Severe Teething - 21 Month Old

Updated on November 08, 2009
L.L. asks from Schofield, WI
6 answers

My 21 month old son is having the hardest time with his teeth coming in. The two eye teeth have been coming in for over 3 months now. They look like they should be all the way in or atleast very close. Yet he is constantly in pain, has his fingers shoved in his mouth and is drooling. Its now gotten to the point where it sometimes wakes him at night. He also is not eating as well, not because he doesn't want to but because it just hurts too much. He is very verbal and tells us many times during the day "teeth hurt" and then says "teething tablets". We use Hylands Teething Tablets, Nighttime Baby Orajel and Tylenol/Motrin when absolutely necessary. We feel like we are constantly drugging him just to help him.

We cannot see or feel anything else going on in his mouth. No sign of the 2 year molars yet.

I am starting to wonder if I should take him to the dentist or is this normal? This has been going on for weeks and weeks. I guess its just wearing us all down.

Any advice on other ways to relieve the pain? Any advice on foods to give my son that are easier on his teeth/gums? I have been giving him more yogurt/applesauce lately because he will eat that but I need other options. Today I gave him some soup for lunch but he only ate a little bit and didn't want any more. In desperation I made him some instant mashed potatoes just to see if he would eat them and he did. I need other options. I don't want him just eating starches. I still want him to have a well balanced diet. When his teeth aren't bothering he will eat just about anything.


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answers from Rochester on


We used frozen pancakes. He might like frozen fruit, especially at night. Don't worry about 'drugging him' - pain is something to be managed for health too. Constantly, on the other hand, is something to be careful of.

You might try arnica tablets, powdered and dissolved in water. A sip is a dose. It's homeopathic, so dosing is a bit different than what you'd think. They're great for bruises, also. Helps the body repair itself.

Good luck,



answers from Albany on

Just a thought. Could it possibly be an ear infection?? Sometimes kids can perceive pain in the ears as being in the mouth and vice versa...
My son who now has tubes, was very prone to ear infections and would only eat purreed foods when he had an ear infection. He was younger then, so he couldn't tell me what was bothering him (we knew it was his ears though.... we were used to it).
Good Luck figuring it out... it's never easy to see your little one in pain.



answers from New York on

We had the same experience, and one day, they just popped through. Two year molars (at ~27 months) were far last painful.



answers from Seattle on

I would give him the hylands when ever he asks, they are not drugs, they are homopathics and if they help I would use them. You might also try Hyland's calms tables as they seem to help with pain too. I have used wash clothes that are wet and then frozen in the fridge to ease the pain for mine, they seem to like that, just be sure the water is purified and it is not too wet.

I have gone through this type of thing with one of my kids where it went on and on and on and he was in alot of pain. In time the teeth came in but it was hard in between. Not sure about the foods as he had most of his baby teeth in before he stopped being on just breast milk, he was so sensitive digestively that I had no other options until about 20 months with him and by then he had most of his teeth. ( at 9.5 years he had all of his adult teeth, just plain weird!)



answers from New York on

Hi L.,

Would your son take baby food if you gave it to him? Either that or soups and pureed foods might work.

Also, are you positive it's his teeth that's really the problem? I recently thought my daughter was teething but I took her to the doctor and it turns out she had a virus that caused blisters in her throat. That's why she would take a few bites of food or sips of milk and then cry and wouldn't eat or drink anymore. She was getting new teeth as well, but it turns out the problem was the blisters.

Hope he feels better soon!




answers from New York on

Hi L.,

I see you have been using teething tablets, tylenol and such. Have you tried Humphreys teething tablets? I was told to use them when my first was teething, she's 18 now, and I lived in a city where they were easy to find, but recently, with my last 2 children (now almost 9 and just turned 3), I can only find them at K-mart, and they had to order them for me.

They are little round tablets that melt quickly and taste like sugar. They are a homeopathic remedy (which I know nothing about, but I do know they worked without unnecassary medications)

Another thing you may want to try is ice pops - they are not just for summertime. I cut one in half, then wrap it with a napkin so it doesnt freeze their little hands. These are good for numbing just before eating meals.

I know that nobody wants to intruduce a pacifier when their child doesn't take one, but it may be good for him to chew on - it will put pressure on the gums and try to push the teeth out a little faster, and massage the gums at the same time. Or something soft plastic to chew on. I bought my littlest one new ear bulb syringe - like what they use in the hospitals for the nose, but smaller - for her to chew on.

Good luck

Sorry, a late thought. How about a dry wash cloth. It will give him something to chew on, and soak excess drool.

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