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A Comprehensive Guide to Teething: How Many Teeth Should Toddlers Have at 18 Months

As any parent knows, teething can be an exciting yet challenging time for both the child and their caregivers. The appearance of those first tiny teeth marks a significant milestone in a child’s development, but it can also come with discomfort and sleepless nights. Understanding the teething process, what to expect, and how to manage the discomfort can make this journey smoother for everyone involved. A common question parents have is, “how many teeth should toddlers have at 18 months?” Knowing this information can help parents better monitor their child’s dental development.

Key Takeaways

  • This guide provides an overview of the timeline, sequence and symptoms of teething for toddlers.

  • On average, 18 month old toddlers should have 12 teeth with variations in tooth development being normal.

  • Establishing a dental care routine from an early age is essential for cavity prevention and relief from discomfort can be found through teething toys & aids or home remedies. Professional advice should always be sought first.

Teething Basics: The Timeline and What to Expect

Most children start teething between 6-10 months of age, and by 2 1/2 years old, they usually have six primary teeth and a full set of 20 primary teeth. Yet, bear in mind that each child is unique with variations in the timeline and order of tooth eruption. Also, baby teeth significantly contribute to a child’s development by aiding in chewing, speaking, and leaving room for permanent teeth to grow in later.

Understanding what to expect during the teething process can help parents and caregivers navigate this phase with confidence and provide the best care for their little ones. This guide covers:

  • The timeline of teething

  • The sequence of teeth appearance

  • Identifying teething symptoms

  • Caring tips for your toddler’s teeth

When does teething start?

Teething typically commences between 6-10 months, although this can vary for each individual child. A tooth erupts when it breaks through the gum line and becomes visible in the mouth. As teeth erupt, the baby’s teeth timeline may vary, but generally, all 20 baby teeth will emerge by the time a child reaches 3 years of age.

Baby teeth tend to be smoother and brighter in color than permanent teeth. While it’s common for baby’s first tooth to appear between 6-12 months, some babies may get their first baby teeth a tooth earlier, and eventually, baby teeth fall to make way for permanent teeth.

Keeping tabs on your child’s teething progress is necessary, and a pediatric dentist should be consulted if there are worries about their dental development.

How many teeth should toddlers have at 18 months?

On average, toddlers should have 12 teeth at 18 months, including their front teeth. Yet, one should bear in mind that individual variations temporary teeth also are quite normal. The American Dental Association recognizes that variations in tooth development are normal, so if your child has more or fewer teeth at 18 months, don’t worry too much.

If no other teeth appear to have erupted by 12 months, it is advisable to consult a pediatric dentist. Baby teeth have a significant part in your child’s development, thus monitoring their progress and seeking professional advice when necessary is vital.

Tooth development variations

Some children may have a greater or lesser amount of teeth at 18 months, including the upper lateral lower central incisor first. It is considered a normal range of development for baby teeth to erupt crookedly, as the size of the teeth may not be sufficient to fill the space allocated by the gums or due to excessive thumb sucking.

Tooth eruption can sometimes be accompanied by a blue “bubble” around it. If this is the case, a practitioner should be immediately contacted as it may indicate an eruption hematoma. A baby teeth chart can help track the progress of baby tooth eruption and serve as a reference for understanding your child’s dental development.

Order of Tooth Eruption: Which Teeth Appear First?

Baby teeth generally emerge in a predetermined order, beginning with the central incisors and followed by the lateral incisors and first molars. Awareness of which baby teeth fall or are likely to emerge first can equip you for each teething stage and ensure you provide the needed care and support.

It is important to understand the teething process and the order in which teeth emerge. This

Central Incisors

The central incisors, also known as the bottom front teeth, are usually the first teeth to appear in infants. They play an essential role in a child’s ability to chew and speak properly, as well as in forming a symmetrical smile. The central incisors typically emerge between 6 and 12 months of age.

The lower jaw and central incisors usually appear first, making it vital to start a dental care routine early to safeguard their health. Regular dental checkups and proper oral hygiene practices will help ensure your child’s central incisors remain strong and healthy.

Lateral Incisors

Lateral incisors are the first teeth, that typically follow the emergence of the central incisors. They generally emerge between the ages of nine and thirteen months. Like the central incisors, lateral incisors also play a vital role in proper chewing and speech development.

Keep up a consistent dental care routine and watch their progress as your child’s teeth keep emerging. Regular dental checkups and cleaning can help ensure that lateral incisors remain healthy and strong throughout childhood.

First Molars

First molars refer to the initial set of molars that emerge in the oral cavity. They typically appear between 13 and 19 months of age. First molars are important for grinding and chewing food, which is essential for proper digestion and overall health.

Maintaining your child’s first molars requires an appropriate dental care routine, which includes regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and arranging dental visits. By maintaining a consistent dental care routine, you can ensure that your child’s first molars remain healthy and functional.

Teething Symptoms and How to Spot Them

Teething can cause a variety of baby teething symptoms, ranging from mild discomfort to more severe pain. Being able to recognize the signs of teething can help you provide the necessary support and care for your child during this challenging time.

This section covers common teething symptoms and guidance on when to seek advice from a pediatrician.

