Your baby’s first tooth is an exciting milestone, one of many you'll observe in these early months. It's helpful to know that some babies sail through the teething period with few or no symptoms at all till those little choppers pop through the gums, while other infants may show early signs that a tooth is on the way. Look out for signs of teething, such as constant drooling.
Generally, teething can begin anywhere between 3 and 12 months of age. However, in some very rare cases (1 in 2000), a baby may even be born with a tooth already erupted.
Just as each child is an individual, teething timelines will vary from child to child, as well. The general rule is that once your baby starts teething, about four teeth will come in every six months. These first teeth are known as primary or milk teeth, and they will eventually begin to be replaced by permanent adult teeth when your child is between 6 and 12 years of age.
Your baby’s first tooth is likely to appear between 4 and 7 months, maybe even as late as 12 to 14 months.
- 4-7 months. It's likely that you'll spot the first teeth popping through when your baby is about 4 to 7 months old, but they can come in as late as 12 to 14 months. Usually when babies get their first tooth, it’ll be one of the front lower teeth, known as the central incisors, that comes through. However, teething symptoms can begin as early as 3 months, so don’t be surprised if the first tooth makes an appearance around this time.
- 8-12 months. The next pair due to erupt are the top front teeth. These teeth are also called central incisors, and this time, they’ll sprout from the top of the mouth.
- 9-16 months. The next set of teeth due to pop up are those on either side of the first central teeth, the lateral incisors, and usually at the top. Next, the lower lateral incisors, the teeth to the side of the bottom middle ones, will follow.
- 13-19 months. Just after your baby turns 1, you can expect the first molars to arrive, most likely starting on the top part of the mouth.
- 16-23 months. At the teething age of 16 to 23 months, the first canines, those sharp, pointy teeth, make an appearance.
- 23-33 months. Around your child’s second to third birthday, those second molars should finally fill in any last gaps, and your little on will now have a full set of 20 primary teeth.
Growing teeth is not a competitive sport, and your baby’s teeth will arrive when they are ready. So, don’t be concerned if your friends’ children get teeth before your baby does. If you’re concerned about your baby showing teething discomfort, find out how to soothe teething symptoms in our article.
Remember that babies can chew even without teeth, and it is always important to be mindful of choking risks and to supervise babies and young children when they are eating. Even when children have a full set of teeth, certain foods present a choking hazard. Grapes and cherry tomatoes, for example, should always be quartered (long ways) before being served to little ones. Find out more about feeding solids to your little one as she starts to sprout teeth.
Try not to worry. Instead, enjoy every exciting milestone in your child's development. If you want to know what and when to expect teething to happen, see our teething timeline infographic below to find out more about the typical stages of teething.