It’s a moment awaited with bated breath, containing equal moments dread and excitement for our growing child, the first tooth. The child’s first tooth marks an important transition in our lives, moving from soft foods and formula to the consumption of solid food. For breastfeeding mothers, it contains equally complex emotions, a pending freedom coming hand in hand with a loss of a special intimacy between mother and child. Throughout all of these worries and hopes comes one question, when will my child start teething?
A Moment As Individual As The Child
The eruption of the first tooth comes at a different time for everyone, for some, it arrives as early as 3 months while other children may have to wait until 14 months to see their first tooth arrive. Some of the elements that affect the timing are genetic, parents who had their teeth arrive early are likely to have children who have teeth that arrive early. With children who were born prematurely, the first tooth tends to arrive later, understandable considering their early exit from the wound and being in an earlier stage of development.
How Long Will It Take For My Child To Get All Their Teeth?
This is, again, highly dependent on when the child starts teething. However, there is a fairly common set of ages that the teeth begin to arrive, though the order is fluid. The below listed times are merely the most common times, not a hard and fast rule:
- 6 months: The lower incisors start growing in at this point, typically the center two.
- 8 months: At this point, the upper inner incisors start to arrive.
- 10 months: The outer incisors on the top and bottom begin erupting.
- 14 months: The arrival of the first molars, this can be a particularly uncomfortable time for your child.
- 18 months: Oddly, these teeth arrive later than the others, leaving a gap between incisors and molars until they come in.
- 24 months: Finally, the second molars will arrive, giving your child a full set of teeth.
Every child’s experience is different, and their teeth may arrive in their own order, and take longer or shorter times to fully arrive. If you have any concerns contact your dentist for a consultation.
Signs Of Impending Teething
There are things you can watch for to determine if your child is teething or about to begin teething. Pulling on their ears can mean they’re trying to soothe pain, but it can also indicate an ear infection so pay close attention in this case.
The most common and reliable symptom is red swollen bumps on the gums, indicating teeth trying to push through the gums and into the world. When you see these bumps it’s good to give your child teething rings and perhaps invest in some numbing ointment to apply to their teeth. In some cases, you may hear your child grinding their teeth, a habit that results from the pressure easing the pain on their teeth. Contact your dentist if this behavior becomes chronic.