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Baby’s 1st Tooth

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I received an iPhone App email from Lilli who was concerned that her son was almost one year of age, and had not cut a tooth yet.  I remember having the same feeling when our middle son had not cut a tooth at 15 months of age and my mother kept reminding me of “toothless” children.

Of course, our first son cut his first tooth at about 7 months of age, so despite trying NOT to compare them, of course I was.  Upon reviewing the literature I was thrilled to find out that there is a wide variation in dental eruption among babies and very few cases of children who never developed teeth!

The first teeth to erupt are typically the lower central (middle) incisors, usually somewhere around 6 months of age, although just like many things in child development there may be those who have teeth earlier and those who will not cut a tooth until after their first birthday.  Girls typically cut their teeth before boys (just like pubertal development).

Teeth usually erupt in pairs with the two lower central incisors being the first to erupt, then followed by the upper two central incisors and then the upper lateral incisors. Most children will have their full set of “baby teeth” by the age of three years.

Personally, I would not worry about it, and not having teeth should not prevent your child from eating finger foods either.  It is wonderful to have a few extra months of that sweet baby breath (teeth make for bad breath) and you don’t have to worry about tooth brushing. It is still a good idea to give your child a toothbrush that they can begin experimenting with if only to brush the gums!

That’s your daily dose.  We’ll chat again tomorrow

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