What to Do if You're Worried That Your Baby Hasn't Started Teething

If your baby's teething is delayed, there are a few things to consider before you start worrying.
What to Do if You're Worried That Your Baby Hasn't Started Teething

Last update: 04 February, 2022

As a mom, you monitor every aspect of your baby’s growth on a daily basis. If you notice something strange you want to know what’s going on and how to fix it. One of the most common concerns at this time relates to teething. In fact, mothers often ask what they should do if their baby hasn’t started teething.

First of all, we’ll establish when the growth of teeth should start. It occurs at approximately 6 months of age.

However, in some babies, it may happen earlier, such as at 4 months, or later. All babies are different. Curiously, girls tend to get their teeth earlier than boys.

In what order does tooth eruption occur?

In general, the order in which tooth eruption occurs is as follows:

  • Bottom incisors.
  • Top incisors.
  • Top lateral incisors.
  • Bottom lateral incisors.
  • First molars.
  • Canines.
  • Second molars.

The baby teeth should be complete by about two to three years of age. Around the fourth year, the bones of the face and jaw grow which creates gaps between the teeth. This is normal. In fact, the permanent teeth are larger and will fill in these gaps.

Should you be concerned if your baby isn’t teething?

If your child reaches the age of one without any teeth appearing, you might want to think about taking action. A good idea is to ask questions at their first visit to the dentist. This should occur around their first birthday.

Como madre, ¿cuándo debo alertarme por si no le salen los dientes a mi bebé?

The dentist will want to take X-rays to make sure that the incoming teeth are coming through in the correct position. In addition, an early visit will help your child become familiar with the dentist, making it easier for them to lose any fear.

On the other hand, if months go by and their teeth still don’t appear, you should consult a pediatrician. In these cases, blood tests are usually done to rule out other diseases that delay this function.

A clear indication that something is wrong is the appearance of other problems related to your child’s health. Specifically, watch out for those related to the hair, bones, and skin.

A rare hereditary condition such as anodontia can cause delayed or missing teeth. However, this isn’t a common disorder.

Should you change your baby’s diet if they’re not teething?

The answer is yes. In fact, it’s one of the main measures you should adopt if your baby hasn’t started teething. Feeding is a fundamental factor in the development and growth of children. Teething is one of the functions that are framed here.

To develop, teeth need nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, fluoride, and various vitamins. Calcium is responsible for the formation of bones and teeth. Phosphorus also helps in this task.

Tooth eruption occurs at approximately six months of age. However, in some infants it may occur earlier, at four months, or later.

Both calcium and phosphorous work with vitamin D, which is acquired naturally from the sun or through supplements in certain cases. On the other hand, fluoride collaborates in the care of dental plaque, since it increases the resistance of the enamel.

In order to obtain all these nutrients, it’s essential that your baby follows a varied and healthy diet. By this we mean continuing with breastfeeding until appropriate, giving vegetables and fruits in their different presentations, and incorporating, little by little, other dairy and solid foods that contribute to your baby’s nutrition.

A baby's first teeth, representing what should you do if your baby hasn't started teething.

Signs of teething

If you notice any or several of the following symptoms, it probably means your baby’s teeth are on their way:

  • Swollen gums.
  • Increased saliva.
  • Restlessness and irritability.
  • Trouble falling asleep.
  • Biting and chewing reflex on everything within reach.
  • Increased bowel movements (caused by excessive salivation).

Any of these signs may indicate that teething has begun. On the other hand, if your baby has a fever, diarrhea, or nasal congestion, consult your health care provider. These symptoms aren’t associated with the appearance of teeth.

Finally, we must emphasize that this process depends on each individual baby. In fact, babies might teethe earlier or later with no cause for concern

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Burgueño, L., Gallardo, N.E., Mourelle, M.R. Cronología y secuencia de erupción de los dientes temporales en una muestra infantil de la Comunidad de Madrid. Cient Dent 2011;8;2:111-118.
  • FAPap – La-erupcion-dental-normal-y-patologica. (s.f.). Recuperado 28 de enero de 2022, sitio web de Fapap.es: https://fapap.es/articulo/218/la-erupcion-dental-normal-y-patologica 
  • Marín García F, García Cañas P, Núñez Rodríguez M.C. La erupción dental normal y patológica. Form Act Pediatr Aten Prim. 2012; 5 (4): 188-95.
  • Suri, L., Gagari, E. y Vastardis, H. (2004). Erupción dentaria retardada: patogenia, diagnóstico y tratamiento. Una revisión de la literatura. Revista estadounidense de ortodoncia y ortopedia dentofacial: Publicación oficial de la Asociación estadounidense de ortodoncistas, sus sociedades constituyentes y la Junta estadounidense de ortodoncia , 126 (4), 432-445. doi:10.1016/j.ajodo.2003.10.031

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.