When Do Babies Start Teething?

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Published On
10 May, 2022
Read Time
2 minutes

Teething is a rite of passage that every baby experiences. It’s a process that involves the movement of milk teeth – also known as baby teeth, primary teeth, or deciduous teeth – up, and then through the gums.

Unfortunately, although it’s completely natural and normal, it can be painful for babies and, in turn, stressful for their parents and caregivers.

To help you understand more about the teething timeline, we've created this guide to help you understand when teething starts, which of your baby’s teeth will appear first, how many teeth they’ll have, and when they’ll eventually get their adult teeth.

When do babies start teething?

All babies start teething at slightly different times and did you know that although it’s rare, some babies can even be born with teeth!

For some, teething symptoms arrive and their first teeth come in as early as three months, while others don’t start teething until after their first birthday.

But usually, babies will start showing symptoms of teething when they’re around six months old, with their two bottom, front teeth appearing first.

How many baby teeth will my baby have?

By the time they've stopped teething, children have 20 milk teeth in total. That's 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom.

When does teething stop?

Most little ones will have all 20 of their milk teeth by the time they're around three years old.

When do baby teeth fall out?

A child’s 20 milk teeth will usually begin to fall out around the age of six or seven to make way for their permanent adult teeth – of which there will be 32! When this happens, they may have some discomfort, but rest assured that you'll have a few years in between each stage with less dental disruption!

Teething symptoms

Now that we've covered a brief teething timeline, let's look at some of the main teething symptoms that parents should be aware of.

  • Fussier baby: Some babies may experience sore or swollen gums (that look red where the tooth is coming through), and this can make them fussy or irritable.
  • Excessive dribbling and rash: Some little ones drool more than usual, which can lead to a rash around their mouth or chin and flushed cheeks.
  • Wanting to bite or gnaw on things: It may help to give your baby a specially designed teether to help soothe their sore gums.
  • Rubbing or pulling at their ear: When babies are teething, they may rub or pull at their ear as a way of relieving the discomfort in their gums.
  • Refusal of food: Just like adults, it’s not unusual for babies to go off their food a little when they're in pain or feeling a little under the weather.
  • Waking more frequently at night: Your little one's sleep may be disturbed by teething, and you might find that they wake more often in the night looking for comfort from you.

Some babies may also experience a slight fever or diarrhoea during teething, although these symptoms are not always directly related to the process of teething. It's important to keep an eye on your baby's symptoms and talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

In what order do babies get their teeth?

Here’s a rough guide to how a baby’s teeth emerge and how long teething usually lasts at each stage:

  • Bottom incisors (bottom front teeth): These are usually the first teeth to appear, usually at around six to 10 months.
  • Top incisors (top front teeth): These usually come through from about eight to 12 months.
  • Top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth): These appear at around nine to 13 months.
  • Bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth): These come through at around 10 to 16 months.
  • First molars (back teeth): These come through at around 13 to 19 months.
  • Canines (often known as the ‘fang’ or ‘eye tooth’): These come through at around 16 to 23 months.
  • Second molars: These come through at around 20 to 30 months.

When to start brushing your baby’s teeth

You should start brushing your baby’s teeth (using the correct size toothbrush and a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste) morning and night as soon as they appear through their gums.