our everyday life

What Is the Normal Age Range for Infants to Get Their First Tooth?

by Sara Ipatenco, studioD

At some point during your infant's first year of life, her first tooth will emerge from her gums -- most children have a full mouth of teeth by the time they reach their third birthday. While some variability exists in how soon or how late children get their first tooth, if you're worried that your baby isn't getting her teeth on time, speak with her pediatrician. Remember: In most cases, you have nothing to worry about.

Age Range

Most babies get their first tooth between the ages of 4 and 7 months, according to the Healthy Children website. Usually, the bottom two front teeth emerge first, followed by the top two front teeth. The molars and the teeth on either side of the front teeth will fill in during the next several months. This is the normal teething process, but that doesn't mean your child will follow it. A small number of baby's teeth emerge outside of this pattern, and it's usually no cause for concern.

When The Teeth Don't Show

It's uncommon, but in some cases a baby's teeth might not emerge during the normal 4- to 7-month window. This can occur because of heredity. According to a 2006 article published in the "American Journal of Human Genetics," mutations and genes can affect tooth development. Late timing of tooth emergence isn't something to worry about, though. In almost all cases, your baby's teeth will emerge eventually. On the opposite end, some babies are born with a tooth already popping out of the gums. If it doesn't pose an eating or choking hazard, it's also nothing to worry about.

Symptoms of Teething

When your baby's teeth do begin to appear, look for recognizable symptoms. Many babies display an increase in drooling just before a tooth pops from the gums. Your little one might also want to chew on something hard, which can help ease the swelling and tenderness often associated with teething. Many babies are also extra cranky just before the teeth come out of the gums. A fever or diarrhea, often blamed on teething, aren't true symptoms of teething. If your child has these symptoms, call his pediatrician because they usually signal an illness of some kind.

Care for New Teeth

Once your baby gets her first tooth, you must add oral hygiene steps to your daily routine. As soon as you see the white line of a new tooth, gently brush it at least once a day using a soft infant toothbrush. You don't need to use toothpaste until your baby is older, usually after her first birthday. Don't let your baby fall asleep sucking on a bottle, either. The sugars in breast milk and formula coat your baby's teeth, which can lead to dental decay, according to the Healthy Children website.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images