Getting Baby Teeth

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Late Getting Teeth Uncommon Situations Related Pages

12-month-old is without teeth

Sept 2008

My baby is 12 month old w/o teeth. i was not worried about this until we were at the pediatrician, and he actually seemed a bit worried (and he's generally a calm guy, doesn't worry about stuff). he looked at her gums, not swollen or anything. we are going back in a month for a shot, and i could tell he wanted to see some teeth. we both remembered that when i came in for her 6 month check up, she had a ''teething rash'' from drooling, and we both thought her teeth were imminent. I did a little bit of internet looking,and there is something about late-teething and poor nutrition. My baby nurses, and though she is on the smaller side (30percentile height/weight) she is obviously in the realm of son was small too at her age. You can get an xray around this age if they have no teeth but i would rather not do that. He was also a late teether....he did get his first 4 teeth by 6 or 8 months, and then waited till 14 for all the rest. anyway, i am guessing/hoping this is no biggie, but if folks can put me out of my concern (who doesn't have a concern s/he is undernourishing her baby somehow?????) i would be most appreciative. thanks. toothless but happy

Hello! Don't worry. I am a dentist and we see a wide range of teething times. Yes, 12 mo is late to have no teeth but not enough to worry us. We say normal can be up to a year late which means 18 months for the first bottom teeth. No need to get an Xray--I bet all is fine. Even if it is not, the xray will not change the course of action. If, in the very rare case, he is missing those front teeth, we do nothing about it at this age anyway. In fact, not for another 3-4 years or so. So, not necessary to expose him to xrays since it does nothing but give us information that we will get anyway in time. We like pediatricians to be involved in teeth and appreciate that that is part of the well-baby check. However, if you were to visit a pediatric dentist, we would note he has no teeth, ask about nutrition (yours sounds fine) and do nothing but wait and reassure the parents. Believe me, I know it is hard to have anything not ''normal'' about our babies. My baby did not get any teeth either until 15 months and you can imagine I was waiting for those little things. Just think, easier to breastfeed!! Dont worry.

I was a nanny for a now 10 yr old boy. He did not get his first tooth until he was 13 months. He was happy, and able to gum finger foods. He also lost his teeth later than most of his friends at about 7, 7 1/2yrs old. Don't worry, your baby will be fine! anon

My advice is don't worry about it. My son didn't get his first tooth until he was 16 months old. Our pediatrician told us that she would recommend an x-ray at 18 months if he didn't have any teeth by then. My son was also on the small side, and I nursed him until 17 months. My son is now 8 and has only lost one baby tooth. This upsets him, as most kids start losing teeth in Kindergarten. We just tell him his teeth will be newer and shinier than everyone else's. anon

My almost 3-year-old didn't get his first tooth until he was 11 months old and still doesn't have his last 4 molars (which most kids have by 2 years). His pediatric dentist said that sometimes there is a concern that the teeth aren't there but in 99.9% of cases they simply are slow to come in. If you are really concerned, get the x-ray. Otherwise, I have a feeling they'll start to come in soon. I would talk to a pediatric dentist for more and not simply go by the concern of your pediatrician. The best indication of timing is genetics, so if you know anyone who might recall when your teeth (or the other parent's teeth) came in, that might ease your mind. Still waiting for molars

1 year old has no teeth

March 2007

My dear daughter just turned one last weekend, and she has no teeth! My pediatrician says if she doesn't have any teeth by 15 months, she will have to go to a pediatric dentist and possible have her teeth extracted. This sounds horrible! Any parents out there with kids who got their first teeth after 1 year? What was your experience and should I be worried? Mom of toothless 1yo

Not to worry. My daughter didn't get her first teeth until 15 months (within two weeks of starting to walk, no less). Then she got several at once. It is likely that she will lose her baby teeth late as well (she is now 6 with no loose teeth), but her dentist has said that there are no negative effects from getting her teeth late. Mom of late teether

