The development of your baby’s teeth begins even before you may realize you are pregnant, at about 6 week’s gestation. And about the time you are anxiously awaiting to find out the gender of your precious little bundle, the hard tissue that surrounds the tooth is formed. The exciting part of your baby’s tooth development begins after your baby is born, however, when you discover their first tooth. Every baby is different, so their first tooth may pop out anytime from about 4 to 12 months old.
What exactly is Teething?
Your baby is officially of teething age, when that first tooth shows up. Teething is the process of teeth moving and breaking through your baby’s gums. Babies of teething age can be drooling, constantly chewing on hands or toys, swollen gums, or acting more fussy than normal. Teething can be a painful experience for some babies and a stressful and frustrating experience for parents. This doesn’t mean your baby will experience teething symptoms constantly during this phase though. Typically, the symptoms come and go and there are many remedies and medicines that can help relieve pain and discomfort your baby may experience. If your baby is experiencing other symptoms, it is likely they are sick and you should consult your doctor with questions. Keep in mind that teething is a completely normal, but also temporary developmental phase.
Baby Teeth Development
The first teeth to come in are typically the lower two in the middle, which are called central incisors. Following closely thereafter are usually the central incisors on the top. The cuspids (the pointy teeth) and first molars fill in somewhere between your baby’s first and second birthday. The second molars are the last to come in generally between their second and third birthdays. There is normally a little extra space between your child’s baby teeth. This is normal as it allows room for the larger, permanent teeth later. Your baby will have a total of 20 teeth when they have finished teething.
Baby Teeth Out, Permanent Teeth In
By the time your little one is about three years old; they have a full mouth of chompers and are enjoying some pretty delicious foods with them. Goldfish crackers, anyone? As your child is nearing school age however, it is time to start losing those baby teeth. Losing teeth is an exciting time for kids and much less painful experience for parents than teething. Your child will lose their first tooth sometime around six to seven years old. Their adorable little baby smile will turn into a cute gap-toothed smile for a while. Baby teeth fall out in basically the same order as they came in. Starting with the incisors, then the cuspids or first molars, and finally the second molars. In addition to replacing the 20 teeth your child had as a baby, they also will gain 12 more. They will gain four bicuspids (or premolars) as well as four third molars at the very back on top and bottom for a grand total of 32 permanent teeth. The third molars don’t show up until between seventeen and twenty-one years of age.
Remember that it is always important to take proper care of your child’s teeth. From the time the first little tooth shows up, until they are brushing properly on their own. It is even appropriate to check your teens teeth occasionally to ensure they are getting them properly cleaned, especially if they have braces. Also, visit the dentist with your children regularly so their dental health can be monitored consistently.