When we talk about teething (and yes, I do talk about it an awful lot!) we quite often hear how bad certain ones are and people usually go straight to the molars. Yes, I agree that the molars are bad and yep they do seem to rumble for a long time which can cause a lot of upset before they actually rear their ugly heads BUT for me, the canines are the worst teeth to cut and this is why.
Now, I think the positioning of the upper canines could well be the biggest problem. If you look closely you’ll see that not only are these canines located at the front of the mouth, they are also very close to the line of the nose, to the cheek and in a direct line up to the ear. Which is precisely why the pain spreads.
With both of my boys, the first sign of a canine coming is seeing them start to rub their noses very often. This seems to be because as that pain shoots through the gum, it also shoots up the face. Obviously, this is just me observing what my children have done and how they have reacted to these teeth erupting but considering it has happened with both of them, I do wonder if any of you guys have also noticed this sign?
Not only can the pain shoot up the face, I have also seen it travel up to the cheek and then up to ear too which for me, makes the canines the most painful teeth.
Another factor is the shape of these teeth. Prior to the canines, you’ve seen the small square incisors come and usually the pre-molars, which yes are fatter in size but actually tend to come through quite quickly. The canines are cone-shaped and due to this, they take longer to fully push through. They are also long so they have further to travel in order to reach their final position. Just imagine that sharp point then that widening area coming through… god, kinda reminds you of how childbirth goes!
The Time It Takes
As I mentioned above, these seem to take the longest time to fully erupt which means your child is in pain for that little bit longer. For me, it has felt as though it will never end when the canines are coming and those extra days can feel like months!
Not Much Helps
After going through such a tough teething process with Jake, I learnt what worked, what didn’t and eventually found a combination of products that eased his pain with most of his erupting teeth. I followed the same pattern with William and have found it has all worked for him too, however… Nothing has fully tackled that pain caused by the canines in either of them. Not Nurofen, not teething granules, not teething gel, not amber. Yes, all of these can help by taking the edge off but I think where the pain travels to different areas, the pain relief just isn’t strong enough to remedy all of it.
William is currently 18 months and his canines are just coming through now. Jake was an earlier teether and probably got his around 11/12 months BUT with both of them their understanding and awareness of what was happening to them was there and I think this can really have an effect when it comes to pain. A baby getting their first teeth isn’t always quite so fussed because their needs usually consist of cuddles and milk and getting off for a nap. An older baby/toddler can communicate with you in their own way, they are aware that their mouth is what hurts and they can project this at you by screaming, crying and demanding. They look to you for help and they can often become far more clingy, more whiney and needier. They want you to take this pain away and when it doesn’t go, they become more upset.
Because your child now has teeth and is weaned, they are very used to eating a variety of foods with a wide range of textures. The top incisors are used for biting and those pre-molars are used for grinding it up. With the canines coming (especially on the top) the food often rubs in this area which can be very sensitive and which will then cause further pain. You may find that your child will steer clear of the likes of biscuits or toast when they are suffering but will welcome cold cucumber, yoghurts and plenty of milk. If you are still breastfeeding you may find that they latch on far more often for the comfort (speaking from experience!!)
The pain caused by the canines cutting results in even less sleep than normal I find because laying down applies pressure to the ears and face which can just increase that pain and make your child wake or struggle to go off. Classic signs are crying or screaming (wow, William has screamed with these ones) and staring, like really staring into space and their eyes just not closing. It’s like they just can’t relax due to the discomfort and so keep themselves awake with it. I’ve found that co-sleeping has really helped us this week as has giving the medicines that usually work on teething problems at least half an hour before bedtime to give them all time to work.
So there we have it, plenty of reasons why canines are the worst teeth to cut and why I cannot wait for it all to be over.
Have you experienced any of these teething signs before?
If you need some teething tips please check out some of these other posts:
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