Baby’s First Teeth

young doctor with babyYour child’s baby teeth help your child chew and speak normally. They also hold space in the jaw for the adult teeth that come in later. Starting infants with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades to come.

A baby’s teeth start to come in when the baby is about six months old. By age three, most children have a full set of twenty primary teeth. Baby teeth will later be lost as your child develops and grows. This makes space for adult teeth, which begin to come in around age six. By the age of twenty-one, a person usually has all of their adult teeth.

Below is a general guide to when a tooth first comes in. However, not all children get the same teeth at the same time. Your child’s teeth may erupt earlier or later than shown below.

Upper teeth:

Central incisor  8-12 months

Lateral incisor  9-13 months

Canine  16-22 months

First molar  13-19 months

Second molar  25-33 months

Lower teeth:

Second molar  23-31 months

First molar  14-18 months

Canine  17-23 months

Lateral incisor  10-16 months

Central incisor 6-10 months

Teething Tips

As teeth begin to erupt, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Rubbing your child’s gums with a clean wet gauze or finger may help. A clean, chilled teething ring – don’t dip it in sugar, syrup, honey, or other foods – may also ease tender gums.

Gels or creams with benzocaine should not be used to soothe sore gums in babies younger than two. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic that has caused serious reactions in a small number of children. Instead stick with other methods of soothing your child’s gums. If the child is still cranky and uncomfortable while teething, consult your pediatrician.

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