When should I be worried about my baby’s teeth?

Answered by Frank Schwing

When it comes to your baby’s teeth, it’s important to remember that every child develops at their own pace. While the average age for the eruption of the first tooth is between 6 to 12 months, it’s perfectly normal for some babies to get their teeth earlier or later than this timeframe. So, there’s no need to panic if your baby’s teeth haven’t made an appearance within this range.

However, if your baby reaches the age of 18 months and still has no teeth, it may be a good idea to consult a pediatric dentist for an evaluation. At this stage, it’s worth ruling out any underlying issues that may be causing the delay in tooth eruption. While it’s rare, delayed tooth eruption can sometimes be a sign of a developmental or genetic condition that requires attention.

It’s important to keep in mind that the timing of tooth eruption is influenced by various factors such as genetics, overall development, and even gender. Some babies are simply late bloomers when it comes to teeth. So, if your baby is otherwise developing normally, eating well, and showing no signs of discomfort, there may be no cause for concern even if the teeth are taking a bit longer to come in.

During the teething process, it’s common for babies to experience some discomfort and irritability. They may drool more, have swollen gums, and even develop a slight fever. Providing your baby with teething toys, chilled washcloths, or gently massaging their gums can help alleviate their discomfort. It’s important to avoid using teething gels or medications without consulting a healthcare professional first.

In the meantime, you can start practicing good oral hygiene habits even before your baby’s teeth appear. Wiping your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feedings can help remove any residue and promote a healthy oral environment. Once the teeth start erupting, you can transition to using a soft-bristled infant toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste.

Remember, each baby is unique, and their teeth will come in their own time. If you have any concerns or questions, it’s always best to consult with a pediatric dentist who can provide personalized guidance based on your baby’s specific situation.