When babies are born, they already have most of their teeth under their gums. The first tooth usually begins to erupt by the age of six months, although the exact age can vary from one baby to another. The first two teeth to come in are usually in the bottom middle, followed by the four in the upper middle. Most children have a complete set of 20 baby teeth by the time they turn 3.
Some children do not get their teeth at the same time as their peers. This can be caused by several factors. If a child does not have any teeth by the age of 18 months, he or she should be taken to a pediatric dentist for an evaluation.
Possible Causes of Delayed Tooth Eruption
In some cases, delayed tooth eruption is a trait that runs in the family and can be inherited from either parent. If you or your baby’s other parent got your first tooth later than average, there is a good chance that your baby will too. If you got your teeth late but there were no other associated medical or developmental issues, you probably don’t need to be concerned about your baby. He or she will most likely catch up with no problems.
In other cases, a delay in teething can be a symptom of other health problems. Babies who were born premature or had a low birth weight can get their teeth late and may also have enamel defects. Some genetic conditions, such as amelogenesis imperfecta and regional odontodysplasia, can cause teeth to erupt late and be poorly formed. Delayed tooth eruption can also be a symptom of malnutrition and a deficiency in vitamins or minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D. It could also be associated with Down’s syndrome or a hypoactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism can cause other symptoms, such as weakness, fatigue, headaches, and joint stiffness. The baby may experience delays in walking and talking and may be overweight.
Should You Be Concerned If Your Baby Starts Teething Late?
If your baby gets his or her teeth later than average but has no other medical concerns, you do not need to worry. He or she may need orthodontic work later, however. Baby teeth serve as a guide for permanent teeth. They also help babies chew and get the nutrition they need. Be sure to feed your baby soft foods with all the nutrients he or she needs to be healthy until it is possible to get proper nutrition from solid foods.
In many cases, a delay in teething is not something to be alarmed about, but you should take your child to a dentist if no teeth have emerged by the age of 18 months. The dentist can look for a possible medical cause and discuss your family history. If you are concerned about your baby’s teething schedule or have questions, make an appointment with CT Pediatric Dentistry today.
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