Ah, we’ve all seen the pictures of those gap toothed kids smiling at the camera. Usually their tongue is poking through a hole in their mouth where their two front teeth used to be. Those are the kids that were most likely the inspiration for the perennial Christmas favorite “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”.

As most any parent will tell you, when your precious little bundle of joy first starts teething, life can go from a bed of roses to a living hell in a relatively short period of time. For those of you considering parenthood, I don’t mean to scare you off, usually it goes back to a bed of roses rather quickly and the bad times are soon forgotten.

Consider the infant and his or her mouth. Everything that goes on inside of it is all warm and soft. It’s one of the first places where they can get a feeling of comfort. After all, the warmth of a mother’s breast or a bottle does two things. It reassures the infant that they are being tended to and feeds their hungry bellies. All is right in their little world.

That is, until one day, they start experiencing something relatively new going on inside their mouth. Their gums get harder and much more sensitive. There are lumps forming where once there had been smooth skin. What seems like endless buckets of drool are being produced and they are powerless to stop it. Think of how strange this must feel to them? To vent their frustrations, many cry and parents are at a loss on how to ease their pain.

But that’s another subject for another write up.

Many parents seem to worry about just when little Johnny or little Suzie will start cutting their first teeth. For obvious reasons, this seems to be especially true of moms who prefer breastfeeding. In general, most infants’ first teeth start appearing between the ages of five and seven months. Just like puberty, for some reason, girls seem to have a head start on boys when it comes their baby teeth. For both sexes, in most cases, the lower teeth will start erupting before the uppers

The following is a little chart lifted from http://www.drgreene.org/body.cfm?id=21&action=detail&ref=766 that generally shows when you can expect your little ones teeth to first arrive and when you can expect them to start falling out. Naturally, these times will vary based upon such things as nutrition, health and hereditary matters, not to mention an occasional sock in the jaw from another kid every now and then.

Central Incisors

The uppers start breaking through anywhere between six and eight months of age and start falling out when your child hits seven or eight. The lower incisors come in earlier, usually between five and seven months and become the property of the Tooth Fairy between the ages of six and seven.

Lateral Incisors

Generally the uppers come in when the kid is between the ages of eight and eleven months. They are usually replaced by permanent teeth when the child hits eight or nine. The lowers burst on the scene when the baby is seven to ten months of age and are hidden under pillows when they turn seven or eight.


Both the uppers and lowers make the scene at approximately sixteen to twenty month s of age. The upper ones usually depart when your kid hits between the ages of eleven and twelve. The lowers make generally make an earlier departure between the ages of nine and eleven.

First Molars

Both the upper and lower molars make their debut between the ages of ten and sixteen months. Both of them are usually gone between the ages of ten and twelve.

Second Molars

These are usually the last set of teeth to inhabit a child’s mouth and both arrive between the ages of twenty and thirty months. The uppers are usually the first to leave, doing so when the kid is between ten and twelve. The lowers usually hang on for another year or so.

In some rare instances, one in every two thousand, infants are born with what are known as natal teeth. If this should happen to you, consult your pediatrician about having them removed. They have been known to cause poor feeding habits and interfere with the baby’s natural tendency to suck.

Well, not suck in a “that sucks” kinda way but more like, ah the hell with it, you know what I mean.

In closing, all kids are different. There are no set of rules or instructions that will make them conform to anything in this write up. They seem to have their own inner clock that adjusts itself according to what works best for them. I know that at times, that can be a source of frustration for many a worried parent.

It’s also a source of wonder.