My Baby’s Side Teeth Are Coming In First

Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exciting and joyful experience for parents. As your baby grows, you’ll witness many milestones, including the eruption of their first teeth. It’s quite common for parents to wonder about the order in which their baby’s teeth appear. In this article, we’ll focus on the side teeth and explore why your baby’s side teeth may be coming in first.

Understanding the Order of Tooth Eruption

To understand why your baby’s side teeth are coming in first, it’s essential to grasp the typical sequence of tooth eruption. Babies’ teeth usually erupt in a specific pattern, although there can be slight variations. This sequence is guided by a combination of genetic factors and individual development.

The Sequence of Baby Teeth Eruption

  1. Incisors: The incisors are the first set of teeth to emerge. They usually appear in the lower jaw first, followed by the upper jaw. These front teeth help babies bite into and chew their food.
  2. Side Teeth: After the incisors, the side teeth start to make their appearance. The side teeth consist of canines and premolars. Canines are sharp, pointed teeth located on either side of the incisors, while premolars are broader teeth found in the back of the mouth.
  3. Molars: The molars are the last set of baby teeth to erupt. They are larger, flatter teeth situated at the back of the mouth. Molars play a crucial role in grinding and chewing food.

Side Teeth: Incisors and Canines

Now, let’s focus on the side teeth, which include incisors and canines. Incisors are thin, sharp-edged teeth located in the front of the mouth. They assist in biting and cutting food. Canines, on the other hand, have a more pointed shape and are positioned beside the incisors. Canines aid in tearing and grasping food, facilitating the chewing process.

Signs of Side Teeth Eruption

You may notice specific signs indicating that your baby’s side teeth are erupting. These signs include:

  1. Increased drooling: Excessive drooling is a common occurrence during teething. It can be a result of increased saliva production when teeth are erupting.
  2. Gum discomfort: Your baby may experience discomfort or tenderness in their gums, leading to increased irritability and fussiness.
  3. Chewing on objects: Babies often find relief by chewing on various objects when their teeth are coming in. Providing safe teething toys can help alleviate their discomfort.
  4. Changes in appetite: Some babies may experience a temporary decrease in appetite during teething. The pressure from erupting teeth can make eating uncomfortable for them.

Dealing with Teething Discomfort

As a parent, it’s essential to be prepared to help your baby through the teething process. Here are some strategies for easing teething discomfort:

  1. Cold therapy: Cold can provide relief to sore gums. You can give your baby a chilled teething ring or a clean, damp washcloth placed in the refrigerator (not the freezer).
  2. Gentle gum massages: Gently massaging your baby’s gums with clean fingers can help alleviate discomfort. Ensure your hands are clean before performing a gum massage.
  3. Distractions and play: Engaging your baby in playful activities can divert their attention from teething discomfort. Singing songs, reading books, or playing gentle games can help keep their mind occupied.

Tips for Soothing Your Baby’s Teething Pain

Here are some additional tips to soothe your baby’s teething pain:

  1. Offer chilled food: If your baby has started solids, you can provide chilled purees or soft fruits like sliced and chilled bananas to help cool and soothe their gums.
  2. Use over-the-counter remedies: Certain over-the-counter teething gels or medications may be recommended by your pediatrician. Always consult your healthcare provider before using any medication.
  3. Maintain a comforting environment: Creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere can contribute to your baby’s overall comfort. Providing a cozy space and maintaining a soothing bedtime routine can help them rest better.

Oral Care for Your Baby’s New Side Teeth

Once your baby’s side teeth have erupted, it’s crucial to establish good oral hygiene practices. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Begin brushing: Start gently brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Use an infant-sized toothbrush with soft bristles and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  2. Schedule regular dental check-ups: It’s recommended to visit a pediatric dentist when your baby’s first tooth appears or around their first birthday. Regular dental check-ups will help monitor their oral health.
  3. Promote healthy habits: Limit sugary foods and drinks in your baby’s diet. Encourage drinking from a cup instead of a bottle as they grow. These habits contribute to a healthier mouth.

Visiting the Dentist for the First Time

The first dental visit is an important milestone in your baby’s dental care journey. Here’s what to expect during their initial visit:

  1. Introduction and examination: The dentist will introduce themselves to your baby, creating a comfortable environment. They will examine your baby’s mouth, gums, and teeth to assess their oral health.
  2. Oral health guidance: The dentist will provide guidance on proper oral care techniques and answer any questions you may have about your baby’s dental development.
  3. Future appointments: The dentist will schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor your baby’s dental growth and address any concerns that may arise.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: When do side teeth usually start coming in? A: Side teeth, including canines and premolars, typically appear after the front incisors at around 16-20 months of age.
  2. Q: How long does the teething process last for side teeth? A: The teething process for side teeth can last for several months, with individual variations. It usually completes by the age of 2-3 years.
  3. Q: Should I be concerned if my baby’s side teeth are coming in before the front teeth? A: It’s not uncommon for side teeth to erupt before the front incisors. The sequence of tooth eruption can vary slightly between individuals.
  4. Q: What can I do if my baby is experiencing significant teething discomfort? A: Consult with your pediatrician for appropriate pain relief methods and recommendations.
  5. Q: How can I ensure my baby’s oral hygiene is maintained after their side teeth come in? A: Regularly brush your baby’s teeth, schedule dental check-ups, and promote healthy habits such as limited sugar intake and using a cup instead of a bottle.


Watching your baby’s teeth emerge is an exciting and sometimes challenging experience. Understanding the order of tooth eruption, including the appearance of side teeth, can help you navigate this phase with confidence. Remember to provide comfort to your teething baby and establish good oral hygiene practices to support their dental health as they grow.

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