Baby teeth eruption timing: What to expect for your baby’s first teeth

As a parents, we’re so excited when our baby’s teeth start coming in. Even more so when you’re dentists like my husband and I! Learn when your baby’s teeth will come in so you can be ready for this stage of life.

There is a wide range of variability when the first tooth may appear, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t follow the tooth eruption charts. Use them as a guide only – after all, every baby is a little different. 

The normal appearance of the first tooth has been reported to range from 4 to 15 months of age. And some babies even have teeth when they’re born!

primary teeth: basics and timeline

Primary teeth start developing week 6 in utero.

At around 3 months, your baby may have increased saliva and may frequently put their hands in their mouth, but this does not necessarily mean your baby is teething.

At around 6 months your baby may start getting their first teeth. Usually, the first teeth to erupt are the two bottom front teeth, followed by the top teeth. Over time, other teeth begin to fill in until all 20 teeth erupt by the time your child is 2.5 to 3 years old. 

Different types of baby teeth

What are the different kinds of baby teeth?

There are 3 types of baby teeth: incisors, canines, and molars. Your baby will have 8 incisors, 4 canines, and 8 molars for a total of 20 baby teeth.

how do i know how many teeth my baby should have?

Every child is different, but here’s a quick formula to know how many teeth your baby should I have: for every 6 months of life, approximately 4 teeth will erupt.

BREAKDOWN: ORDER OF TEETH

1️⃣ Two lower central incisors at 6 months, followed by the two upper central incisors by 10 months

2️⃣ Four incisors on the side by age 1

3️⃣ Four back molars by 18 months

4️⃣ Four canines by 20 months

5️⃣ Four more back molars by 30 months

Remember: every child develops at their own pace. It’s normal to see teeth early (some even have them at birth!) and it is also normal to see teeth late

different shapes and sizes for your child’s first teeth

.Every child is different, and your child’s teeth also come in all shapes & sizes.

Gaps between the baby teeth are called primate space

⭐️ SPACED OUT TEETH: gaps between the teeth are a good thing! We need those spaces for the larger permanent teeth that replace them in the future. Plus, the gaps allow the saliva to naturally clean the teeth.

⭐️ CROWDED TEETH: this may mean your child doesn’t have enough jaw space for the permanent teeth. It also means that you need to be extra diligent about cleaning & flossing! Crowding makes it easier for cavities to develop.

⭐️ DISCOLORED TEETH: if your baby’s tooth doesn’t look white & shiny, you may want to consult a dentist. It could be a number of things: cavities, an injury or infection, staining from iron supplements, certain medications taken during tooth formation in utero, or an intrinsic defect.

⭐️ MISSING TEETH: your dentist will determine if a radiograph may be needed to assess for missing teeth. 

⭐️ TOO MANY TEETH: sometimes your child may have an extra tooth, which often appears behind or in between the upper teeth.

WHY ARE BABY TEETH IMPORTANT?

1️⃣ FUNCTIONAL IMPACT.

Baby teeth are important for a number of reasons

  • Chewing/eating, speaking, smiling
  • Facial development & appearance
  • Saving space to guide the future adult teeth into position

2️⃣ SOCIAL IMPACT.

Children with poor oral health are more likely to miss school

  • Decayed teeth can also cause dental pain, which affects a child’s ability to pay attention and learn in school.
  • Dental emergencies can lead to children missing school.
  • The pain can also affect a child’s social interactions.
  • Having teeth out taken out early due to decay can negatively impact a child’s confidence and self-esteem.

When did your baby’s first tooth appear? Olivia got her first at 8 months — the lower central incisors!

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