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The Order and Timing of Baby Teeth

Posted in Dental Care, Pediatric Dental, and Sedation Dentistry

Order of Baby Teeth

No one likes to see a baby uncomfortable, but teething is part of normal development. In fact, during the first two years of life your child will already have most of their baby teeth. How do you know if your child’s development is progressing typically? You may be surprised by the order your baby’s teeth erupt. Every baby is different, and the order and timing of baby teeth isn’t always the same. One consistent rule of thumb is that your child should have all twenty baby teeth by age three.  

Normally the order your baby gets their teeth is central incisors, lateral incisors, first molars, canines, then second molars. As we said, it is possible that these five different types of teeth could erupt out of “normal” order. They could also be delayed and not come when expected. So, what should you typically expect when it comes to timing?

Timing of Baby Teeth

Teething can start as early as four months, and sometimes as late as twelve months. On rare occasions babies are born with one or more teeth. Timing is often related to genetics, so if you know when you and your partner started teething it could help pin down your baby’s timeline. Once the first teeth do show up you can count on new ones every four months. The following is a standard timeline of approximately when most babies’ primary teeth erupt.

Age                  Teeth

6-10 months      bottom central incisors

8-12 months      top central incisors

9-13 months      top lateral incisors

10-16 months    bottom lateral incisors

13-19 months    first molars in top of mouth

14-18 months    first molars on bottom

16-22 months    top canines

17-23 months    bottom canines

23-31 months    second molars on bottom of mouth

25-33 months    second molars on top

Sometimes teeth erupt marginally out of order, this is usually not a cause for concern. Although knowing what to watch for regarding order and timing can help you spot abnormalities. If you are worried about your baby’s dental health or development, contact your pediatrician or pediatric dentist. It is always good to err on the side of caution rather than miss a treatable condition.

Inadequate Space and Tooth Decay

Spacing and disease prevention are more significant than your baby’s teeth arriving exactly as planned. If you are worried that your baby’s teeth are too close together, talk to a pediatric dentist. Because baby teeth are so small, they should have ample room between them. At least more space than adult teeth usually have. Start watching for permanent teeth to arrive as your child approaches their sixth birthday. Often the first baby teeth they loose will also be the ones that arrived first, the lower central incisors.

Taking good care of baby teeth as they progress is very important. Even though they will eventually be replaced, healthy primary teeth promote properly aligned and correctly developed adult teeth. And the good habits formed as a child can stay with them throughout their lives. If you have any questions about your babies’ teeth talk to Dr. Stephen Mathews at Erbsville Dental in Waterloo. See “Dental Care for Children and Families – We love kids!

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Accordingly, always seek the advice of your Dentist or other healthcare providers regarding a dental condition or treatment.