The Business of Teething & Four New Chompers

My kids have always been early teethers. Both of them had their first bottom teeth popping through by 4 months old but unlike my daughter, whose teeth started to come in one at a time every month after the first two, Arlo has stalled a bit. His bunny teeth have been hanging out in a little pair by themselves for the last 4 months and I was beginning to wonder if and when we’d see more pop through. In true Arlo fashion, he decided to go big or go home with the presence of the top four front teeth all pushing through at his gum line. Four at once! Can you imagine?

So all of this teething business got me curious as to the natural order of when and how teeth come in. What’s the average age for a baby’s first teeth to come through? What teeth are supposed to come in second? third? When do molars appear? With a little internet digging, I found the answer.

First Tooth

Most babies get their first tooth somewhere between 4 and 7 months of age, although this can vary greatly. A small few children are actually BORN with teeth and some take upwards of a year to see their first one sprout. The bottom two teeth are almost always the first two to come in.

What Teeth Come Next?

After the first two, the next most common teeth to appear are the two front teeth, followed closely with the two incisors on either side of the top front teeth. From there,  the rest of the upper and lower side and back teeth begin to come in, sometimes individually, sometimes in pairs until the average child has a total of 20 baby teeth by the age of 3.  Most babies get their first molars somewhere between 12 -18 months and they are a game changer in their ability to grind and mash food. Second year molars tend to appear (as the name suggests) right around the 2-year mark.

What Are the Signs of Teething?

Drooling, gum swelling, refusing food, gnawing on hands and toys, unusual fussiness, mild fevers and disrupted sleep patterns can all be associated with teething (sounds like fun, eh?)

How Can You Soothe a Teething Baby?

Some folks prefer the natural approach (amber teething necklaces, hyland’s teething gel, frozen babywash cloths to gnaw on) while others are die-hard believers of a little infant pain reliever like Ibuprofen to ease baby’s transition into the world of chompers.

And One Random, Weird Fact I Discovered:

Most baby teeth fall out in the order they came in, so when your child gets to the age that they start to lose them (usually around age 6) expect that those two bottom teeth will be the first to go!

As I said to a twitter friend last night, I’m still just trying to get through the experience of teeth coming in, that I can’t even comprehend thinking about them falling out again! When did your baby’s teeth start to appear? What have you found as the most successful approach to dealing with pain and irritability associated with teething?

~Melissa

(image via)

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