Baby's First Tooth

Expert Pediatrics Q&A

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When did your baby get his first teeth?. 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.

Signs of the First Tooth

Is your baby a little fussy, drooling, wanting to chew on things?

Must be teething, right?

Well, not necessarily...

While those can be signs and symptoms of teething, they can very often occur without teething at around age 3 to 4 months.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "By age 3 or 4 months, infants are drooling and chewing on the things they put into their mouths.

This is how they learn about the world around them."

First-time parents might also be fooled if they see tiny white to whitish yellow dots on their baby's gums. Often mistaken for the first tooth, these are often instead gingival cysts. They can occur on the roof of an infant's mouth, when they are called Epstein's Pearls, and on the gums when they are called Bohn's nodules. And they go away without treatment.

Baby's First Tooth

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 or run in families.

Which baby tooth can you expect to come in first?

The lower, middle two teeth (central incisors) usually come in first, followed by the upper, middle two teeth.

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 the first visit to a pediatric dentist within 6 months of getting the first tooth or by the time your baby is 12 months old.

When Do Babies Get Teeth

Which baby teeth are next?

After the lower and upper middle two teeth, the lateral incisors, canine teeth, first, and then second molars all follow.

Ultimately, your baby will get all 20 baby teeth (the primary teeth) by the time they are about two to three years old.

You can then expect your child to start to lose his first baby tooth when he is about 6 years old. He will quickly start to get the first of his 32 permanent teeth at about the same time.


Kozuch, Mary. Infant Teething Information on the World Wide Web: Taking a Byte Out of the Search. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, Volume 29, Issue 1, January–February 2015, Pages 38-45.

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