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  • When Will Your Baby's Teeth Emerge? A Timeline Until He Is 1 Year Old!

    Did you know your baby’s teeth starts developing while he is in the womb?
    by Kate Borbon .
When Will Your Baby's Teeth Emerge? A Timeline Until He Is 1 Year Old!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • You may think your baby’s toothless smile is adorable now, but once those baby teeth start coming in, the cuteness level is undoubtedly going to reach new heights! Here is everything you need to know about the dental development your baby will undergo in his first year of life.

    Stages of development of baby teeth

    Baby teeth begin to develop in the womb already, according to Stanford Children’s Health, typically when a mother reaches the six-week mark. Later, at around three to four months of gestation, the hard tissue surrounding the teeth begins to form.

    Your child’s dental development is why it is incredibly crucial for mothers to embrace a healthy diet while they are pregnant. Stanford Children’s Health says her ideal diet will need adequate portions of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Pregnant mothers are advised against taking some types of medications because these can trigger discoloration of her unborn baby’s developing teeth.

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    The next stage of baby teeth development is when the first tooth erupts, which typically occurs when your baby is six months old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the first teeth to erupt are usually the lower front teeth, also known as the lower central incisors. These are then followed by the top four front teeth, then by other teeth, which usually come in pairs. Eventually, all of the child’s primary teeth (or “baby” teeth) may have already erupted by the time he is 3 years old.

    To get a clearer idea when a baby’s teeth typically emerge, here is a timeline provided by Healthline. It is vital to note every child is different, so this timeline might not apply to all children. Consult your pediatric dentist.

    • 6 to 10 months: Bottom central incisors
    • 8 to 12 months: Top central incisors
    • 9 to 13 months: Top lateral incisors
    • 10 to 16 months: Bottom lateral incisors
    • 13 to 19 months: First molars in the top of the mouth
    • 14 to 18 months: First molars on the bottom of the mouth
    • 16 to 22 months: Top canines
    • 17 to 23 months: Bottom canines
    • 23 to 31 months: Second molars on the bottom of the mouth
    • 25 to 33 months: Second molars on the top of the mouth

    For a visual representation of this timeline, take a look at this illustration provided by the American Dental Association (ADA):

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    In rare cases, babies may be born with teeth already. Erik Scheifele, DMD, division chief of oral health at Children’s National Health System, tells The Bump this occurrence, also known as natal teeth, is just “a child’s normal baby teeth that have erupted at the time [he’s] born.” There are also some rare cases when natal teeth are actually extra teeth (also known as supernumerary teeth), which come in addition to regular teeth.

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    Scheifele says, “Natal teeth may look like normal baby teeth, but they’re usually smaller and may be yellowish in color.” This is because natal teeth usually have poor structure, little to no root, and are wiggly.

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    Though parents don’t generally need to be too concerned if their babies are born with teeth, natal teeth can also lead to different issues, such as difficulty in breastfeeding, injury to mom’s nipple, tongue ulceration (when ulcers form due to the underside of the baby’s tongue rubbing against the natal teeth), and even choking hazards, especially if the natal teeth are really loose.

    Pediatric dentist Hyewon Lee, DMD, MPH tells The Bump that natal teeth typically don’t require medical care, and they are meant to be kept in place until they come out naturally when the child is around 6 years old, especially if they don’t pose any problems with breastfeeding or cause other issues. However, natal teeth may need to be removed if any of the problems listed above take place.

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    How to tell when your baby is teething

    For some babies, teething might not cause any particular pain or health issues. However, the same may not be said for other children. Kids Health writes that some might experience bouts of irritability, crankiness, crying spells, or disrupted sleeping and eating patterns.

    The AAP says that babies might also exhibit signs of discomfort in the area where their tooth is erupting. Their gums may look swollen and tender, and they might drool a lot more than usual and want to chew on things.

    Some parents believe that a fever is another sign that a baby is teething. But pediatrician and infectious disease specialist Dr. Carmina Arriola-Delos Reyes says, “There is little scientific evidence to support the widespread belief that teething causes fever. Although it's hard to disprove this notion completely, it is always prudent to search for other causes of fever most especially if the temperature has reached 38.5 °C. In such cases, fever should not be attributed solely to teething, and other causes of the fever should be searched.”

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    If your baby is experiencing pain during teething, there are a couple of things you can try to help him. The AAP suggests massaging his gums with clean fingers and giving him solid teething rings or a clean frozen or wet washcloth. Parents are advised against giving their babies teething gels or tablets, which might contain chemicals that can cause blood disorders, as well as amber teething necklaces, which can be a strangulation or choking hazard.

    You may also try giving your child chilled (not frozen) fruits or vegetables for him to chew on, just like what some moms on Smart Parenting Village suggest. For ideas on chilled, healthy treats you can make to ease your baby’s teething pain, click here.

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    How to care for your baby’s teeth

    Baby teeth are just as prone to different dental issues as permanent teeth. One of these is tooth decay, also known as cavities. The ADA defines tooth decay as “the destruction of your tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of your teeth.” For babies, one habit that can cause tooth decay is going to bed with a milk bottle.

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    Baby teeth may be temporary, but caring for them properly helps guarantee that your child’s permanent teeth will also develop healthily. According to WebMD, if baby teeth are decayed and/or infected, the permanent teeth developing beneath them may also get damaged. Baby teeth that are not cared for may also hinder a child from getting the nutrition he needs and interfere in his speech development.

    The first thing parents need to do to care for their baby’s teeth is to brush them regularly. The AAP says as soon as your baby gets his first tooth, you should start getting him on the habit of brushing at least twice a day. At this point, the child should only be given a smear of fluoride toothpaste that is the size of a grain of rice. Eventually, when he reaches 3 years old, he should be given a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush his teeth with, according to recommendations by the AAP, the ADA, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

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    The AAP also advises parents to ask their pediatricians to give their child fluoride varnish, which is one way to prevent tooth decay. “The earlier your child receives fluoride varnish the better to help prevent tooth decay,” the AAP says.

    According to Dr. Nina Tayag-Atotubo, member of the Philippine Pediatric Dental Society Inc., the appearance of the first tooth should also signal the parents to make their child’s first dental appointment. “It should be done no later than age 1 or as early as when the first tooth erupts,” she said. 

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    A pediatric dentist can help you make sure that your child’s teeth are developing normally and advise you on how to teach your child to observe proper dental hygiene.

    Finally, make sure your child does not fall asleep with a baby bottle in his mouth. Instead, the ADA suggests letting babies finish their bottle before sleeping.

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