Hi, My daughter had the same problem, and almost all of her teeth came in very quickly between 15-18 months without any trouble. Before that point she was able to gum a large variety of foods so we didn't have any eating difficulties. Her teeth, when they finally erupted were perfect, and she has had no trouble since that point. We never got a medical explanation for this, so perhaps she was just at the extreme end of a bell curve for this physiological milestone. Her second teeth all came in at the normal time, and she has remained healthy and happy. If your daughter's overall growth and development are going well it is definitely possible that this problem will resolve itself without radical intervention. A Fellow Parent

My daughter, now in high school, didn't get teeth until she was about 11mo. She was big baby (9lbs) and looked pretty funny without teeth! However, they all came in. She lost her baby teeth much later than her peers and started her period later, too (ie 14 yo). Not such a bad thing. If it really worries you, consult a pediatric dentist. Her teeth buds are already formed, just waiting to push out. Nature has it's own timetable. Just think how lucky that she (and you) don't have to worry about tooth decay (yet). Mom of Late Bloomer

My son had only three teeth at one year. His first didn't come in until 9 months. The third just barely appeared in time for his birthday. We felt lots of stress over this (he has a cousin 6 weeks younger who had 4 teeth before my son had his first!), but our pedi reassured us it was no trouble. They come eventually. Even now, we go months between new teeth appearing. I've heard that the later teeth appear, the healthier they are. This may be a myth to help ease the minds of those of us with slow teethers, but it works for me! anon

I think my son got his first tooth right before his first birthday, but it wasn't much before. Also, his teeth didn't follow the normal pattern of eruption. I took him to the dentist when he was two for his first checkup. The dentist noticed that his bottom lateral incisors had not come in even though most of his other teeth had. She said he might not have them because they usually appear before molars and canines. They came in too, shortly after the checkup. He is three now and has all his baby teeth.

My kids both got their teeth after 1 year- I was kind of sad when they did, as I love the toothless grin!!! some just get them later than others gummo

My now 8 year old son didn't get any teeth until he was 14-1/2 months old. And then he got 6 at one time. My husband was in dental school at the time and I heard the same thing -- at 15 months we will take a panoramic xray to be sure there are teeth. And low and behold, at 14-1/2 months -- six teeth came in at once. And just for the record, he didn't lose any teeth until he was 6-1/2 years old. Enjoy the toothless grins now :-) Chanel

My daughter got her first tooth at about 13 months. Fortunately, I wasn't worried because my MIL said my husband didn't have any teeth at his first birthday (and he apparently still had some baby teeth in high school). My daughter is 26 months now, and she has four top teeth, four molars and only two bottom teeth...much fewer than her peers. In our case, it's all in the genes. Check your family histories if at all might be able to relax if you know it's ''just in the family.'' Anon

I'm sure this has come up before on BPN, and I'm sure you'll get many responses. Yes, my first child didn't get her first tooth until 15 months or so, and that first one was a molar! She didn't get her front bottom teeth until about 16 months and her top ones until 18 months. We too were worried, but the pediatrician said there were only 2 conditions he knew about that would be a problem. 1 would also affect her hair and nails, so since these were fine we weren't worried about that. The second was that if she didn't get any teeth by 16 months they would do a dental x-ray to make sure she had a full set of baby teeth. But of course it didn't come to that. BTW, we also heard that when teeth come in late they are stronger and have less time to get cavities. She is 7 now and was a little late losing her first tooth, but not much after her peers. --don't worry at all

Our first child didn't get her first tooth until 13 mos and slowly slowly got her teeth. She's 4 now and has beautiful teeth. Our MD never mentioned anything about extraction! don't worry about it

