A major milestone and one that every parent awaits is teething. One day you might suddenly notice your baby being fussy and cranky and you might be wiping drool off their face all day. Then, out of nowhere, you will see a white line on their gums. Their first tooth has erupted and teething has officially begun!
Just like crawling, first words, and talking, teething is a major milestone and comes with its own set of challenges. This new milestone can be a cause of concern when you notice that your baby’s teeth are erupting in the wrong order. As a new mom, you might have a lot of questions about teething and the order of your baby’s teeth. Don’t worry—we are here to help you and answer all of your questions about baby teeth.
First, when it comes to babies and milestones, remember that every child is different and if you notice that your baby’s teeth are emerging in an unexpected order, don’t sweat it! Teeth usually come in a certain order and we will discuss this further, but if you notice that your child is getting them slightly out of order, don’t panic. It won’t hurt or cause them any additional pain, and if they are all coming in eventually, then it won’t affect their dental health.
Let’s discuss in detail about baby’s teeth, their order, and their dental development.
How to Tell If Your Baby’s Teeth Are in Right Order?
While teething is an exciting time and it means that your little one is growing up and will soon have a toothy grin, it is also tough for a new mom, with all the crankiness, crying, and regressions.
Babies are born with something known as “buds” on their gums. It is from these twenty buds that eventually their twenty teeth will erupt and lead to those toothy grins. Developmentally, by the time your baby is three, they will have gotten all of their twenty milk teeth, and that’s an amazing achievement.
Like most things in life, sometimes things don’t go as planned. You might notice that your baby’s teeth are not coming in the right order or that they may be delayed.
What is the Typical Eruption Sequence?
Before we start with the sequence, here are the five different types of teeth that your baby will grow in the first two years of their teething phase:
- Central incisors
- Lateral incisors
- First molars
- Second molars
The first to emerge are usually the two front teeth at the bottom, known as lower central incisors. Following them are the two top teeth or top central incisors. Once all four central incisors are in, you can expect the lateral incisors to come next. Next to erupt will be the molars which are the large teeth in the back of the mouth.
Up next are the canines, the sharp, pointy teeth that will become your baby’s weapon to bite into everything. These are present on either side of the lateral incisors. Finally comes the second set of molars, and that’s how all baby’s twenty teeth erupt.
Can Babies Get Lateral Incisors Before Central Incisors?
If your baby is getting their lateral incisors before the central incisors, there’s no need to worry. When a child’s baby teeth don’t come in the normal order, there is no need to panic because it won’t cause any pain or discomfort to the child.
If you ask other mothers or check the internet, you will surely find that many babies get their lateral incisors before central incisors.
Apart from out-of-order teeth, sometimes babies have delayed tooth eruptions. As long as all their teeth come eventually, it is absolutely fine. The order or timeline does not affect your baby’s dental health.
In very rare cases, the order of the child’s teeth may cause alignment issues. If you are concerned about your baby’s tooth development, consult your pediatric dentist.
When Should You be Concerned?
While parents usually fuss over the order of their baby’s teeth, the greater concern is the spacing between the teeth and decay.
As a new parent, you need to understand that baby teeth are smaller compared to adult teeth, so you will notice space between them. This space is important because it gives them room for the future, when their permanent teeth start showing up. Children usually start getting their permanent teeth around age six, and this phase also starts with the bottom central incisors.
If you notice that your baby’s teeth are erupting too close to each other and look crowded, then you need to be concerned. You can consult your pediatric dentist for advice.
One more thing that you need to keep an eye out for is tooth decay. You might be thinking, “Oh, they are just babies and it’s just milk teeth—why would I worry about tooth decay?!” But the truth is those baby teeth, unlike permanent teeth, are more susceptible to decay because they are sensitive.
As parents, we might think that since babies lose their milk teeth, a little bit of decay shouldn’t be a big deal, but unfortunately, it could lead to other problems like:
- Early tooth loss
- Yellow or brown spots on teeth
- Feeding difficulties
A child’s teeth are important for their developmental milestones. Those primary teeth are more important than we usually realize. They are what allow babies to learn to chew and later say new words. That’s why you need to keep an eye on your baby’s primary teeth and keep them clean once they start erupting.
In fact, pediatric dentists recommend observing oral health and hygiene even before the first tooth starts erupting. While the pearly whites are still within those gums and waiting to come out, you can use a soft cloth to clean and massage the gums for better oral health and teeth development.
Statistics show that premature babies often have more teething problems, along with babies who do not have adequate healthcare access. Contact your pediatric dentist if your baby does not show any signs of tooth eruptions by the time they are eighteen months old. The primary teeth hold space for permanent teeth, and if they don’t erupt in time, then there might not be enough space for your baby’s permanent teeth when they start showing up.
Also, it is recommended that once your baby is one year old, they should start seeing a dentist for regular checkups to avoid any decay, gum disease, or teething issues.
Is it Normal for Babies to Have Gape in Their Front Teeth?
The simple answer to this question is, yes, it is normal for babies to have gaps in their upper teeth. In fact, it is a good thing.
A gap between their front teeth is usually because of natural development. Baby teeth usually have space between them to accommodate their permanent teeth in the future. Adult teeth need more space and are bigger than milk teeth so babies naturally have gaps between their teeth. Another very simple reason for a gape in baby teeth is that their teeth are small.
Lastly, it could be because of their frenulum, which is a tissue connecting the gums with the two front upper teeth and upper lip. This frenulum helps position the baby’s teeth and when it is oversized, it can lead to a gap between the front two teeth. However, this is nothing to be concerned about. Usually, as your baby grows, the frenulum naturally shortens and as more teeth start erupting, the gap between the front teeth begins to reduce.
If you see a wide gap between your little one’s front teeth, take it as a sign of healthy tooth alignment.
Some Medical Reasons for Your Baby’s Teeth Coming Out of Order
If your baby has started teething on time but you see them coming out of order, although it is likely to be considered normal, there are also some potential medical reasons for it as well.
Usually, babies born prematurely have higher chances of delayed teething or their teeth coming out of order. This could be because of multiple reasons as their developmental milestones differ compared to full-term babies.
Another medical reason for a baby’s teeth coming out of order is lack of access to healthcare facilities.
Some other oral health signs that should prompt you to consult your pediatric dentist immediately are:
- Baby teeth have not erupted at eighteen months old
- Extremely wide spaces between teeth
- Large or oddly shaped teeth
- Red, puffy, or bleeding gums
Baby Teeth and Toothy Grins
Baby teeth come at their own sweet time. Some babies take longer than others, and some like to follow their own patterns and defy the standards. If your baby is the one who likes to stand apart and not follow the crowd, then remember that it is absolutely fine!
Your baby’s teeth coming in the wrong order is nothing to worry about, as long as you don’t notice any signs of gum disease or other underlying oral health problems. Baby teeth eruption starts at about six months of age, and while this phase can be hard for you with all the crying and crankiness, remember to soak it all in and remember the first time you saw that thin white line. Oh, and those toothy, wide-gaped grins are the best!
We hope that Bizzie Mommy was able to put your mind to rest about your baby’s teeth and their eruption order. If you still have questions and are concerned about your child’s teeth and oral health, please consult your pediatric dentist.