There are many milestones to mark in your baby's first year that by the time her first tooth erupts, you might simply be thankful that it has. You needn't be concerned if your baby's first tooth erupts seemingly later than other kids her age. Your baby's teeth can begin to erupt over many months. It's valuable to have a sense of what the normal range is in baby teething order, the types of problems that may arise in tooth eruption and what solutions your dentist might suggest.
Timeline of Baby Teeth
Most new parents know to look for the four front teeth on the bottom and top to erupt first. They might also know that their baby will be cutting her primary teeth for about her first three years. After that, you might be unsure what to expect.
According to the American Dental Association, baby teeth eruption starts from the front bottom then top teeth. With the exception of the first molars, which can erupt before other teeth in the front of the mouth, your baby will continue to cut her teeth from the front to the back of the mouth. Tooth eruption generally follows this timeline:
- 6 to 10 months. Bottom front two teeth, or central incisors
- 8 to 12 months. Top front two teeth, known as the top central incisors
- 9 to 13 months. Top lateral incisors, or the teeth right next to the central incisors
- 10 to 16 months. Bottom lateral incisors
- 16 to 22 months. Top canines (or cuspids), the teeth next to the lateral incisors
- 17 to 23 months. Bottom canines
- 13 to 19 months. Top first molars, the teeth next to the canines
- 14 to 18 months. Bottom first molars
- 23 to 31 months. Bottom second molars, the teeth next to the first molars
- 25 to 33 months. Top second molars
The Pattern of Baby Tooth Eruption
Baby teething order occurs in pairs on the bottom and top teeth, though one can erupt a little before the other. With such a varied time range, your baby may be cutting her first molars and cuspids, for instance, at the same time. It's also completely normal if your child starts teething earlier than six months. You'll see teething signs as your baby may begin to seek relief by chewing on toys or may drool excessively even as early as four months old, notes the Encyclopedia of Children's Health. You also shouldn't be worried if your baby doesn't begin cutting her first tooth until she is 10 months old.
The timing is largely dictated by heredity, but a girl's teeth may erupt slightly faster than a boy's teeth. Teeth can also erupt straight or crooked but should straighten out, per the Encyclopedia of Children's Health.
When to Be Concerned
However, there are instances when teeth eruption out of order may necessitate treatment. The first condition is neonatal and natal teeth. If your baby is born with teeth or her teeth erupt in the first 30 days after birth, it's important to see your dentist right away. These teeth are extra, or supernumerary teeth, or very early primary teeth, according to the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences. These teeth tend to be more mobile and your dentist may recommend extraction if they're found to be supernumerary teeth.
Missing teeth, also known as hypodontia, may require a dental visit as well. Hypodontia in the top incisors or first molars occurs in less than 1 percent of children, according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and usually occurs as a result of a condition or heredity.
After your baby starts cutting her teeth, clean them with a brush like Colgate My First toothbrush, which has extra soft bristles for gentle, yet effective cleaning. Build a foundation of a good oral care from the start, and make sure to schedule her first dental visit within six months after her first tooth erupts and before her first birthday.