Our daughter also didnt have any teeth when she was One. Infact they didnt start emerging until she was 18 months old. She is now nearly two and still only has 8 teeth, but the molars are just starting to show. Tooth extraction seems a little excessive and I am glad that I wasn not threatened with that option. I was told that she was growing her brain and not her teeth and that they would come when they were ready. Remember children grow and develop at different rates - there are no hard and fast rules (well there shouldnt be!). So my advice is wait and dont worry. Obviously with no teeth some types of food can be tricky. I kept the food mainly soft and sloppy, but the gums are tough and can do almost all that teeth can do. Becky

Hi, My daughter shocked us by getting one tooth before 12 mos. My son was 13 mos before his first tooth. Their 4 cousins were similar - one was really late. My brothers & I got our first teeth after 1 yr. we are fine, our kids are fine. variations of normal I guess! In our family first teeth after one year is normal, not unusual. late teethers & all ok

My daughter had NO teeth on her first birthday. The dentist said the later they are in, they less time they are exposed to decaying elements! She has a mouth full of teeth and losing them later than her friends.

My son had no teeth until 15 months. The dentist said not to worry. Now he is nine and he has only lost 4 of his teeth! His x-rays in early childhood showed all the teeth hiding in there. The dentist said it was a good thing that they stay protected longer. He is also extra small and we are told will go through puberty late (15). north berkeley mom

Baby teeth - still none in 13mo old

Sept 2006

My soon to be 13mo old still does not have any teeth. He has gone through many episodes of fussy finger biting and drooling and each time we think, ''this is it!''. But no teeth. When should we start to worry? The Dr said 18mo. Has anyone else experienced very late teeth? My sister told me that because they are so late, they must be really big, and now I have visions of big horse teeth in my little sweet babies mouth. Tooth Worry

Not to worry. My first child didn't get her first tooth until 15 months, and then it was a molar! We only noticed it when we were in the airport on the way to a trip and we thought we were in big trouble since we didn't bring any teething things with us, but it turns out she didn't want any of that baby stuff anyway. She didn't end up getting her front teeth until around 18 months. (And they are perfectly normal size!) We too were worried, but our doctor told us that the only problems that would affect the teeth would also affect hair and nails, so if those are normal I wouldn't worry. If he hasn't gotten any by 16mos you can get an x-ray to make sure that he has a set ready to come in, but he'll almost certainly get one before then.

Basically I think you should consider yourself lucky, because toddlers don't seem as disturbed by teething as babies. Also, when they come in late I think the teeth are stronger (and have had less time to get decay). (Our second child didn't get her first tooth until 13 mos too, and now she too has a full set of normal baby teeth.) --happy to have had 2 late teethers

My daughter did not get her first tooth until she was 13 months old. When they did come in, they were the same size as everyone else's. Not only that, while people said that she would probably also be late to loose her baby teeth, she ended up being right about average in that regard. So, it just goes to show. anon

My older son was the same way--his first tooth came in about thirteen or fourteen months, and then all the rest trickled in very very slowly. He's going to be three in two weeks and is still missing his two-year-old molars. Don't worry, your kid's will come in eventually, and it's amazing how well they can manage food with what seems like not enough teeth Holly

My son didn't have teeth until 18 month. I didn't worry that much simply because worry wouldn't help. My mother inlaw told me that my husband had his teeth late and the dentist told her that the late teeth are better. So you may want to wait for a while until you worry about it. Good luck a relaxed mom

My daughter did not get her first tooth until 14 months. She is now 17 months with 6 teeth. Our pediatrician reassured us as well, and said its usually genetic. Honestly I feel lucky that she got them so late, we had no problems with teething, and now she is old enough to communicate what she wants! late teeth too

My daughter's playmate is only now getting her teeth at 19-20 months. Rather than getting just 1, she's getting 6. Her teeth are baby-sized, no horse face on that charming girl. relax! grinning girls

I cut my teeth late (according to my mother). They are normal size teeth. The only drawback was that I still had baby teeth in sixth grade and the dentist ended up pulling them to speed up my being able to wear braces. I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure there are some choppers in there anon