Common teething symptoms

Typical symptoms associated with teething include:

  • Sore or inflamed gums

  • Flushed cheeks

  • Fever

  • Continuous chewing

  • Excessive salivation

  • Irritability

  • Fussiness

  • Distress

These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, and some children may experience more severe symptoms than others.

Monitoring your child’s teething symptoms and providing the needed care and comfort during this period is crucial. If the symptoms are persistent or particularly severe, don’t hesitate to consult a pediatrician or dentist for guidance.

When to consult a pediatrician

If your child’s teething symptoms are severe or persistent, it’s important to seek guidance from a pediatrician. For example, if your child has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher that persists for more than three days, it’s advisable to consult a pediatrician.

Pediatricians can offer tailored advice and suggestions to help manage your child’s teething symptoms. They may suggest specific teething remedies or over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate discomfort and ensure your child’s well-being during this challenging phase.

Caring for Your Toddler’s Teeth: Tips and Recommendations

Proper dental care is crucial for maintaining the health of your child’s baby’s teeth, both during the teething process and as they grow with their temporary teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay.

This section offers tips and recommendations on setting up a dental care routine, selecting suitable toothpaste, and arranging for the baby’s first dentist visit.

Establishing a dental care routine

Setting up a dental care routine from an early stage is vital for cavity prevention and maintaining your child’s teeth and gums’ health. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they become visible.

  2. Brush your child’s teeth twice daily.

  3. Floss your child’s teeth daily.

  4. Consider the use of mouthwash.

  5. Limit the consumption of food and beverages that may be detrimental to dental health.

By following these steps, you can establish a dental care routine that will help keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.

Consistency is key when it comes to dental care routines. By maintaining a regular schedule of brushing and flossing, you can help your child develop good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.

Choosing the right toothpaste

Choosing the right toothpaste for your child is vital in keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Choose a toothpaste that is labeled as “for toddlers” or “for children” and contains fluoride. Fluoride has been found to be beneficial in strengthening tooth enamel and providing protection from cavities.

For children under three years of age, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children aged three to six years, a pea-sized amount is also recommended. Always supervise your child during brushing to ensure they are using the correct amount of toothpaste and not swallowing it.

When to schedule the first dentist visit

Arranging your child’s first dentist visit is a key element in maintaining their oral health. It is advisable to schedule the first dentist visit around the child’s first birthday or when the first tooth appears. Regular dental visits are crucial for monitoring your child’s dental development, detecting potential issues early, and providing professional cleaning and care.

After the initial visit, schedule dental checkups every six months, unless there are significant issues. By establishing a routine of regular dentist visits, you can help ensure that your child’s teeth remain healthy and strong throughout their childhood.

Teething Remedies: Soothing Your Toddler’s Discomfort

Managing your child’s teething discomfort can be challenging, but there are several remedies and strategies that can help provide relief.

This section covers teething toys and aids, over-the-counter medication, and home remedies to alleviate your child’s discomfort during teething.

Teething toys and aids

Teething toys and aids, such as silicone teethers and moistened cotton washcloths, can provide relief from teething discomfort. These items can be chilled in the refrigerator for a few minutes before being given to your child to chew on, providing a soothing sensation for their sore gums.

When selecting teething toys and aids, be sure to choose items that are safe, non-toxic, and easy for your child to hold and manipulate. Regularly inspect these items for damage and replace them as needed to ensure your child’s safety.

Over-the-counter medicine

Over-the-counter medicine can alleviate teething pain and discomfort. Yet, consulting a pediatrician before giving your toddler any over-the-counter medicine is crucial. The most effective over-the-counter medicines for teething include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and topical anesthetics.

Always follow the pediatrician’s recommendations and dosing instructions when giving your child over-the-counter medicine. This will help ensure your child’s safety and provide the most effective relief from teething discomfort.

Home remedies

In addition to teething toys and over-the-counter medicine, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate your child’s teething discomfort. Chilled toys, damp washcloths, and teething gels can provide relief for teething toddlers.

When using home remedies, be mindful of your child’s comfort and safety. Ensure that the chilled toys and damp washcloths are not excessively cold, as this could cause distress. Teething gels should be used sparingly and only in accordance with directions provided by a medical professional.


In conclusion, understanding the teething process and how to care for your child’s teeth is essential for ensuring their overall oral health. By following the tips and recommendations provided in this guide, you can help your child navigate the teething journey with confidence and comfort. Remember that each child is unique, and variations in tooth development are normal. If you have concerns or questions, always consult a pediatric dentist or healthcare professional for guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many teeth should 18 month old have?

At 18 months, a toddler should have around 12 teeth – two front teeth on the top, two top teeth fall two front bottom teeth, and four at the middle top and four at the bottom.

Is it normal for 18 month old to have 4 teeth?

It is normal for an 18 month old baby to have four teeth as most children will have two to four by this age, with all 20 baby teeth usually present by around two and a half years old.

What teeth come through at 18 months?

At 18 months, your toddler baby’s teeth have usually erupted with the lower lateral incisors and first molars on both top and bottom. These will enable them to do some serious chewing.

What is the typical age range for teething to begin?

Teething typically begins between 6-10 months of age, although this can vary for each child.

What are some common teething symptoms?

Common teething symptoms include sore gums, flushed cheeks, fever, chewing, excessive salivation, irritability, fussiness, and distress.