When Should My Child Get Teeth? 

When to expect your child’s first teeth

The average child starts getting their first teeth around 6 months old, but can start as early as 2 months or as late as 12 months. In very rare cases, some babies have their first tooth when they are born, while a few do not get their first tooth until after their first birthday. This process of teething can last until they are 3 years old, but typically that is when most children have all twenty primary teeth. Primary teeth, also called baby teeth, last for about three to four years, until the secondary, or adult teeth, begin to replace them.

Gender plays a role

Research shows that girls tend to start getting teeth sooner than boys. Girls tend to mature a little faster, so if your son isn’t getting his teeth as soon as his sister, don’t be discouraged. If you reach 12 months old, double check with your pediatrician or dentist to be sure.

Watch for order teeth come in and the timing

Research shows that teeth erupt in the same order, so its easy to know what to expect and when. Generally the front lower teeth come in first, followed by the upper front teeth and lateral incisors. This takes a few months to happen. Then, over the course of about a year, the lower lateral incisors come in, then the first molars, then the canines, and then finally the remaining molars come in last. Your child should have twenty teeth total. If you see a change in this pattern, see a dentist soon, as it may be a sign of infection or not enough room in the child’s mouth to grow.

Most teeth take a little while to break the surface of the gums, about 4 to 5 days. During this time is when children show signs of pain or discomfort and there are many remedies available to help them weather the storm. Teething rings and Children’s Motrin are usually the most effective way to relieve the symptoms. Once the tooth breaks through, or erupts, the symptoms will go away until the next tooth wants to come in.

Keep an eye on the development of your child’s teeth as they come in. While they may not come in perfectly straight, they eventually straighten out with time in most cases. While children are getting teeth, it’s a good time to start them on healthy dental care habits like brushing and ultimately flossing. Your first visit to the dentist should be about six months after the first tooth comes in, but by their first birthday at the latest. This is a good time to start brushing your child’s teeth so that tooth decay can be prevented early on.

Teething is a long process that takes anywhere from a year to two, depending on the child. Most start getting their first tooth about 6 months old and will have all twenty primary teeth by three years old.

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