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Baby's First Tooth

Expert Pediatrics Q&A


Updated May 21, 2014

Smiling Asian baby girl
Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Q. When should my baby get his first tooth and start teething?

A. The timing of when your baby's first tooth comes in can vary quite a bit.

Although the average age for getting their first baby tooth is 6 months, some infants don't get their first tooth until they are 14 or 15 months old. Others can begin teething and get an early baby tooth at 3 months.

In fact, some babies can even be born with a tooth - natal tooth, although these teeth often have to be removed.

Do a lot of other family members get their teeth late? Then you might expect your baby to get his teeth late too, as the timing for getting the first tooth does appear to be genetic.

The lower, middle two teeth (central incisors) usually come in first, followed by the upper, middle two teeth. The lateral incisors, canine teeth, first, and then second molars all follow, until all 20 baby teeth (the primary teeth) are in by the time your child is about 2 to 3 years old.

Keep in mind that many babies don't follow this typical order or pattern and their teeth may come in randomly.

And while you should be wiping your baby's gums even before he gets his first tooth, you can start to brush his teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste as he gets them. Also remember that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a first visit to a pediatric dentist within 6 months of getting the first tooth or by the time your baby is 12 months old.

What's next? You can expect your child to start to lose his first primary teeth when he is about 6 years old and he will quickly start to get the first of his 32 permanent teeth at about the same time.

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