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Late Teethers Means Late Losers. Wait? What?

Carson sprouted his first tooth the day after his 1st birthday.

The day after Carson’s first birthday, after months of drooling and false alarms, he finally popped his first tooth. I pretended not to be worried, but I was. Why, I had vast experience with of teething, having two whole friends who had babies close in age to Carson and already both had sprouted a combined six teeth. Carson was seriously underachieving! It didn’t help that everyone, including random strangers, would comment on his lack of teeth. “How does he eat,” they’d inquire (rather nosy, if you ask me).

At his ten-month checkup with the pediatrician, I expressed my concern that he hadn’t yet begun teething.

“He should have teeth by now!” I insisted to our kind pediatrician, Dr. Metting.

She smiled, and used to dealing with overly cautious and borderline hypochondriac parents, Dr. Metting assured me that every child teeths at their own pace. “You’re allowed to become concerned if he still hasn’t sprouted a tooth at his two-year checkup, okay?”

Late teethers must be in our genes. My daughter Ella didn’t get her first tooth until she was 15-months-old. When she did finally get her first tooth, it wasn’t the typical presentation of the bottom two teeth, but instead she first sprouted her eyeteeth, or canines. We called her “Edward Cullen” for months until she finally got her upper incisors.

Luckily I wasn’t as worried with Ella since Dr. Metting had relieved my worries before. Dr. Metting had also explained that late teethers often have fewer cavities in their baby teeth, as those teeth are protected from sugar and acids that we eat in our foods when they are still in the gums.

While that may just be anecdotal, so far both of my children have been cavity-free at every dentist appointment. I suspect that this is partly because they were late teethers, but also because of good genes.  We’ve also been diligent with the children’s oral care routine since they both (finally) sprouted those first teeth. Each night before bed and in the mornings after breakfast, the kids brush their teeth. Now that they’re older, we’ve added flossing and rinsing to make the routine complete.

Carson and Ella are both in elementary school now. Nearly everyday, one of them comes home reporting that Addison or Alexander has lost a tooth and have been visited by the tooth fairy. They are both desperate for that special visit from the tooth fairy, but she remains elusive. I remembered that Dr. Metting had also said that late teethers often lose their baby teeth later, but this explanation is of little comfort to Carson and Ella. They’re ready to lose some teeth now!

In the meantime, we better keep those baby teeth healthy with brushing and rinsing!

I received products from Johnson & Johnson as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Kids Cavity-Free School Year Program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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