How your Baby’s Teeth Develop

The development of a baby is an exciting period for every parent. What makes the parenting journey even more exciting is watching the baby’s milestones from one stage to the next.

Teething is one of the milestones that every parent looks out for in their baby.

First Tooth

Baby teeth, also known as milk teeth, emerge in a certain order. Most babies develop teeth between 6 and 12 months. However, it is important to note that the timing in which a baby’s first tooth will appear tends to differ.

Typically, the first teeth to come in are almost always the lower front teeth (the lower central incisors). They are then followed by:

  • The upper central incisors
  • The upper lateral incisors
  • The lower lateral incisors
  • The upper first molar
  • The lower first molar
  • The upper canine
  • The lower canine
  • The lower second molar
  • Then the upper second molar

See diagram below


Most children have all of their baby teeth by the time they turn three.

Managing Discomforts

Once teething begins, it can cause a lot of discomfort to the baby. The mother equally ends up overwhelmed and worried. The gums around the tooth tend to swell and become tender and the baby may drool a lot more than usual.

Many Kenyan mothers believe that diarrhoea and fever are signs to expect during teething. This isn’t true. According to medical experts, there is no correlation between teething and diarrhoea. 

A baby may tend to touch their gums as a way of soothing them when they feel some discomfort and this may in turn contribute to the diarrhoea since the hands may not be clean. 

In this case, massaging sore gums or offering some pain reliever for the teeth can help soothe your baby’s teething pain.

Taking Care of Baby’s Teeth

Once a baby’s teeth start popping out, it is important to start taking care of them right away. This is because the first teeth are still as important. These first teeth preserve the spacing for the permanent ones and help baby to chew and talk.

Failure to take care of them could lead to tooth decay which could, in turn, result in gum infection.

While taking care of baby’s teeth, ensure that you run a clean damp cloth over its gums to clear away any harmful bacteria. Once the teeth have grown, perhaps at the age of two, you can help them to start brushing them using an infant toothbrush with a small smear of fluoride toothpaste.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019

Sources: healthychildren, orajel, parents

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