Toddler slow to get teeth: Should you be concerned?

My 13 month old got her first tooth at three months. Then her second tooth finally surfaced only six weeks ago. Should we be concerned?

Question:

I would strongly advise you to take your daughter to see your family dentist. I would expect that your 13-month-old daughter should have about eight teeth for her age instead of just two. There seems to be a delay in her tooth eruption pattern, and she should be carefully examined by a dentist.

Here are details on the general tooth eruption timeline for infants, ages newborn to three years of age:

  • At about 6 months of age, the lower central incisors (bottom jaw front teeth) generally erupt.
  • Upper incisors and both maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) lateral incisors follow.
  • By the first year, eight incisors should be present.
  • At about 15 months of age, the first primary molars (back teeth used for grinding food) erupt.
  • At about age two, the canines are present. Shortly thereafter, the second primary molars erupt.
  • By three years of age, all of the primary teeth are generally present.

These are average ages. Some children's teeth erupt sooner and some erupt later.

Perhaps your dentist will be able to take some anterior x-rays to view the teeth that are now developing but have not yet erupted (broken through the gum surface). The teeth may just be slow to erupt.

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