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While each step forward in growing up may seem pretty prominent, there’s one physical development that we can’t help but notice, oh and suffer along too – when those pearly whites start popping out of those small gums.
We’ve seen everyone around us go through it. Heck, even you’d remember losing a few of your milk teeth and possibly the tooth fairy fiasco. However, it’s always helpful to have a deeper insight into what to expect on the entire toothy journey.
The General Know-how of Baby Teeth
Firstly, every baby is different, and they’ll take their sweet time or maybe no time at all to grow a tooth or two. However, according to a general timeline, it’s perfectly normal for your baby’s first tooth to show up at as early as three months or as late as a year. Some are even born with teeth. Either way, we should know about which teeth and when it will develop.
There are parents who can sense a general behavior of the baby when teething. It’s a painful process. Many parents, no matter how old now, will always be able to look back at how they dealt with the situation when their children were teething as babies. Some claim it as a tough time while there are folks who claim their baby went through without so much as a peep of discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms
Now we keep saying again and again how one child’s experience of baby teeth may differ from another, but there are a few general symptoms we can round up that you as a parent can look out for. Your expert dentist will guide you through them but its always nice to know beforehand as well.
A few noticeable symptoms that are commonly reported are:
- Irritated gums – not in the apparent sense. Your child will chew, bite, or literally gnaw on about anything within reach.
- Rash – the urge to put foreign objects in the mouth and excessive drooling can possibly cause a rash around the corners of the mouth.
- Gum rubbing – the baby will gnaw at his/her own hands in efforts of finding relief.
- Agitation/irritability – the process is an uncomfortable one, and babies never hold back on showing you just how much.
- Drooling – the urge to put everything in their mouth will have them drooling a lot.
- Behaviour – teething can affect the happiest of babies, turning them into cranky little creatures that will simply refuse to cooperate.
- Appetite – it’s common for them to exhibit decreased appetite.
- Fever – relatively uncommon, teething fever is a low fever often seen likely due to gum inflammation.
There’s so much more…
These aren’t Symptoms of Teething
Secondly, teething is not a full-blown infection. It is not something that should mess up your baby’s other healthy body functions. Many parents are misled to believe that symptoms besides the ones we mentioned above are part of the teething process. They’re not.
If your baby shows signs of the following symptoms, the chances are high that it’s due to some other reason. Your baby needs medical attention if any of these show up.
- Constantly high fever.
- Runny nose.
A Tooth Story
Before you delve into what teeth and when timeline, you should know that your child will grow a total of 20 primary teeth that will have developed by the time they are three years old. The type of teeth are:
The timing for these to come out or ‘erupt’ from the gums and then fall (as milk teeth do eventually) varies depending on each child’s experience. The pattern of emergence, however, is symmetrical and well-coordinated in the right and left hemisphere of the mouth.
The Timeline – Which Teeth and When
- 4-7 months:
You’ll get to witness these as the inaugurating teeth. These can emerge as early as three months or as late as 12 months but 6-10 months is the generally agreed upon period. The front lower teeth, know as central incisors are the first to come. They’re the front two teeth and very hard to miss.
- 8-12 months:
The next ones to show up are the top two central incisors. This will complete the small little front four most prominent teeth pair.
- 9-16 months:
The next ones to show up will the ones on either side of the first top central teeth, called the lateral incisors. This will be followed by the lower lateral incisors. They’ll be the teeth growing to sides of the bottom middle ones that were the first to grow.
- 13-19 months:
Right when your baby is either about to or has turned a year old, you can look forward to the molars to show up. They are likely to start from the top of the mouth. Girls usually get them quicker than boys. Weird fact.
- 16-23 months:
This is the time when those sharp and pointy canines start appearing. You’ll want to avoid getting bitten.
- 23-33 months:
By the time your child is three years old, the second molars will probably have filled in the back of the mouth. Thus the 20 teeth set complete.
Taking Care of Baby Teeth
We are sharing a few tips and tricks on how to take care of those pearly whites right from the beginning.
- From your child’s first birthday onwards, pay a regular visit to your dentist. This will make sure that any development problem that may arise in the future might be prevented beforehand.
- Your dentist will likely guide you on how to establish feeding and cleaning habits.
- Use tap water when brushing your infant’s teeth. It contains fluoride, which is good for teeth.
- Develop brushing habits from a very early stage.
- Do not let your child go to sleep without brushing their teeth.
- Do not let your infant fall asleep with a bottle with juice, milk, or anything in their mouth that can cause cavities.
A FREE Consultation Awaits
It is important to start taking care of the teeth as soon as the first four front teeth appear. Accordingly, you can take your child to visit Dr. Engel and his team who deal with baby teeth preferentially.
400 Kinderkamack Rd.
Oradell, NJ 07649
Dr Engel holds a speciality license in pediatric dentistry from New Jersey and New York. He also has attained sedation certification, which allows for in-office oral sedation options, and he’s on staff at Hackensack University Medical Center. As an attending pediatric dentist at HUMC, Dr Engel retains operating room privileges, allowing for an array of treatment modalities and anaesthesia options.