Tooth eruption, more commonly referred to as teething, is a painful process for little ones to experience. It’s essential to help them through this phase of life in a healthy way. The amount of antibodies from the mother begins to decrease when babies reach around six months old, meaning they become more prone to illness. Along with their desire to stick everything in their mouths, this development can lead to a challenging situation.
The best thing you can do for your child is to prepare for what’s coming so that you don’t get caught off guard with no way to help them. When your child cries out because their gums are hurting, this list should help you figure out where they are in the teething process, which will allow you to narrow down the source of the pain.
One thing to note is that every child is different, and just like with the puberty process, each is on their own biological clock. While some babies may have their first tooth by the time they reach four months, another may reach the age of one before they begin to teethe. What you can count on is that your child’s teeth will likely come through in a specific order.
The following is a breakdown of the teething process, from no teeth all the way through to their full primary set.
1 – Lower Central Incisors
Your child’s two front teeth on their bottom jaw, also known as central incisors, are likely to erupt first. As mentioned, the timing of this varies from child to child. However, the most common age for this to occur is between six and ten months old.
The function of these teeth is to cut through food when biting and chewing. They are narrow, small, flat, and thin, which allows them to fulfil their function correctly.
2 – Upper Central Incisors
Next in line are the two teeth directly above the ones that have already erupted. The most typical age for this to occur is between eight and 13 months old.
These teeth are similar to the bottom central incisors as they also cut food when biting and chewing. However, they are typically much bigger than the lower versions. They are broad rather than narrow, and they are the most visually prominent feature of the human mouth. When you flash a smile, these are the first pearly whites people will see.
3 – Lateral Incisors
These teeth erupt on either side of the central incisors on both the lower and upper jaws. The most common age for this stage to occur is between eight and 16 months old.
Typically, the lower set will come through first, and the upper set will follow in a similar eruption process to the central incisors. These also aid with cutting through food as they have a similar shape to all the other incisors, which typically have no cusps.
4 – Upper and Lower Molars (set 1)
The molar teeth are at the back of the mouth and have a relatively flat surface. These teeth erupt in two sets. The most common age for the first set to erupt is between 13 and 19 months old.
These teeth are the largest in the mouth. Along with their flat shape and placement, the size makes them perfect for grinding up food when chewing.
5 – Canines
Canine teeth, otherwise known as “eye” teeth, are the next to erupt. These are next to the lateral incisors. The “eye” concept comes from their placement as they appear directly beneath the human eyes. The most common age for these teeth to erupt is between 16 and 23 months old.
Canines are perfect for tearing and ripping into tougher food thanks to their pointy shape. These come into play a lot when eating meat.
6 – Upper and Lower Molars (set 2)
The next set of molars typically erupt from the upper and lower jaws approximately a year after the first set – making the average age for this step between 25 and 33 months old. The bottom molars are likely to erupt before the top ones, but not by very long.
Like the first set, these teeth are flat, large, and emerge at the back of the mouth. They assist with grinding up food when eating, thanks to their size and shape.
7 – The Full Set
Again, these steps can all occur at different times in a child’s life, and the suggested age brackets throughout this article are merely the most common. If your child’s teeth come through earlier or later than others, this should not be cause for concern, as everyone’s body is on his or her own schedule.
In general, however, the average age for a child to have a full set of twenty primary teeth is by the time they are three years old. These baby teeth will eventually give way to adult teeth as your child goes through the stages of healthy dental development.
Helping Your Little One
Plenty of home remedies exist that can help you through each stage of the teething process. These remedies include pain relievers, unsweetened teething rusks and/or biscuits, chilled teething rings, and so on. If you are unsure, it’s wise to ask your dentist about the best ways to soothe the pain.
When it comes to teething, there are no black and white answers as to when each step is going to occur. Your child will go through the process whenever their body is ready, and all you can do is prepared for when that time comes so that you can help ease their pain. Knowing the order or the teething process is the best way to assess where the root of their pain is so you can more effectively soothe it.
If your child has started teething, or you want to prepare in advance, contact our office at Crescent Dental today! We’re happy to set you up an appointment to help your baby progress beautifully.