Teething - What to Expect
Primary teeth are usually known
as "baby teeth." Usually, the first primary tooth comes in (erupts) at about 6
months of age, although it can be as early as 3 months or as late as 1 year of
age. In rare cases, a baby gets a first tooth after his or her first birthday.
By age 3, most children have all 20 of their primary teeth.
Primary teeth usually erupt in a
certain order :
- The two bottom front teeth (central
- The four upper front teeth (central and lateral
- The two lower lateral incisors
- The first
- The four canines (located on either side next to the upper
and lower lateral incisors)
- The remaining molars on either side of
the existing line of teeth
Secondary, or permanent, teeth usually begin replacing
primary teeth around 6 years of age. Permanent teeth erupt in roughly the same
sequence as primary teeth. Usually, a permanent tooth pushes the primary tooth
out as it erupts.
Symptoms of teething
Many times you might not know
that your baby has a new tooth coming in until you see it or hear it click
against an object, such as a spoon. Some babies may show signs of discomfort
from sore and sensitive gums, be cranky, drool, and have other mild symptoms.
These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before a tooth erupts and go
away as soon as the tooth breaks through the gum.
Teething does not cause diarrhea or diaper rash. It can cause a mild fever up to 101°F (38°C). Mild symptoms
that gradually improve usually are nothing to worry about and may even be
related to a viral infection or other condition. Severe or ongoing symptoms
should be closely watched and discussed with your doctor.
Do not hesitate to call your
doctor any time you have
concerns about your child's teething. It is also a
good idea to talk to your doctor if your child has
unusual tooth development, such as late eruption of
the first tooth. Tooth development issues usually resolve on their own or are