When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?

Primary teeth start developing as early as the second trimester of pregnancy, around the 16-20-week mark. Expectant mothers must eat a healthy, nutritious diet to ensure proper bone and soft tissue development for their children.

Primary teeth do not emerge until the child is between six and eight months old. There may be some timing differences in tooth eruption between children. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggests that infants be taken to a “well-baby” dental checkup six months after their first tooth emerges, or around the child’s first birthday. This establishes a connection between the child and the office, allows the pediatric dentist to examine the child’s oral development, and gives the parents an opportunity to ask questions and receive advice.

A full set of twenty primary teeth will emerge by the time the child is three.

What order do primary teeth emerge in?

Primary teeth often emerge in pairs of two, beginning with the front teeth and ending with the molars. The first teeth to emerge are the lower central incisors. These come in around the six- to ten-month mark. Cavities can develop between two adjacent teeth, so flossing should begin at this stage.

The two upper incisors will emerge next, usually between the ages of eight and twelve months.

The upper lateral incisors emerge next, one on either side of the central incisors, at the age of nine to sixteen months.

The lower lateral incisors emerge around the same time. By this point, the infant will have four adjacent teeth on the upper and lower arches. Pediatric dentists urge parents to cease the use of sippy cups at this stage to avoid “baby bottle tooth decay.”

Between the ages of thirteen months and twenty-three months, eight more teeth will emerge. These are cuspid or canine teeth adjacent to each lateral incisor, and first molars on either side of the canine teeth.

Lastly, a second set of molars will emerge on both arches, usually beginning on the lower arch. By the time the child is thirty-three months old, they will have their full set of primary teeth.

Since molars are especially difficult to treat with toothbrushes and floss, pediatric dentists may coat the molars with dental sealant to lock out bacteria, food particles, and enamel-attacking acids.

How to maintain your child’s oral health and avoid early cavities

Primary teeth are essential for childhood development. They preserve space in the mouth for the eventual emergence of adult teeth, they keep the tongue in a normal posture, they are necessary for chewing food, and they help with the pronunciation of speech. Children with poor primary teeth health or early tooth loss are more likely to develop serious dental issues later in life.

To maintain your child’s oral health:

  1. Brush twice a day – A pea-sized amount of ADA-approved toothpaste should be used to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day or after each meal. Use a soft-bristled brush. For children under two years old, a non-fluoridated toothpaste should be used.
  2. Floss regularly –Good flossing techniques can be demonstrated by the child’s pediatric dentist. Once the child has two adjacent teeth, flossing should begin to prevent cavities from forming in the space between them.
  3. Set a good example – Children are always influenced by the actions of their parents. Children who see their parents brushing, flossing, and maintaining a proper oral care regimen daily are more likely to do the same. Parents can also read age-appropriate books about oral health to their children to educate them on the importance of maintaining their smiles.
  4. Provide a balanced diet – Foods with sugar and starch are the primary cause of tooth decay. They provide food for oral bacteria and ultimately lead to the production of harmful acids that attack tooth enamel. Children should be eating a well-balanced diet daily and should eat sugar and starch in moderation.
  5. Schedule regular dental visits – Having a proper at-home oral care routine is only part of the solution to childhood tooth decay. Professional cleanings and topical fluoride treatments are also important preventative measures and can be performed during your child’s biannual dental visits.

To express any questions or concerns you may have about the emergence of your child’s primary teeth, please contact Brooklyn Dentist.


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