Here’s a timeline of when those pearly whites will show up and what to expect

One of the biggest developmental milestones for any baby is getting their first set of teeth. It’s an exciting time for parents too. After all, we bet you can’t wait to see your little one grin and flash their tiny, adorable pearly whites. 

So when can you expect to finally see your bub’s teeth emerge? Well, most babies get their very first tooth around 6 months of age. Don’t freak out if you don’t see any growth by then though. Some babies begin sprouting their first tooth as early as 3 months, and others as late as 12 months. 

Signs that your baby’s teething journey is beginning include a loss of appetite, crying more than usual, being irritable or trouble sleeping at night. He or she may also have swollen red gums and drool excessively. 

Baby teeth growth chart - What order do baby teeth come?

The first teeth to appear are usually the lower front teeth − also known as the lower central incisors. This is followed by the upper central incisors, lateral incisors, molars, canines and second molars. 

Due to the variable nature of teething timing, a one-year-old may have a few teeth, as many as eight teeth or even no teeth at all.  

In total, you can expect your child to grow 20 baby teeth − 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom. New teeth grow roughly every 4 to 6 months, starting from the central incisors and working their way to the back where the molars are located. The last baby molar is typically observed by the age of three. 

As a general guide, here’s a timeline of when you can expect the teething process to begin:

When do baby teeth fall out? 

Naturally, your child’s baby teeth will gradually fall out and be replaced by a set of permanent teeth. You can expect them to start shedding teeth at various stages of their childhood, usually beginning around the age of 6. By age 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth would usually have erupted.

The table below shows an average timeline. Each child develops differently and teeth may fall out at an earlier or later stage. 


How can I reduce my baby’s teething discomfort? 

If your baby is exhibiting signs of discomfort such as swollen gums or irritability, here’s what you can do to soothe them:

- Gently rub or massage their gums with your fingers. 
- Provide them with items to chew on. For example, teething rings, chilled rubber teething toys or hard biscuits like rusk. 
- If neither of the above works, consult your paediatrician about procuring acetaminophen or ibuprofen for children. Do refrain from buying over-the-counter teething medications without consulting your doctor in advance. 

When should I take my child for his first dental visit? 

The best time for your little one’s maiden dental visit is when they are between 6 to 12 months of age. This enables the dentist to anticipate and prevent dental problems (as opposed to treating them), evaluate adverse habits, assess your bub’s risk for tooth decay, tailor a preventive programme for them and acclimatise them to a dental setting. 

After your child’s first checkup, it is generally recommended that they see the dentist every six months. However, as every child has different dental needs, your dentist will best advise on the appropriate interval between visits. 

Don’t underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups. They can save time, money and your little one’s teeth in the long run! 

Book your baby’s dental check-up at Thomson Dental Centre.

Photos: iStock

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