Teething, an important milestone in baby’s development, is the sequential appearance of baby teeth and it’s incredible to think that those tiny teeth buds first began to develop when they were still in the womb.
Teething usually begins at between four and nine months and most babies will have ‘cut’ their first tooth by their first birthday.
However, every baby is different and the start and duration of the teething process can vary greatly between individuals – it is thought that around one in 2000 babies are actually born with a baby tooth or two already, while others don’t show any until they are 12 months! If you are becoming impatient or are at all worried, it is worth bearing in mind that teething patterns do tend to be hereditary, so knowing when you and your partner began to cut your teeth may provide some clues.
There is no need to worry if your baby’s teeth appear particularly early or late – the timings are not believed to be any indication whether the baby is developing well, either physically or mentally. In fact, you can see from the timetable below that even the average age ranges at which different teeth start to emerge are quite broad but this should help give you an idea of what to expect:
- 6 to 12 months – The lower incisor (the teeth at the very front of the mouth) is generally the first to emerge;
- 9 to 16 months – two more incisors break through, top and bottom;
- 12 to 18 months – the first back molars emerge;
- 18 to 24 months – the canine teeth start to appear between the molars and incisors.
Finally, the second molar teeth break through in the lower and upper back of the mouth. Most babies don’t have a full set of milk teeth (ten at the top, ten at the bottom), until around the age of three. They will then usually keep these until they are approximately six years of age, when these naturally start to fall out and are replaced by bigger permanent teeth which quickly start pushing through.
It’s an exciting time in their development so why not keep track of the appearance of your baby’s teeth? Just download our teething chart and print out on thick paper. Then as each new tooth emerges simply colour in the corresponding tooth on the chart and mark the date and baby’s age. It will provide a record that you (and your baby!) can treasure for years to come.