Why I Think The Canines Are The Worst Teeth To Cut

teething baby chewing its cot

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.

 

The Positioning

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.

 

baby crying with hands in its mouth

 

 

Their Shape

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. 

 

amber jewellery

 

Their Age

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. 

 

Sensitivity

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!!)

 

No Sleep

I’ve always found that the pain caused by the canines cutting results in even less sleep than normal because laying down applies pressure to their ears and face which can 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:

Is My Baby Teething?

13 Natural Teething Remedies to Help Your Baby

The Perfect Bedtime Routine for Your Teething Baby

What’s in my Teething Essentials Kit?

What Order Do Babies Teeth Come Through?

 

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11 thoughts on “Why I Think The Canines Are The Worst Teeth To Cut

  1. Great observation! This article is giving me relief from wondering what’s going on with my 20 month old. You’ve pretty much described everything I’m going through! Glad to hear her symptoms are nothing out of the ordinary and this too shall pass :).

  2. Oh my Emma! Thank you for this article! My son is 18 months old now – and I feel like people since he was 4 months old kind of say, “He’s teething AGAIN?” LOL I refer to it constantly because it’s been the biggest obstacle of his childhood so far. He is a curious, sensitive and gentle boy that turns into someone completely different when teeth are coming! He is currently cutting top molars AND eye teeth right now and he has been waking at 3am for 5 days straight :/ Like literally waking up for the day at that time. Any specific advice on pain medication that has worked for you? We try Tylenol but it never seems strong enough to do much. (He’s one of those kids that is never too calmed by medicine BTW – perhaps because he is quite tall and large for his age and maybe the dosage is never enough) Thank you so much! x Ashley

    1. Oh it is so hard and we are just going through the molars right now too. Where about are you? I haven’t heard of Tylenol. In the UK we have Calpol (paracetamol) and Nurofen (an Ibuprofen) but I didn’t find they worked too well. Mine have always worn amber anklets and I have given Nelsons Granules (not sure if you’ve heard of those?) They are homeopathic granules that help to calm and soothe. For natural remedies I have this post: https://emmareed.net/13-natural-teething-remedies-to-help-your-baby/ and for other things I used, I have this post https://emmareed.net/whats-in-my-teething-essentials-kit/

  3. I’m so glad I found this page as you have basically described my daughter and whats shes struggling with.
    She has the red bulge for her canines. They have poked through but wow its horrible. Very naggy and restless. Eating on and off. I thought the molars were bad but noooooo
    Thanks for sharing as this had made me understand more and worry less.

    1. Oh I am so glad it could help. Everybody always talks about the molars but my youngest is just getting his back big ones and they haven’t caused him much trouble at all in comparison to the canines. I hope she settles soon and is happier once they are fully through xx

  4. I found your article today. I agree that canines are the worst. You’ve really described my daughter, down to the drifting off with a glassy eye stare and waking right back up from the pain. It’s a slog, and I definitely can’t wait until we’re through this!

  5. Thank you for this article. My 22 month old has pretty much stopped eating the past few days. He has been abnormally cranky. Lots of tears from him (and myself). Googling to see what in the world could be happening and stumbled across your article. He is cutting both canine teeth but didn’t think much of it. I thought getting all 4 molars at once was misery but this takes the cake. Hoping it passes soon. Thanks again for the insight.

  6. This article is spot-on with my 16 month-old. He has already cut one canine (on the bottom) and the top two appear to be making their way. He is constantly rubbing his face, especially against something else (I.e., couch, blanket, me). Could cutting the canine also increase biting? My son has just started biting only at daycare and not at home. I’m thinking he is irritable, in pain, and just not getting the individual comfort like he does at home. He never tried to bite when teething before. I’m hoping that once these canines come through, the biting will stop.

    1. Hi, I would most definitely say that biting things can be associated with teething it’s just working out if it is that or just a toddler phase sometimes as they do go through that as well. My 2 year old has just cut his large back molars and he was chewing on all sorts of things and biting his clothes for some relief. Teething can cause such irritability too. Things like Nelsons Granules can help to settle them. Good luck with it.

  7. Certainly not all children are weaned at this age. I agree these are the worst teeth and I’m incredibly grateful we are still breastfeeding in line with the World Health Organisations recommendation of continuing feeding till 2 and beyond as this has been the only thing that has helped.

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