Good oral health starts early! Even before the first tooth erupts

Baby teeth or Deciduous teeth

These are the first set of teeth that grow in as a child.  These include the cutting teeth, or incisors, the canines, and the chewing teeth, or molars.  In normal development, these teeth begin to grow in at 6 months of age and are completed around 3 years of age.  Each child is different, so these milestones can differ from one individual to the other.  Be patient as your child’s smile develops, and if they are very slow to develop, always ask your dentist!

Erupted Tooth: About the Teething Process

Teething is a painful process for the baby.  Here, we provide a brief summary on how the baby started to develop their first set of teeth until they reached a full set of gleaming pearly whites.

These eruption and shedding times can vary significantly. If you have any concerns, contact a dental professional.

Tooth Development

Tooth development starts at the embryonic stage.  During development, the embryo starts to develop the foundation of the baby teeth which are referred to as tooth buds.  These tooth buds develop over time, and will usually erupt and become visible between 4 to 7 months.  Rarely, the child can even be born with teeth.

Central and Lateral Incisors

This includes lower incisors or the two bottom front teeth.  These are the first to arrive, between 4 to 7 months.  The rest of the incisors – both on the top and on the bottom – will follow, until around 13 months.

2 Year Molars

This is one of the most painful stages in teething.  The first molars will start to erupt after your child’s first birthday, between 13 to 19 months.

Canines as the Cutting Teeth

Between 16 to 22 months, the upper canines fill the gap between the incisors and first molars.  The lower canines will erupt between 17 to 23 months.  By the age of three, all of the baby teeth, including the second molars, should be erupted and your child should be smiling!

Teething Rash, Itchy Gums, and Other Signs and Symptoms

Some babies may feel uncomfortable during the teething period while some just breeze through the process.   A 2015 study aimed to track the common teething signs and symptoms listed below [1]:

•    Drooling

•    Sleep disturbances

•    Irritability

•     Loss of appetite during the canine eruption

•    Gum swelling and Sensitivity

•    Biting and chewing behavior

There are some myths that persist about teething; fevers, diarrhea, and vomiting are not normal in teething children! If your baby experiences any of these while teething, call your doctor as this may indicate other health problems.

Putting their hands in their mouth is a way many babies will self-soothe during teething

Teething Remedies

Teething is a normal process, but it can be strenuous for both the parents and the child.  Here are some at-home remedies that are safe for the child and may offer some relief.

•    Massage the Gums

...with clean hands and a clean washcloth, try massaging your child’s gums   

•    Offer cold food

...cold yogurt or applesauce can provide temporary relief from the pain

•    Offer something to chew on

...a teething ring or a wet washcloth that’s been cooled in the refrigerator can ease the pain

Baby’s Breath Smells! When to start brushing your baby’s teeth

  • Before any teeth have erupted, wiping the infant’s gums with a clean washcloth is recommended to clean the mouth after feeding. [2]

•    As soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, it is important to keep them clean by brushing them at least twice a day using an infant toothbrush with a smear of toothpaste.  Practicing early oral hygiene is important.

•    According to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, your child should have their first dental exam by age 1.[3]  The dentist will discuss feeding and cleaning habits then check for normal development and evaluate for early signs of tooth decay.

•    Never let your child fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with anything but water.  Even milk will cause early cavities if it has time to sit on teeth.

Pediatric oral care is one of the most important and earliest practice to get accustomed to for you and your child.  Establishing good oral hygiene from the beginning sets the stage for good dental habits for the years to come.  Energetic Smile team is here to guide through the process, together we’ll help you achieve the healthiest teeth possible for your little one!


  1. Mahtab M. & Elham S., (2015 Jul 28). Signs and symptoms associated with primary tooth eruption: a clinical trial of nonpharmacological remedies. Retrieved in (Accessed June 6, 2018)
  2. Cohen M. Your Baby's Teething Timeline. Retrieved in (Accessed June 6, 2018)
  3. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up? Retrieved in (Accessed June 6, 2018)