What Age Do Babies Start Teething?

As mentioned in my previous sleep article, my baby was quite a sleepy head. However, as she reached around three to four months of age, something began to change. She was getting more and more irritated. She would cry a lot and wake up a lot at night. My wife and I both wondered if our daughter was teething, because we heard that teething is a pretty painful experience for some babies.

For many babies, teething can be a very calm and relaxing experience. For them, there is no such as thing as “teething symptoms”. However, for my baby daughter, it was just a traumatic experience. We waited for a while, approximately two to three weeks, but there was still no teeth showing up. By the middle of November, my daughter was halfway through being four months old, and we saw our first white “bumps” on the bottom row of her gums. That was the first sign of her teeth.

The Theoretical Timeline

In theory, most babies start getting their teeth around four to six months of age. However, that is just theory. In reality, your baby can get her first teeth any time within the first twelve months. It depends more on genetics than anything else.

In other words, if the parents got it early, then the children will get it early too, and vice versa. It doesn’t have anything to do with the baby’s level of intelligence unless your baby is suffering from some kind of development delay. If your baby doesn’t get her first tooth by twelve months of age, you have to check with your doctor to see what’s wrong.

Sometimes, your baby’s first teeth might be “delayed” compared to the average baby, but that doesn’t mean anything is wrong. I have a friend who’s baby didn’t get any teeth until she turned fourteen months of age. However, once she got her teeth, she got it all at once instead of one pair of teeth at a time.

The Theoretical Order Of Teeth Appearance

The common order of teeth emergence works like this:

  1. The bottom front row comes out first (lower central incisor) – At this point, there are two teeth in the bottom middle
  2. The top front row comes out second (upper central incisor) – Now there are two teeth in the top and bottom middle
  3. At the top, the teeth next to the upper central incisor comes out third (upper lateral incisor) – Now there are four teeth at the top middle and two teeth at the bottom middle, total in six teeth
  4. At the bottom, the teeth next to the lower central incisor comes out fourth (lower lateral incisor) – Now there are four teeth at the top and bottom middle, totalling eight teeth.
  5. At the top, the teeth next to the upper lateral incisor gets skipped, and the two teeth further to the side grows out (upper first molar)
  6. At the bottom, the teeth next to the lower lateral incisor gets skipped, and the two teeth further to the sides grows out (lower first molar)
  7. At the top, the gap in the middle gets filled (top canine)
  8. At the bottom, the gap in the middle gets filled (bottom canine)
  9. A the bottom, the tooth all the way in the sides grow out (lower second molar)
  10. At the top, the final teeth all in the way in the sides grow out (upper second molar)

If you have trouble visualizing all of that, you can check out a picture on Wikipedia. Theoretically, your child should have twenty teeth by three years old. However, that is just theory. Some babies are later, and some babies are earlier.  In reality, babies actually start developing their teeth when they were still in their mother’s womb. That is why some babies already have teeth by the time they are born.

Don’t be too sad if your baby doesn’t follow the order I mentioned above. There are exceptions to this chronological form of development. As I mentioned earlier, my friend’s baby got all her teeth at once even though it was slightly delayed. If that happens to your baby, it is not a big concern. Besides, there’s a rumor out there that claims that developing teeth later in a baby’s life actually makes the teeth better quality.

How To Make Teeth Come Out Faster

As I mentioned earlier, baby develops teeth mostly based on genetics. However, if your baby is already teething, there are ways to make it show up faster. This is a technique my friend taught me at my workplace. Go to the supermarket and purchase some small bagels. Next, thing you have to do is to bring it home and freeze them. Now, let your baby chew on one or two frozen bagels everyday.

The idea of this is let your baby to satisfy her itchy gums by chewing on frozen bagels. This helps push her teeth through her gums the more she does it. Since the bagels are cold, they are also good for numbing the pain from teething. It literally kills two birds with one stone and it involves no chemicals or drugs.. Of course, if frozen bagels isn’t really your thing, you can always freeze some other stuff like carrots that are clean and peeled. The key is something is hard to bite so your baby can train her jaw strength at the same time.

Things That Delay Teething

If your baby is born prematurely, there is a chance that will delay her first tooth from appearing. Normally, babies are already born underdeveloped even if they were full term. Being born premature might also have an influence on late teething.

Another issue is thyroid problems. If your baby isn’t producing enough T3 and T4 in her system, then teething might also might delayed. Simply as your doctor for advice on what to do.

Also remember not to use teething gels. Let’s say your baby is suffering from teething, teething gels will harden the gums and slow down her teeth eruption.

Danger Signs You Have To Watch Out For

Pay attention to your baby’s gums. If they seem heavily swollen, bluish, or bumpy then contact your doctor for advice. Also, fever, greenish diarrhea with mucus, and vomiting are abnormal signs. Symptoms of teething aren’t usually that bad so these signs might indicate something else, like an infection for example. Contact your doctor right away.