Listen to your ped. My daughter is 13 months, and still has only the 2 teeth she got at 6 months. Like you, we noticed subsequent drooling and teething behavior, but no teeth coming. Now, finally, it looks like she IS getting some more, though they haven't broken through yet, and, if they're anything like the first two, they'll take a LOOOOOONG time to come in. So, no worries, it's all different for different babies, and it's hereditary. One of the mom's in my mom's group has a little boy who's now 10 months, but had SIX teeth by 5 months of age! Yikes! :) Mommy of Miss Toothless

Hi- We have a 3 year old and 18 month old. Our 3 year old got her first tooth at a year and then they all came flying in within six months. My son did not get one until 14 months and still only has 4. I was really late getting my teeth too and have had no problems with my teeth- they say it is genetic so maybe ask if you and/or the father/donor were late in getting teeth. My son still eats EVERYTHING with no problem and both kids' teeth are normal size and did not have any challenges when they did come in. So...I'd go with your doctor- don't worry until 18 months and then if still none, see a pediatric dentist. Until then, admire their cute toothless face- there should not be anything to worry about. wendy

Still no teeth at 12.5 months

July 2005

My daughter is 12.5 months old and she doesnt have a single tooth! My physician is not concerned but I wondered if others out there have had this pattern.

Don't worry at all. My oldest didn't get her first tooth until about 15 mos, and then it was a molar! She didn't get her front teeth until about 18 mos. The doctor said not to worry until 16 mos. She had no problem with her hair and fingernails (which might indicate some other kind of problem). He said that after 16 mos they could do a dental x-ray just to make sure that there was a set of baby teeth there, but that is very very rare. The pluses are that later emerging teeth are probably stronger, and you don't have to worry about brushing them now, not to mention not having to deal with a teething baby! (The minus, which is not a big deal, is that now that she is 6 most of her friends have already lost teeth and hers are still rock solid, so she feels a little left out of the tooth fairy thing for now.) Our second child also got her teeth late, her first one coming around 13 mos or so. Neither seemed to have any problem with teething as a toddler. mom of 2 late teethers

Our daughter didn't get her first tooth until just after her 1st birthday. It's unusual but nothing to worry about. Also it seems to be hereditary. My wife didn't lose her first baby tooth until she was a freshman in college. T

My oldest daughter didn't get her first tooth until 15.5 mos old. It certainly never stopped her from eating! I too was mildly concerned, but the doc said the only kids who dont' get teeth are those with other severe problems. Once they came in, they came in pretty fast and it didn't take her long to catch up. She just lost her first tooth at age 6.5 which is pretty late, but all is well! Hilary

All I can tell you is that my mother was the same way, back in the 1930s. She had no teeth at one year and her mother took her to the doctor who told her not to worry. Of course my mom did eventually get her teeth, a fine set, and has only had one small cavity her entire life in spite of growing up without fluoride. Hope this helps you. Dianna

My daughter (now almost 5) didn't start getting teeth until she was 15 months old (within two weeks of starting to walk). The dentist hasn't thought there was anything wrong (she has them all), although it is likely that she won't lose them until later than the norm. Parent of another late teether

18-month-old only has 8 teeth

April 2005

My 18 month old has 8 teeth (4 front ones on the top and bottom) but no others. The 8 teeth he does have came in when he was around 8 months old. It seems odd to me that he has had nothing since, although he often acts likes he's teething (gumming things, drooling, biting, more drooling). When should I start to worry that he's not developing any more teeth? I know babies teethe at different rates, but I've never heard of a 10 month gap in teeth coming in...He's a great eater, and drinks plenty of milk and gets lots of calcium, and he doesnt seem to have any deformed bone structure in his jaw. Has anyone else experienced a time lag in tooth development? mom of a cute chipmunk

we're going through exactly the same thing, although my son only has 6 teeth at 15 mos, after getting the first six around 8 mos. we're slower than you! on the other hand, I've seen babies his age who have only 2 or 4 teeth, so I'm assuming it's no big deal. I'll be curious to see what others say, though. similarly toothless

