does not cause a high fever. While your toddler may get a bit hot and bothered while their molars are coming througg, their fever should not exceed 37.5 degrees (101°F). If their temperature does rise above 37.5 degrees (101°F) or if their temperature lasts more than a few days, it’s probably best to get them checked out! Side note: if you don’t have a toddler-friendly thermometer, we highly recommend this one – it’s a digital heat reader so you don’t need to shove it in your child’s mouth, ear or underarm – much easier for you!!
Your child’s teething symptoms may seem to grow worse at night, when they are tired and have fewer distractions from the pain. Bye, bye full nights sleep (if you’re even there yet!)
While some toddlers don’t seem to suffer through the 2yr old molars as much as others, ours certainly did so I am feeling your pain (no pun intended!)
2yr old molars: How to Ease Your Toddler’s Pain
At Home Solutions
Many simple home remedies can help to relieve teething pain. Give these recommendations from the Mayo Clinic a go:
- Rubbing the gums with a clean finger.
- Having the child hold a cold spoon between their teeth.
- Having the child bite on a cold, wet gauze pad or a wet washcloth (previously soaked in ice water.
- Offering teething rings for chewing (try this one – its a really clever design, made specially for molar teething!). The rings should be made from firm rubber and should not be frozen. Rings that are too hard can hurt the child.
- Applying moisturizers regularly to the skin around the mouth to prevent cracking and dryness caused by drooling.
- Distraction techniques, such as coloring, singing songs, and dancing, can also help to take a child’s mind off their aching teeth.
Parents and caregivers should always keep an eye on kids who are using a teething toy, a spoon, or anything else potentially dangerous (so, everything with a toddler hahaha!) to relieve their pain.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is still the most recommended pain relief medication for babies and toddlers when teething. For this and guidance around any other drug administration, again – please consult a healthcare professional that you trust.
What Not To Do
Don’t give your child anything that hangs around their neck (like the hugely popular amber teething necklaces, sorry) to fix the pain of these 2yr old molars. Not only do these present choking and strangulation hazards, but there is no scientific proof that they actually work (controversial, sorry).
You should also avoid letting them chew on hard plastic toys (not teething rings, they are good to go!). These can not only hurt their teeth, but are also a risk of BPA exposure -which we don’t love
Hard, crunchy foods can also be helpful for teething toddlers. Unlike teething infants, toddlers are much better at chewing food more thoroughly before swallowing.
Try giving your child carrots, apples, or peeled cucumbers (if they will eat such things!), and encourage them to chew on the side of the mouth that is bothering them the most. Make sure the pieces are small enough to prevent choking. Cold fruit and veggies work even better with this trick.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, (they all handle it differently) your child might drool more and become fussy more quickly during mealtime. Plan meals around their symptoms (seriously, it will actually make your life easier, not harder)—choose foods that are easy to swallow and don’t take a lot of work to eat. Here are a few food ideas for your teething toddler:
- mashed banana
- soup / stew
- purees a-la when first introducing food
- frozen fruit
When to see a Doctor
In most cases, uncomfortable symptoms are a normal part of the teething process.
If home remedies are not relieving your little one’s 2-year molar pain, it may be a good idea to make an appointment with the doctor, especially if they are showing any of these symptoms:
- a fever higher than 100.4°F or 38.0°C
These symptoms are probably more than just teething, and it’s best to get your little one checked out just in case.
You might also consider calling a dentist, as opposed to a doctor, if your child experiences non stop crankiness and whinging while getting their molars. Although uncommon, this could be a sign that the molars aren’t coming in properly.
Work with your child’s health and dental teams to determine the best course of action for teething and all related symptoms. Hang in there, and remember that the molars are the last of your child’s baby teeth to come through (yessssss!).
2yr Old Molar Pain: Helpful Resources
The Molar Magician is a uniquely designed teething aid shaped specifically to reach, and soothe, the back of the mouth molar area for babies and toddlers (6 – 24 months old).
An exceedingly simple scan across the forehead requires no contact with skin, making it the most sanitary way to take anyone’s temperature. Easy to use on a wriggling toddler!
Taking Care of Your Toddler’s Teeth
Molars coming for a visit aren’t necessarily a reason to visit the dentist, unless you’re already booked of course. (FYI – All children should have their first dental visit within 6 months after the baby’s first tooth but no later than the child’s first birthday) (FYI – Freddie had his first dental visit at around 18 months so, whatever!).
Still, it’s important that you start teaching your child to take care of their molars, just as they do with all of their other healthy teeth (right?). As soon as the molars cut, be sure you (or your toddler, if they’re at the stage of brushing their own teeth) gently brush on and around them with fluoride toothpaste. Try this fun Elmo toddler toothbrush complete with kid-friendly toothpaste – it will surely get them in the mood!
For children under 3 years, use no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice. For children 3 to 6 years, use no more than a pea-sized amount. Needless to say, little ones should be supervised while brushing.
For more info, see our post on toddler teeth brushing.
When Does Teething End?
One of those milestones that you might both look forwards to (and fear a little!) is waiting for your child to cut their first few teeth. Baby teething can be uncomfortable for everyone involved, so don’t get too excited
When will teething kick off, and how long does it normally last? According to the experts at Colgate:
“Teething typically starts when a baby is 6 to 10 months of age and lasts until they are 25 to 33 months old. Even yet, children’s teething isn’t fully ended until they erupt their permanent teeth.
Around the ages of 6 to 7, the first molars erupt, and by the time your child is 12 or 13, the second set should follow.”
For more information, check out our free downloadable toddler teething chart here!
Can Teething Cause A Cough?
Teething CAN actually cause a cough. Teething coughs seem to be triggered by excess saliva generated from the teething process itself. A teething cough tends to come with loooooots of drool.
A teething cough does not sound like wheezing, whooping or barking – if your toddler is sounding like that at all – it’s time for a trip to the doc!
2yr old molars: FAQ
- Enough with the dental talk, what are central incisors? According to the experts at Colgate: “When you flash your biggest and brightest smile, your central incisor teeth are front and center. These are the two upper front teeth and lower front teeth”
Toddler Teething Chart
Why trust My Toddler Life?
My Toddler Life is run by mum’s, for mum’s. All information provided on our site is thoroughly researched and takes in to consideration our lived experiences and the opinions of industry professionals. How are we different from other sites doing the same thing? We have fun while doing it (often with a glass of wine in hand) and don’t take ourselves too seriously!
2yr old molars: To wrap it all up…
Thank you for making it this far with me. I hope that at least one of these tips & images resonates with you & your family when it comes to your toddler and their new teeth. We’ve had a look at what to do about 2yr old molar pain and when they typically show up. I’ve then provided a breakdown of symptoms to keep an eye out for and how to ease their pain, based off personal experience, friends experience and the advice of experts. I hope it’s all been helpful – please comment below with any tips I may have forgotten! And if you need any further tips on toddler teeth, don’t forget to check out this post here!