When Does a Toddler Cut Molars?

Little Boy In The Park
Your toddler will most likely cut all of his teeth by age 3. (Image: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images)

Teething in babies varies widely, but most children cut their first teeth between the ages of 4 and 7 months. After the first tooth pokes through, parents play the waiting game to determine when the rest of the pearly whites will make their appearance. The molars are the last baby teeth to erupt; cutting molars typically occurs when your child is a toddler.

First Molars

Typically, your toddler will cut her first molars within a few months after her first birthday. The first molars are located toward the back of the mouth, next to the canine teeth. Most children cut their first molars before their canines, however, and after the lateral incisors. Toddlers on the later end of teething may not get their first molars until around 18 months old. This is within the normal range of teething, and no cause for concern. Consult your pediatrician if your child does not have any teeth by the age of 18 months.

Second Molars

The second molars are the teeth located at the far back of your toddler's mouth. The second molars, also called back molars, usually appear around your toddler's second birthday. Teething varies widely among children; you may notice your child is beginning to cut second molars as early as 18 months, or as late as 3 years old. Most children will have finished cutting all of their molars a few months before they turn 3.

Symptoms

The molars are larger than the rest of your toddler's baby teeth. The large surface area of your child's gum that becomes irritated in response to teething may make the cutting of molars more painful and problematic than cutting smaller teeth. You may notice an abundance of drooling while your toddler's molars are coming in, along with an increase in whiny or irritable behavior. Some young children do not sleep well during the night when cutting molars; others might not let you near their mouths to check the progress of teething.

Solutions

Give your child an appropriate dose of ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation of the gums and to make her more comfortable. Check the medication packaging or consult your pediatrician for dosing schedules. Let your toddler gnaw or suck on a cold, moist washcloth to ease the pain of cutting molars. Giving your toddler soft foods like yogurt or applesauce may also relieve the discomfort.

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