Getting the first baby teeth in is one of the most exciting milestones for new parents and babies. While the process of those first teeth coming in — teething — can come with a notoriously high amount of fussiness for babies, seeing them start to smile and knowing that solid foods are just around the corner is priceless.
One of the most common questions is what teeth babies can expect to get first after the teething begins. There is some variation in when teeth begin to appear and what teeth you will see first.
In this guide, we’ll share an overview of teething, a guideline to when teething usually begins, what you can expect to see first, and how to take care of those teeth. Our goal is to help any parent learn how to get their child’s dental care and oral health off to the best start.
What is teething, and when does it begin?
Teething is the process of a baby’s teeth beginning to grow through the gums. This usually occurs during the first year after being born, but the exact timing can vary between children. For example, some children will have multiple teeth by their first birthday, while others may not see any until 14 to 15 months or even later.
What baby teeth can I expect to see first?
Like the timing of teething, the baby teeth you can expect to see first often varies. The two front bottom teeth, called the lower central incisors, are the first to erupt for many babies. The upper central incisors often come next. While there is a lot of individual variances, here is a common sequence for baby teeth erupting:
- Lower central incisors
- Upper central incisors
- Upper lateral incisors, next to the top front teeth
- Lower lateral incisors, next to the bottom front teeth
- First molars, the back teeth used for grinding
- Canines or cuspids, the pointed teeth on either side of the incisors
- Second molars, the back teeth used for grinding
Most children should have a complete set of 20 baby teeth by around age two or three, but some may take longer.
Recognizing the Signs of Teething
When a baby is teething, their gums may become swollen, red, and tender. This can cause many symptoms, including:
- Drooling due to stimulation of saliva production
- Irritability and fussiness caused by swelling and discomfort
- Chewing and biting to relieve the pressure on the gums
- Sleep disturbances, including more frequent waking or difficulty falling asleep
- Loss of appetite
While these are all a normal part of the development process, it can still be uncomfortable, and parents should try to take any steps to ease or limit discomfort.
Tips for Dealing With Teething Pain and Fussiness
There are many ways to help soothe babies when they are teething. This includes teething rings or other toys to chew on, gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger, or using over-the-counter teething gels or medications specifically designed for infants.
If your baby experiences severe symptoms or if you have concerns about their teething process, it’s always a good idea to consult with a pediatrician or pediatric dentist for guidance and support.
Caring for Baby Teeth
It is also essential to begin caring for a baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come in. You can start to brush their teeth from the very beginning, and most pediatric dentists recommend flossing as soon as there are two teeth next to each other. Beginning this early helps normalize oral care and promotes good habits from the beginning.
Even though baby teeth fall out eventually, you and your child still need to take good care of them. Good early dental care helps prevent infections and other painful problems from developing while ensuring that adult teeth come in as healthy as possible.
By seeing a pediatric dentist within the first year of life and for regular follow-up appointments, you can learn how to help children care for their teeth and identify and address potential issues as early as possible.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!