Teething Troubles: When Do Babies Get Teeth

When Do Babies Get Teeth

New parents often ask the question “when do babies get teeth – and what can I do to help the teething process?” The arrival of the baby’s first tooth is a big event, and the teething process is a significant part of the child’s first years of life. All babies do not get teeth at the same pace, and it usually takes up to three years for all baby teeth to appear. There are always differences in how fast babies get their teeth and how they react to teething.

When Do Babies Get Teeth and Which Teeth Develop First?

Teething is a fascinating process. The first tooth buds develop in the womb, and these will later become the baby’s milk teeth (also called baby teeth). Most babies get the first tooth at 4-7 months, although some babies might push their first milk tooth out at the age of 3 months. Some babies will grow their teeth a little later, and in many cases the first tooth might not appear until the age of one. On the other hand, a few early developers can even grow a tooth in the first couple of weeks of life.

Teeth generally appear in pairs. The middle two milk teeth in the bottom part of the mouth are usually the first teeth to appear. The two teeth right above them in the upper part of the mouth appear some weeks later. The teeth on the sides and at the back of the mouth then follow. It is often possible to see the white head of a tooth poking out from the baby’s gums, but sometimes the milk tooth is not visible at first.

The second molars in the back (in the top and in the bottom part) are the last ones to develop and often start to appear when the child turns two. Generally, most children will have their 20 milk teeth by their third birthday. The milk teeth last until approximately the age of 6, when the permanent teeth will start to grow and the baby teeth will start to fall out.

When do babies get teeth chart

This chart will show you when babies get their teeth. This is a general guideline so keep in mind that some babies will develop earlier and some later.


Teething Problems and How To Help

Most babies and children experience some trouble during the teething process. Typical teething symptoms include:

Teething Symptom 1 puffy and swelling gums

Teething Symptom 2 a need to chew

Teething Symptom 3 drooling excessively

Teething Symptom 4 irritability and fussiness

Teething Symptom 5 a change in eating habits: the baby might turn down food or eat more.

Some babies get mild stomach troubles and some get low-grade fever when teething (although high fever can be a symptom of something more serious and requires a visit to a doctor). Some do not experience any problems at all.

There is nothing one can do to speed up or help the teething process, but it is possible to relieve the problems related to teething. I recommend giving the baby something he or she can chew on if the appearing tooth seems to bother him or her. Teething rings are sold specifically for this purpose, but a good homemade alternative is a wet clean baby washcloth that has been placed in a fridge for a while. The baby will get relief from pain by chewing on the cloth, and the cool cloth will reduce swelling in the gums.

I like to massage a baby’s gums gently to relieve the itching and the pain from the growing tooth. If the baby is having a lot of pain from teething, and if there is a lot of swelling in the gums, some doctors prescribe medication to reduce the pain and the inflammation. The first teeth are usually the most difficult. As more teeth start to appear the process seems to get easier and less painful.

Looking After the Baby’s New Teeth

I had many questions when my baby started teething. How can I take care of the new teeth and the gums? When should I brush? What kind of toothpaste should I use?

When the first tooth appears, it is time to start to brushing daily. I use a special baby toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste that is specifically developed for babies and toddlers. I brush twice a day as soon as the first milk teeth show up. At first, it is enough to just to smear the brush with a little toothpaste, but when the child grows more teeth and reaches his/her second birthday, the amount of toothpaste can be increased to the size of a pea.

Flossing is also recommended, especially if it is difficult to reach all the teeth with a toothbrush. You can start to teach your child to brush his or her teeth when s/he is around 18 months old. When a child has reached the age of 3, he or she usually has a full range of milk teeth and can even brush the teeth himself (and probably wants to).

Most kids will need some help brushing their teeth at least for a few years, and I recommend that you help or at least supervise the brushing process until the age of 6.

If you live in an area where your drinking water is not fluoridated, some doctors recommend fluoride supplements to prevent cavities from the age of six months onwards. The baby’s six-month check-up should include an examination of the milk teeth, and, in most cases, the baby should see a dentist at the age of one. The teething process is always individual, but most babies will have some teeth by the age of one.

If no teeth have appeared by the baby’s first birthday or a few months after the first birthday, it is a good idea to mention it to the doctor.

I like to take photos of the baby’s first tooth and make a note of the date and the time of its arrival in the baby book. Most people will also post photos of their baby’s first tooth on social media, but it is nice to have a baby book with photos and dates of major events in the baby’s first years of life. There is no simple answer to the question “when do babies get teeth”, but teething is always an important event.

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