Although they aren’t visible, babies are born with 20 almost fully formed teeth. Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are hidden in an infant’s jawbone at birth (which explains why your baby is all gums at first). Primary teeth typically begin to “erupt” from the gums around 6 months old.

Teething, when a baby’s teeth begin to push through the gums, lasts from the eruption of the first tooth until your toddler is about 2.5 years old and has all of the primary teeth.

Teething is frequently uncomfortable and can cause fussiness and feeding issues as the teeth work through the sensitive skin of the gums. If your baby has problems with teething, you can take steps to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with teething.

Primary teeth are different from your baby’s permanent teeth, or adult teeth. Primary teeth are gradually shed over the course of childhood and are replaced with permanent teeth, which begin to break through the gums gradually as the baby’s teeth are lost.

Although they are temporary, primary teeth are important. They help your child chew and learn to speak. It’s a good idea to instill good dental habits in your child from the very beginning of teething.

Normal teething sequence 

According to the American Dental Association, the two upper and lower front teeth are typically the first to show. Baby teeth typically erupt in the following order:

  • The central incisors, or the two bottom front teeth (erupt at 6-10 months)
  • The central and lateral incisors, or the four upper front teeth (erupt at 8-13 months)
  • The two lower lateral incisors (erupt at 10-16 months)
  • The first molars (top molars erupt at 13-19 months, and the bottom molars erupt at 14-18 months)
  • The four canines, which are located next to the top and bottom lateral incisors (top canines erupt at 16-22 months, and the bottom canines erupt at 17-23 months)
  • The second molars (top second molars erupt at 25-33 months and the bottom second molars erupt at 23-31 months)

You should be aware, however, that not all children follow this schedule exactly, and there’s nothing wrong if teeth erupt in a different order. Visit a pediatric dentist by your child’s first birthday. In addition to discussing oral health, the pediatric dentist will watch teething order.


  • Babies are born with teeth that are almost fully formed and hidden in the jawbone.
  • The first teeth usually erupt when a baby is six months old.
  • The four front teeth are the first teeth to break through the gums.
  • Most children have all their baby teeth by three years old. 


  1. American Dental Association. Tooth Eruption – The Primary Teeth.
  2. American Dental Association. Tooth Eruption – The Permanent Teeth.


  1. Oh, dear… I came to ask if it’s unheard of for a 16.5-month-old toddler to start getting his 2-year molars, but I guess I have my answer from Alexe. My son has had his other 16 teeth for several months already. I thought we might get a teething break, but he has been awfully drooly and fussy the last couple of days. Ugh.

    1. Each child is so different! I guess that is what keeps us on our toes. Glad you liked the article.


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