Information by Age Group:
0-12 Months 1-4 Years 5-10 Years 11+ Years General

When Do The First Teeth Appear?

The first teeth generally appear between from 6 and 14 months.

Baby teeth will appear very white like shiny perfect pearls. The first teeth to appear will either be the lower or upper front teeth called the central incisors. The next teeth to present, erupt right beside the central incisors and are called the lateral incisors.

The eruption of teeth in your infant will vary and may be 10 to 12 months from the average ranges and still be normal. Every baby's teething schedule will differ. Some children will get their teeth earlier while others later. The chart on this page is an average range of eruption of baby teeth. The significance of early or late eruption may mean that those children whose teeth erupt later will have a slightly higher resistance to decay than those children whose teeth erupt earlier. This is explained by the fact that teeth that stay under the gums longer will pick up the fluoride in the water supply as well as other sources and become more resistant to decay.

The progression of eruption of your baby's teeth should be monitored as your infant is growing.  By the time your child is 3 years of age, there may be certain things you may want to consult with us about if there are too few teeth in the baby's mouth. An examination by the dentist will reveal if they are just late coming in or if the child may have an inherited condition. Yellowish-brown stained soft teeth are one of the first signs of decay. These teeth should always be saved as the baby teeth help to keep space for the permanent teeth to erupt in. 

Most babies will have 12 teeth by the time they are 18 months. By the time they are 3, 20 teeth should have appeared. Any missing or extra teeth can lead to Malocclusions and should be looked at by your baby's dentist. In fact, a baby's first dental visit should begin 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth, or around 1 year of age.

Cleaning and Caring for the Infant Teeth

A baby's mouth will form plaque from bacteria and food in the mouth. Plaque is a film containing a sticky substance that coats the teeth and sets the stage for decay and gum disease. Bacteria use food to produce an acid that demineralizes the tooth to cause decay and to harm the gums. Therefore regular cleaning of your infant's gums and teeth helps to ensure a healthy and happy baby. Before teeth erupt, clean your baby's mouth and gums with a soft cloth or infant toothbrush. This helps to prepare your baby for the tooth cleaning that is to come. Once your infant's teeth begin to erupt into the mouth (as early as 4 months old), they should be cleaned twice a day, preferably after breakfast and after their last meal in the evening.


Teething can vary in every infant depending on the age of eruption of the primary teeth. Teething is often associated with daytime restlessness, an increase in amount of finger sucking, an increase in drooling and possibly some loss of appetite. The gums may appear red before the emergence of the tooth and cause a temporarily painful condition in the baby. However, this pain should subside after a few days.

What can be done about pain associated with teething?
  1. A cleaned, chilled teething ring will help alleviate some of the pain associated with teething.
  2. A children's Tylenol elixir may help alleviate the pain and inflammation.
Please note: Benzocaine ointment should not be used as it may cause numbing of the throat and cause your baby to choke if too much is used.

Parents should always be suspicious during teething. If the baby has symptoms of fever, nausea, congestion, don't assume the baby is just teething. Check with your pediatrician for other possibilities.

Caring for your child’s teeth from babyhood through adolescence

Important Milestones in The Growth and Development of Your Child's Teeth:

Age 1
By the first birthday, the bottom and top front teeth have come in. The first primary molars are about to appear and the crowns of the second primary molars have formed. The biting surfaces of the first permanent molars are being formed and the first permanent incisors are hardening. The jaw is increasing in size in both height and width as the cartilage and bones are growing.

Age 3
By the child's 3rd birthday, almost all the primary teeth are present or accounted for. The teeth should fit together at this stage which is the start of a developing occlusion or bite. The crowns of the first permanent incisors are almost complete. The crowns of the first permanent molars are complete. Mineralization of the premolar crowns are starting and the permanent canines are about two-thirds complete. The roots of all the primary teeth are complete.

Age 5
A lot is going on in your 5-year-old. Breakdown (resorption) of the roots of baby incisors is taking place which allows the adult incisors to come in.  When baby teeth are ready to come out, they will at first feel loose and eventually fall out on their own. The baby tooth will appear as if it did not have roots, however this is the process of resorption taking place. The roots of the permanent first molars and permanent incisors are beginning to mineralize at this time too. On occasion the adult teeth erupt adjacent to the baby teeth and this may result in two rows of teeth. A consultation with your dentist at this time is important to determine the status of the baby teeth.

Age 6
This is a time of great change. Growth in the skull and upper part of the face is almost complete at this time. However, growth in the lower part of the face is just beginning.  It's at this time that your child will start to lose his or her "baby face."

Your first grader will have their first permanent molars making their way into the mouth. Usually these teeth erupt without much fuss. The front baby teeth are loose around this time allowing for the permanent incisors to grow through the gums. The roots of the primary teeth continue to resorb and the crown of the permanent canine is fully formed.

Age 10
Many changes have already taken place in your child's mouth. The permanent incisors are by now fully into your child’s mouth and the primary molars are beginning to loosen and fall out. The permanent molars are in position and the second permanent molars are beginning to find their way into the mouth. The roots of the baby canines are resorbing to make way for the permanent canines. The upper canines are one of the last teeth to erupt into the mouth. These eye teeth help to close the space between your child's upper front teeth.

Age 13
Your child is now 13 and has all of his or her permanent teeth in with the exception of the last molars, often called the wisdom teeth. The bones and jaws are reaching their adult dimensions and strength. There are 32 teeth in the mouth including the wisdom teeth still under the gums.
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