Baby dental development

Your baby's first year is full of changes, and the period when those first teeth come in is an important stage of development.

Exactly when does an infant get his or her first tooth?

If teeth appeared early for mom or dad, they probably will for baby.

Generally, here's what happens, and when, in the first twelve months:

Birth – 3 months

  • Teeth buds are already developed and lying below the surface of the gums.
  • Babies often bring their hands and fingers to their mouths. This lets them smell and taste things, which is how they begin to learn about the different sensations such as warm/cold and sweet/sour.

4 – 5 months

  • At this stage, it seems that everything baby can reach ends of up in the mouth! This habit, often called "mouthing," is also how infants develop hand-motor skills.

5 – 7 months

  • Teething usually begins. A baby's gums can become red, swollen, and very sensitive.
  • The first tooth appears, usually in the bottom front of the mouth.
  • As babies gain the ability to reach for objects and use their hands more skillfully, they will learn to move objects around to fully explore them with their mouths. This helps them prepare for eating solid foods.

6 – 8 months

  • The upper middle teeth appear. Thankfully this stage will be less painful because these teeth are thinner and cut through the gums more easily.

9 – 12 months

  • The rest of the upper teeth start to come in, followed by the bottom teeth.
  • As the rest of their senses develop, babies become less dependent on their mouths for "taking in" the world around them.