North River Dental Care

A Timeline for Children’s Teeth

children's teeth timeline

Dr. Ryan Bailey and our friendly staff at North River Dental Care are here to help you and your family with all your dental milestones. We are proud to partner with you on the road to healthy smiles for life. That’s why we have compiled this helpful timeline for your children’s dental development.

Here is a basic guide to your child’s dental development that includes the most common timing for teething and tooth loss:


baby teeth

3 to 7 Months – In the womb, a baby’s tooth buds develop under the gums. Some babies are born with teeth that have already erupted, but that is definitely the exception! It is normal for a baby to get his or her first tooth between 3 months and a few months after the first birthday celebration. We know that is quite a range! Teething usually begins between 4 and 7 months. You might notice symptoms in your child some time before a tooth actually pokes through. Your baby’s gums will likely be redder than normal, and cutting teeth sometimes cause the gums to become rather swollen. Babies drool more before and during teething. They often chew on things more than usual. The first teeth to emerge are typically the two middle ones on the bottom. These are called the lower central incisors. They often pop up around the same time, seemingly overnight.

8 to 12 Months – After the bottom middle teeth come in, you can anticipate the upper middle ones to be next. These are called the upper central incisors. Research has shown that girls usually get their teeth before boys do. Every child is different, so there are always exceptions.

9 to 16 Months – After the upper and lower middle teeth, the top and bottom teeth adjacent to them are set to make their appearance. These are called the upper and lower lateral incisors. They commonly emerge in pairs, one on the right side and one on the left.


toddler teeth

13 to 19 Months – Often called “12-month molars,” a child’s first molars come in on the bottom and top of the mouth at about the same time. These baby (or primary) teeth are smaller than permanent (or adult) teeth. Baby teeth are also often a brighter white than permanent teeth.

16 to 23 Months – During this period of time, the cuspid teeth emerge on the top and bottom of the mouth. These are the pointy teeth that we sometimes call canine teeth or “fang teeth.” If your baby has not shown any signs of teething by this time, make sure that your pediatrician and Dr. Bailey are aware. Don’t panic, though. Some children get teeth late and still catch up without any problems.

23 to 31 Months – At or after 2 years, children get their second molars, first on bottom. Often called “2-year molars,” these very back teeth may come in when your child is experiencing other behavioral challenges of being a 2-year-old. Some tantrums are just tantrums. However, if your toddler is showing increased signs of irritability or discomfort, he or she might be teething and in need of some children’s pain reliever, a cold popsicle, and some extra TLC.


preschoolers teeth

Soon after the second molars on the bottom come in, the second molars appear on the top (between 25 and 33 months). By 3 years of age, your child will likely have a full set of 20 primary teeth. Around 4 years, children’s jaw and facial bones grow and change, making space between the primary teeth for the larger permanent teeth. During this time period, you may notice that your child’s face is looking less and less like a baby, and more and more like a “big kid.”

Big Kids

big kid teeth

6 to 12 Years – Children start losing teeth during these years, possibly in the same order they arrived. In reality, the order can be random. The middle teeth usually fall out first (at 6 to 7 years), followed by the teeth on either side of them (at 7 to 8 years). Molars usually fall out between 9 and 12 years. At North River Dental Care, we find elementary school children’s smiles very endearing when they’re composed of both baby teeth and permanent teeth!

12 Years – By 12 years old, your child will likely have a set of 28 permanent teeth. The last adult teeth, the four wisdom teeth molars, will come later, usually between 15 and 25 years old.

Dr. Bailey and our team at NRDC work hard to help patients of all ages feel comfortable and at ease during dental appointments. No matter what a patient’s age, we provide care in a gentle, careful, and compassionate manner. We help children learn proper dental hygiene habits. We enjoy encouraging them to keep their teeth healthy for a lifetime of smiling!

Call or email us to schedule an appointment for you and your child. North River Dental Care proudly serves the families of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, and the surrounding communities.

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