When Do Babies Start Teething?
Article at a Glance:
- Every child will go through the process of teething.
- Baby teething typically begins around 4-6 months but varies from infant to infant.
- Some teething symptoms can be hard to distinguish from symptoms unrelated to teething; diarrhea, vomiting, fever
- Understanding the baby teething process, teething symptoms, and order of tooth eruption can prepare you early.
It is a common concern among parents to know when their babies’ teeth will begin to erupt. If a child doesn’t follow the predictable teething order, they begin to think there is something wrong.
Rest assured, baby tooth eruption timing varies greatly from child to child. Some children are early bloomers, late bloomers, or are born with teeth!
A mother I once knew believed there was something wrong with her 2nd child because he didn’t start teething at the same age as her 1st. He didn’t grow his first tooth until he was 13 months!
Although baby tooth eruption and teething symptoms vary widely from child to child, it can sometimes make it difficult to determine if there is an underlying condition.
The best thing to do is to educate yourself with the baby teething process to justify the observations you make from your growing infant. Read more to learn about the general timing of the teething process and what to expect when a baby starts teething.
What Is Teething?
The medical term for teething is odontiasis (pronounced oh-don-tahy-uh-sis) and is defined as the eruption of an infant’s tooth which breaks through the gums.
The first set of teeth are called primary, or baby teeth, and all 20 baby teeth will typically grow in by the time your child is 3 years old.
Remember, this is a general timeline. Some children I have met didn’t get all baby teeth by their 3rd year. And that is okay!
You may be wondering, “When do children get their permanent teeth?”
Starting around ages 5 or 6, baby teeth will begin to fall out and be replaced by the eruption of permanent teeth.
It can take up to a decade for the entirety of the permanent teeth to come in. This is teething for ten years!
While there are usually only 20 baby teeth, there can be up to 32 permanent teeth that grow. This also includes those pesky wisdom teeth that we older folks are most aware of.
When Do Babies Start Teething?
Believe it or not, babies actually start teething in utero. Utero is a term meaning “in the uterus.” While a baby is developing in the womb, nutrients from mama are being used to build their bodies, including their teeth.
When a baby is born, their teeth are already present underneath the gums. It isn’t until baby crowns fully develop once they make their way into the world of teeth.
A mother’s diet and nutrient intake can affect the timing of baby tooth eruption, as well as the way the teeth grow into their jaw.
A common teething age for babies to start teething is around 4-6 months old, and the baby teething process lasts until they are around 30 months.
If a child starts to exhibit signs of teething at 3 months old, this is also completely normal. Early teething symptoms can be hereditary. Baby teething can also start earlier if a child is biting or chewing at an early age.
This biting and chewing at a young age help promote tooth rupture by stimulating the gums and penetrating the area of tooth eruption.
Does this mean your child will exhibit teething signs and symptoms, every day, for their first 3 years of life? Not quite. Although teething can be a painful and stressful experience to endure, it will not last an eternity.
Teething symptoms can vary at different time intervals. In most cases, your baby will get 12 teeth during their first year of life, followed by 4, first-year molars and 4, second-year molars.
Each experience is unique for each child, especially when baby teeth come in during 2 and 3 years old.
Some babies get teeth in pairs, quickly coming in one after another, while others might wait weeks or even months before a mirroring tooth erupts.
What Order do Baby Teeth Come In?
Now that your baby has begun their teething journey, you may be wondering, “What order do baby teeth erupt?”
Each child’s teething experience is different, from the age it starts to the symptoms they endure.
Below is an average age range of baby teeth order for each set of teeth that will come in. Do not be concerned if your child starts earlier or later than these ages, as each child is different.
While signs that a baby is teething can start as early as 3 months, most parents see teeth coming in around 6 months on average.
6-10 months – The Two Bottom Front Teeth – The Central Incisors
8-12 months – The Two Top Front Teeth – The Central Incisors
9-13 months – The Sides of the Top Front Teeth – The Top Lateral Incisors
10-16 months – The Sides of the Bottom Front Teeth – The Bottom Lateral Incisors
13-19 months – The Back Teeth – The Molars
17-23 months – Between Incisors and Molars – The Canines
23-33 months – The Second Molars of Child Develop
When Should I Be Concerned If My Babies Teeth Haven’t Erupted?
I may sound like a broken record at this point, however, it is important to keep in mind that teething age varies significantly since each baby is unique and develop at different rates.
Very rarely, some babies are born with teeth, in which these teeth are known as natal teeth. Some babies have teeth emerge within their first 30 days, which are known as neonatal teeth.
For children that get a jump start in the teething game, this is typically connected to their genetics. Related family members were also likely to be born with natal or neonatal teeth.
Just as these occurrences are not concerning, a child’s late development of teeth is usually not troubling.
Moms and dads wonder what age to start worrying about late bloomers.
If everything with baby’s hair, skin, nails and bone growth seem normal, this is a good indication that nothing is wrong. It is not uncommon for a baby’s first tooth to appear as late as their first birthday.
Late teething could be genetic or caused by an underlying health condition. In some cases, babies who were born premature or at a low birth weight could also experience late signs of teething.
Studies have shown that gender also plays a role in teeth development and teeth eruption , in which girls can begin teething before boys .
Malnutrition and deficiency in vitamins and minerals, which happens from inadequate breastfeeding and low supplementation from infant formula, can also cause a delay in tooth formation.
It is recommended by most professionals and parents to plan your child’s first dental check-up around 12 months. If you have any concerns about your teething baby, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist for an examination for reassurance.
What are the Symptoms of Teething to Watch For?
