Properly understanding when your child’s teeth grow and when they fall out, particularly if you’re a first-time parent, can be a difficult thing to grasp. In actual fact, there is no highly specific timeline for baby teeth to erupt (emerge) from your baby’s gums – eruption times will vary depending on the child. This is especially important for new mothers to realise, as physical changes in their child not mirroring those of other babies can cause alarm. There’s no need to fret, though – in this blog, we outline the teething milestones of babies to give you a clearer idea of what to expect during this time.
When teething starts
Teething usually doesn’t start in babies until 6 months of age. It will usually be the two bottom front teeth (known as incisors) that erupt first, with the top four front teeth to follow not too long afterwards. It’s during this time that you should consider things to help your baby along, as they will likely be experiencing some pain. A popular teething giraffe (known as Sophie) is a great idea, as it also acts as a fun squeaky toy for your child. Teething biscuits are also a good idea, and biscuits that dissolve easily can be given to a baby from 7 months of age. After these front teeth have erupted, the rest of the teeth will slowly fill in. More often than not teeth will erupt in pairs until all 20 teeth have formed (there are a total of 10 teeth in the lower jaw and upper jaw). By this time, your child will be between 2 and a half to 3 years old, so the teething process can be a long one depending on the child.
Loss of the baby teeth
It’s not until the age of 6 or 7 that the baby teeth start to fall out, and until the age of about 12 teeth will periodically fall out and be replaced by adult teeth. The last of the baby teeth to be replaced will be the molars, which typically fall out at around 12 years of age – with the last of these replaced, a child will end up with a total of 32 teeth. Again, this can be a period of concern for parents, but it’s important to keep in mind that if your child’s baby teeth came late, the adult teeth will like emerge late as well. Now much older, your child may need to be reminded that their teeth-brushing routine is very important, with special care to be taken when brushing areas that are sensitive or contain loose teeth. It’s also important for them to not tamper with loose teeth, as teeth pulled out too soon can injure gums and nearby teeth, while also increasing the potential for infection.
Teething is often a simple process
Teething for the most part is a fuss-free development – with this in mind, it’s important to not worry too much if your child is demonstrating different teething patterns than other children. If you are genuinely concerned with your child’s teething (such as if a baby tooth hasn’t fallen out within 2-3 months of an adult tooth emerging), make sure to contact your dentist. They will be able to confidently demonstrate to you whether or not your child is experiencing issues, and if so, they can fix the problem immediately. It’s as easy as that!