Teeth are a wonderful marker of your child’s progress in life. Your child’s journey begins with teething in early infancy, progresses into the loss of baby teeth during childhood, and then advances into adulthood with the eruption of wisdom teeth. Teeth are a bittersweet way of knowing that your child is growing up.
To help you understand your child’s teeth better, here’s a timeline of when a child’s teeth start to appear and when they fall out. Keep in mind that this timeline is only general and will not fit all children. Some children won’t get their first tooth until after their first birthday. Don’t worry, as this is normal. Some babies are even born with their first teeth!
- Birth. It’s a misconception that babies are born without teeth. The full set of twenty baby teeth are already there at birth, in the jaw. They just haven’t erupted yet.
- 4-7 months. The baby’s first teeth erupt around this age. These teeth are usually the two bottom incisors. Teething can be uncomfortable for a baby, and she might chew plastic toys to alleviate their discomfort. Other signs of teething are dribbling a lot, flushed cheeks and crying. To soothe your teething baby, try giving them teething rings. These rings are made of plastic or wood and your baby will find comfort from chewing on them. Some rings can even go in the fridge before use – babies especially enjoying chewing on cold teething rings.
- 8-12 months. The upper incisors usually appear around this time.
- 9-16 months. At this age, the lower and lateral incisors (the teeth next to the middle teeth) appear.
- 13-19 months. After your baby’s first birthday, the first molars usually appear! These teeth are large and flat, which makes them ideal for chewing and grinding food. If your child still hasn’t shown any sign of sprouting teeth yet, let your doctor know. Chances are that it’s entirely normal – some children don’t start teething until months after their first birthday.
- 23-31 months. Around the time of the child’s second birthday, the bottom second molars appear.
- 25-33 months. Just after the child’s second birthday, the top second molars come through.
- 3 years. By three years of age, your child will have a full set of baby teeth!
- 6-7 years. At this age, your child is becoming more independent and capable. Another sign of their growing maturity is that she begins to lose their baby teeth, which are quickly replaced by their permanent adult teeth. The first teeth to go are usually the incisors.
- 7-8 years. The baby lower and lateral incisors are the next to go.
- 9-12 years. Finally, the baby molars fall out and the adult molars come through. At this point, your child will no longer have any baby teeth left – they will all be adult teeth.
- 17-21 years. At the age of eighteen, your child is officially an adult – don’t they grow up so fast? Another thing that happens around this age is that your child’s wisdom teeth will come through. This doesn’t mean they actually have wisdom though – it’s your job to give them that.