Dentist Questions Teething

My daughter still hasn't gotten her first tooth. Is this normal?

My daughter is 14 months old, so over a year, and she still doesn't have any of her first teeth. We thought that she was teething, because it seemed like she had all of the signs of teething. But there's still nothing. Is it normal that she hasn't gotten her teeth yet? What happens if she's really late in getting her first teeth?

4 Answers

It is not normal. Your daughter should be checked by a pediatrician or a dentist.

Regarding your daughter's teeth:

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. He will take an X-ray to see if there are any tooth buds formed.

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.
Normally, the deciduous teeth start erupting at 6-10 months and they are the lower or mandibles front teeth, but some children take a little longer. I would advise to have an X-ray to confirm that the tooth buds are there; if they are not, your child may end up missing those teeth.
It is rare that your child has not cut her first tooth by now. I would bring her to a dentist to see if there are signs of any erupting teeth. If she is really late in getting her teeth, all that means is that she will also be late in getting her perm teeth. If there are signs, genetic testing could be involved.