A Simple Teething Schedule
Why is a teething schedule helpful? Because babies teethe in spurts.
for Busy Moms
You'll have two teeth pop in, then nothing for months, and then suddenly
it's six teeth in 2 weeks.
Knowing the baby teeth order to expect cuts back on guessing. You can "out-smart the mouth" by knowing where to look first.
A teething schedule will help keep you on your toes. It provides the proper expectations on what the normal baby teeth order is, so you can
turn those symptoms into effective relief as soon as possible.
(In case you missed it, see my article on "Reading the Signs of Teething" for
Your baby's teeth started developing around the 19th week of pregnancy. There will be 20 primary teeth in your baby's mouth
when teething is finished (start your countdown!). There are 32 teeth in an adult set. Personally, I'm thankful we
only have to go through this for 20 teeth!
Side Note: Don't worry if your infant's teeth look crooked. Straight or crooked baby teeth is not
an indicator of straight or crooked adult teeth.
What Our Teething Schedule CAN'T Tell Us
As predictable as baby teeth order is with teething, the specific timing question is almost unanswerable. There is no set pattern as to when it will
begin, how long it will last, or how painful it will be.
For one tooth you may be able to see a slightly raised lump before it shows up. For the next tooth it just may "magically" appear without warning.
Your baby may breeze through teething until the molars, and then it's up all night and scream all day.
Or...it may be just the opposite. Your infant
may fuss through all the "easy" teeth, only to be better emotionally prepared when the molars appear and hardly fuss at all.
There is some evidence of genes playing a part, so interviewing the grandparents may be fruitful. If you or your spouse teethed late, there's a good
chance that junior will as well.
No teething schedule will be able to provide an exact schedule. However, it can be used as a map, providing general timing and location guidelines
for you to follow.
What Our Teething Schedule CAN Tell Us
Even if we can't pinpoint the specific day your baby will start teething, we can give estimations to predict
what's first, second, third, etc. so you can watch that area of your baby's mouth.
So...onward and upward!
Meet "Average Alice"
Average Alice's first two teeth came in at 6 months. Her bottom two front teeth came in first, followed by the upper two front teeth.
"Average Alice" then averaged 4 new teeth every 4 months after that.
Between her 2nd and 3rd birthday, her second pair of molars (and her last baby teeth) sprouted. Average Alice had all 20 of her baby teeth before her 3rd
Nursing a Teether
It is inevitable. At some
point, your nursing angel is going to attempt to gnaw on your sensitive nipples.
Immediately say "No biting" in a firm "mommy voice". (Don't have one? Now's the time to make one!)
If he persists, say "No biting!", immediately unlatch him, gently lay him on the floor, and walk away for a few seconds.
This sudden stop to lunch will catch his attention and reinforce your words.
Be persistent! He will get the picture and use the teething
toys you oh-so-carefully picked out instead.
At around 6 years old those baby teeth began to fall out, and were completely replaced by her adult teeth by her 12th birthday.
Meet "The Exceptionals"
So what if your baby isn't "Average Alice" (or "Average Al" for that matter)? What if your family tends to be "Extraordinarily Exceptional" and
rule-breakers in every developmental sense of the word? Here's your list of "exceptions".
- In rare cases, babies can teethe as early as 3 months, or as late as past their first birthday. (There is no connection between
future intellect and teething age, by the way.)
- One in 2,000 babies are born with teeth already showing.
- Premature babies tend to teethe a little later than their full-term brothers and sisters.
- Only a small minority of children don't get their teeth in the order described below. It does happen, but it's exceedingly
Your Teething Schedule...
I'm not a dental expert. As I was researching for this series of teething articles, all those lateral incisors, lower cuspids, central incisors,
and second molars constantly got blurred into a big mush of teeth in my head.
My Incredibly-Bad Visual Aid
In order to help you visualize the baby teeth order, I've developed some incredibly-bad graphic aids. (Yes, chuckle away...at least I'm honest
about my limitations...) Let's just hope these don't end up resembling your baby's teeth! (That's what you get for laughing...)
Just to remind you: Your baby may get four teeth at one time and then nothing for months. Be patient. His body knows when things should happen. If your baby
hasn't shown a tooth and he's over a year old, talk to your doctor.
How to Read My Incredibly-Bad Visual Aid
The chart below shows the 10 teething stages your baby will (most likely) go through. Those
teeth with the purple stars are the ones being described in the text below the picture. (Incisors, canines, laterals...it gets pretty darn confusing!)
Lower Central Incisors
(lower middle teeth)
Upper Central Incisors
Upper Lateral Incisors
(on sides of middle teeth)
Lower Lateral Incisors
Top First Molars
(wide teeth for chewing)
Bottom First Molars
("Fang" teeth, also called
canine or eye teeth)
Upper 2nd Year Molars
Lower 2nd Year Molars
The "When" Question Answered
Just in case you're looking for more specific answers to the when question, here's a brief list of when these teeth usually start
popping through. (If your baby is Average Alice!) Use the chart above to tell you where "cuspids" and "incisors" are in your infant's mouth.
- 5 - 7 Months: Central Incisors
- 7 - 9 Months: Lateral Incisors
- 10 - 14 Months: First Molars
- 15 - 18 Months: Cuspids
- 2 - 3 Years: Second Molars
This teething schedule is as specific as one can possibly be. In all honesty, your baby is the only one who will be able to say "Gosh darn it
Mom! My gums hurt!" (and most likely, he won't be able to SAY that).
Knowing where to look in your baby's mouth will help you spot the little nubs as soon as possible. Add this knowledge to the signs of teething,
and your baby will be cooing your praises.
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