Big gap between 8-mo-old's two new front teeth

Feb 2008

We are pretty certain that our 5 month old just cut her first tooth since we can feel and see a white bump on her gum. What is unusual is that it's one of her back teeth on the side -- we think it's her canine or cuspid tooth. Almost everything we've read says that usually baby's get their bottom front and top fronts first. Should we be worried about this? Is it really unusual for teeth to erupt in a different order? Is it common for the baby's gums to bleed when the tooth comes out? When should we first see a pediatric dentist?

It is uncommon, though not unusual for a canine or molar to appear first. Nothing at all to worry about- by the way primary teeth don't contain bicuspids, just incisors, canines and molars. Teeth can come in any order, although more commonly, it goes incisors, 1st year molars (though teeth can come at any time), canines and then 2nd year molars).

Gums may bleed a little when the tooth actually erupts. Don't worry about seeing a pediatric dentist until your child is at least 2 unless your pediatrician tells you to do so early. Don't forget to brush those teeth and gums! You can use plain water and a wash cloth, gauze or baby toothbrush. Toddler toothpaste is ok, but not necessary as long as it does NOT contain flouride. No flouride toothpaste for children who are not ready to learn how to spit. Too much ingested flouride can cause discoloration to permanent adult teeth. anon

We thought the same when our son was 4 months old. The doctor said it was a harmless cyst (also called Epstein Pearl). They come and go. His first teeth came in in front when he was 6.5 months. There are other things that can look like teeth, too. Just check with your doctor. It could possibly, be teeth, but it's unlikely. toothy baby

Big gap between 8-mo-old's two new front teeth

Sept 2003

My eigth month old recently got his 2 front upper teeth; I am concerned because of the excessive gap between the two teeth. The gap is big enough to house a third tooth! Should I at all be concerned? First Time Mom

My daughter didn't have the gap and now at 7 she is having orthodontic work as there wasn't enough space for her large adult teeth to come in. The dentist said that my son's gap was great as it would allow the adult teeth to come in without moving the other teeth. You might want to schedule a visit to the dentist just for reassuance and to see how your child's teeth are coming in. It is a good time for your child to begin seeing a dentist and learning about good oral care. lopez

Not to belabor the obvious, but have you asked your pediatrician or called a pediatric dentist. I know there's a lot of talk about early orthodontic intervention these days, but kids' teeth move around a lot and the next ones to come in may push those front teeth together. So ... take a deep breath, calm down, and ask the doctor what to do. Smile! Gap toothed as a kid

My son also had a gap between his front teeth when those teeth first came in. By the time a few more appeared--just a few months--the gap closed. Perhaps that will happen for your child, too. Carolyn

Don't worry about it! According to my pediatric dentist, more room is better in the early years -- the major cause of braces is crowding of teeth. Plus the adult teeth are SO much bigger than the baby teeth. susan

I would say it\x92s too early to worry about her teeth. As the other\x92s come in there will be some shifting. You might not even know how her permanent teeth will come in until her baby teeth fall out around 7 or 8.

New teeth coming in one-at-a-time, not in pairs

Nov 2003

I have a son who is almost 8 months old. Last weekend, one bottom tooth finally broke through. My question is: is it common to have each tooth come in one by one? I thought that babies get the two bottom teeth at the same time, the two top teeth at the same time, etc., but it looks as though my son only has one bottom tooth coming in. Curious new mom

My son got his third bottom tooth at around 8 months, and his fourth one (the matching one on the other side) almost 6 months later -- after he had got some of his molars. I had given up on it and decided it would never come in , when it finally showed up. Karen

they usually come in one at a time. suzie

Hi, I don't think it's common but it happens. Our oldest had one bottom teeth for a couple of months. Then they others painfully came after. My only advice, take a lot of pictures!!! m