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Stephen Fox D.M.D. | Member American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Tooth Eruption – Teething

Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth is variable among individual babies. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors. In general these usually begin erupting between 6-8 months. The upper central incisors follow closely after that. Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and order of their eruption can vary.

For More Information Check Out Our Tooth Eruption Chart.

Treatment of teething discomfort runs the gamut from allowing the infant to chew on something firm, but not rock hard, to a water filled frozen teething ring.

Most babies will feel a certain amount of discomfort as the teeth push their way through the gums. The swelling of the gums is a result of the pressure the tooth uses to break through the gum-line tissue.

There are some signs and symptoms to indicate the presence of teething:

  • increased drooling
  • irritability
  • attempting to chew on hard objects
  • mild swelling of the small area of the gum
  • difficulty sleeping
  • crying during feedings
  • refusing food or feedings
  • Low-grade fever no higher than 99.3
  • mild diarrhea

Tooth Development

Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6 starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process usually continues until approximately age 21.

Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process usually continues until approximately age 21.