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Although baby teeth - also known as primary teeth - can arrive in any order, many children follow a loose pattern.

The process often starts with the middle bottom teeth, with the top two middle teeth the next to arrive. Next are the teeth beside those middle chompers, and then the teeth beside them, continuing on until the jaw is full of a set of 20 little pearly whites.

You can expect your child to start teething around six months, and it can take up to two and a half years for all the teeth to come through. But again, this is just a general guide - some children are born with one tooth (or more!), while others remain toothless until they're more than a year old.

The role these primary teeth play in your child's life is an important one. They're vital in terms of development - even for basic things such as chewing and speech development, and maintaining space in their mouths - so it's best to get into good dental hygiene habits with your child at a young age.

Of course, once your child has a full mouth of teeth, you've only got a few years before they start falling out to make way for their 32 permanent replacements. They can start falling out around age six, and will generally follow the same pattern in which they arrived, so the middle bottom teeth are usually first to go.

If you're ever worried about your child's development, see a doctor.



Teething Timeline

Even before your baby was born, tooth buds were developing under his gums. Here's when pearly whites tend to appear ??? and when baby teeth fall out to make way for permanent ones.

Rest assured that this is a rough guideline. It's perfectly normal for a baby to show his first tooth as early as 3 months or as late as his first birthday. (Some babies are even born with teeth!)       


5 months (typical range:4 to 10 months)

Teething begins. Your baby's gums may be swollen and red where the teeth are cutting through.


8 months (typical range: 6 to 10 months)

First teeth erupt, usually on the bottom in the middle (lower central incisors). These two teeth arrive at about the same time.

Fast fact: Lower teeth usually come in before upper teeth.


10 months (typical range: 8 to 12 months)

Upper middle teeth (the upper central incisors) emerge.

Fast fact: Girls usually get their teeth before boys do.


11 to 12 months (typical range: 10 to 16 months)

Bottom teeth right next to the middle teeth (lower lateral incisors) make their appearance.

Fast fact: Teeth usually emerge in pairs ??? one on the right and one on the left.


Toddler 12 months (typical range: 9 to 13 months)

Upper teeth right next to the middle teeth (upper lateral incisors) come next.

Red flag: If your baby doesn't show any signs of a tooth by his first birthday, mention it to his doctor. (But don't panic: Some children don't sprout a tooth until several months after their first birthday and still catch up without a problem.)


15 months (typical range: 13 to 18 months)

The first molars come in on the bottom and the top at about the same time.

Fast fact: Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are brighter white and smaller than permanent teeth.


18 months (typical range: 16 to 22 months)

The sharp, pointed teeth called the canine or cuspid teeth emerge on the top and bottom.


26 months (typical range: 23 to 31 months)

The very back teeth, or second molars, work their way in on the bottom.


Pre-schooler 26 months (typical range: 25 to 33 months)

The second molars on the top come in soon after those on the bottom.


3 years

Your child has a full set of 20 primary teeth, also known as baby teeth.


4 years

Jaw and facial bones grow, creating space between the primary teeth for your child's permanent, adult teeth to come in.


Big Kid 6 to 12 years

Your child starts losing his teeth. During these years, his grin is composed of both baby teeth and permanent teeth as one type replaces the other.


They can fall out in any order, but your child may lose his baby teeth in the same order in which they arrived. The middle teeth are usually the first to go (at 6 to 7 years), followed by the ones on either side (at 7 to 8 years). The molars can be lost at any time after that, but will likely be gone between 9 and 12 years.


12 years

Your child has a set of 28 permanent, adult teeth. (His four wisdom teeth will make their debut when he's 16 to 19 years old).

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