For a few lucky babies, teething symptoms may not occur at all. Lucky babies and especially fortunate parents.
However, for most babies, signs that your baby is teething can last anywhere from a few days to several months.
At least 1/3 of babies have a range of teething symptoms, so it is essential to look out for any and all signs to be sure that your baby is teething.
When babies start teething, common teething signs & symptoms include:
- Swollen/red gums
- Trying to chew/bite everything
- Trouble Sleeping
- Decreased appetite
- Rubbing their face
- Grabbing their ears
- Raised temperature (below 100⁰F)
- A visible tooth below the gum
Several studies have been conducted surveying parents beliefs about their teething little ones. Most parents ascribe to their teething beliefs, regardless of supporting evidence of teething symptoms.
The most common misconception of baby teething is that fever, diarrhea, and vomiting are symptoms of teething.
Some mothers report a slight fever (under 100 ⁰F or 37.7 ⁰C) in their teething baby . When a child’s tooth erupts through the gums, this activates their immune system and increases antibody activity in the body.
Pay close attention to your child’s behavior when observing raised temperatures. If your child is still active or energetic, the fever may not be a serious issue. If your child is lethargic, or has low energy, this could be a serious indication of an issue unrelated to teething.
If your child is exhibiting the three aforementioned symptoms, such as fever above 100 ⁰F (37.7 ⁰C), it is most likely not associated with teething and you should seek advice from a medical professional.
Excessive drooling is normal and can sometimes cause a facial rash during teething. Be sure to wipe any excess drool continuously, and if the symptom persists, contact a medical professional to make sure the rash is not a symptom of another problem.
Remember that each babies’ experience is unique and personal and they may exhibit any of these symptoms all at once or separately. Pay attention for these symptoms.
Once you realize your child is teething, you can take the proper steps to ease their experience and provide them comfort.
How Can I Help My Infant During the Start of Teething?
Teething is an uncomfortable experience, with irritability and pain being bothersome for baby. Most parents will offer soothing teething relief to mitigate the discomfort of their teething babies.
Sometimes, parents choose the quickest form of teething relief regardless of the quality of teething products used, however, there may be alternative options that are free or available in reach!
Try some of these natural teething remedies to help your teething baby if they are experiencing teething discomfort.
Some of these remedies may include:
- Use a clean finger and apply pressure to baby’s gums
- Try a chilled spoon
- Try a chilled teething ring
- Use a clean, moist, and chilled washcloth
- Go for a walk to the park
- Give some attention with playtime
Cooling any teething objects for your teething baby should NEVER be chilled in the freezer. Freezing can harden teething objects and bruise baby’s gums.
This is especially true for plastic teething toys, in which the cold temperatures can crack the plastic and expose sharp edges that are harmful to babies gums.
Water-filled toys that are chilled in the freezer can expand the liquid within and crack the teether cover. This allows liquids with potential chemicals to leach out and make the teether ineffective.
The most effective teething remedy for your teething infant are teething toys or a teething necklace. This allows them to relieve their discomfort by putting pressure on their teething gums, while giving you time to relax from tending to their discomfort.
Although it seems easy and convenient to purchase a teething toy online or at a local store, it is important to keep in mind the quality of teething toy or necklace that you purchase for your teething baby.
These products may be a quick relief for your baby’s symptoms, however they possess the potential to have long-term effects on their health and development.
Most teething products on the market utilize low-quality materials or materials laden with chemicals or heavy metals that can negatively impact a developing child.
Silicone teething toys are a favorite among many parents of teething babies. High quality silicone teething toys are soft for baby gums and free of harmful chemicals. Kute Keiki offers high-quality, 100% food-grade silicone teething toys that are also hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria.
What Should I Look For in Teething Toys & Necklaces?
Plastic products are notorious for containing dangerous and toxic chemicals, such as phthalates or BPA.
Studies show that phthalate exposure in the uterus leads to birth defects, weight, and future fertility issues. Ongoing studies are examining the link between phthalate exposure and asthma, obesity, and other health problems.
The best way to avoid phthalates is to read the labels and avoid anything that lists ingredients such as phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and fragrance.
Although some plastic products are labeled, “BPA free,” be aware that heating up any plastic objects could release BPA molecules, since plastic endocrine-hormone-disruptor and could pose health risks later on down the line.
One that we don’t think about often is heating plastic bottles. Those chemicals could be released into the foods we are giving to our babies!
If you are unsure or the label is unclear, call the manufacturer to confirm, as nothing is more important than the health and safety of your child.
Become aware, remain cautious, and be diligent in knowing what you are purchasing for your baby.
A favorite teething accessory among mothers is a silicone teething necklace. As a mother, your child might be drawn to chewing on your necklace while you are holding them. A silicone teething necklace is a stylish and safe alternative to this problem.
Silicone teething necklaces keep baby preoccupied, all the while in your closeness. This will build the bond between mama and baby. And believe me, its better than having them pull on your earrings!
Teething babies will enjoy the feel of the silicone on their gums, as the soft rubbery feel will provide relief for their aching gums. Teething necklaces also provide visual stimulation from the colorful beads, which can distract them from the soreness of teething.
Oh, how simple a baby’s mind can be.
Kute Keiki recognizes the need to keep child health and safety at the forefront of optimal development. We aim to provide high-quality and all-natural teething solutions for the beginning of every teething baby’s entry into the world of teeth.
 McDonald et al. Eruption of the teeth: local, systemic, and congenital factors that influence the process.
 Markman, L. Teething: Facts and Fiction.
 Memarpour, M. et al. Signs and Symptoms Associated with Primary Tooth Eruption: A Clinical Trial of Nonpharmacological Remedies.