Really really early teething

A friend (and regular commenter here) has a baby who is a week old. He is already cutting two teeth. When she mentioned this, I said, "Wow–my second was cutting teeth almost that early! It was awful!" and then we started talking a bit about it. At one point my friend said that she'd been frantically googling early teething and was getting scared because apparently sometimes early teething can be part of something else, so she was glad to hear that it had happened to my son, too.

So I thought I'd put my story and the basic facts of hers up here on the internet so anyone else googling frantically in the middle of the night newborn cutting teeth or newborn getting teeth or baby has teeth or newborn biting me or teeth?? or getting teeth at 6 days or OMG stop it with the teeth already can find a little signpost.

My second son's story: Nursed and slept like a champ from the get-go. Then at right around two weeks old he started drooling and being fussy and having drool stool and I saw two little teeth right there under the surface! Away went the sleep, and he was just generally peeved all the time, and the teeth were surging surging and there was a little sharp point on one of them, and then right before it broke through all the way, they sucked back into his gums! And then broke through for real at six months. But he had teething symptoms that whole time, from two weeks until they broke through at six months.

Flash forward: He's 5.5 years and has all of his teeth. They are small and have some spaces between them, but they bite just fine. Our dentist has said that that's normal, but that he also will probably never need braces because he has plenty of space between his teeth. Yay!

My friend (who might comment, but she has two older children and a newborn, so I don't think commenting will be her highest priority) says her son's teeth are poking through on the bottom, and have been since a few days after birth. He is biting her while he nurses (because he's so new to nursing) and doesn't really want to nurse because it hurts him. It's taking her whole bag of nursing tricks to help him eat. He's totally healthy, though–fat cheeks, responsive, and a sweet little dumpling. She brought up the possibility that these teeth coming through might not be his baby teeth but a third set, which I hadn't considered. But hey, any way you can shake down the Tooth Fairy…

Any other stories of aberrant teething–either relaly early or really late? The only late teething story I know is my friend's brother, who didn't cut a single tooth until he was 14 months old, but who is now happily married with a child and a post-graduate degree and a good job.

40 thoughts on “Really really early teething”

  1. I got nuthin’ on the early teething. But my daughter didn’t cut a tooth until she was 11 months old, and perhaps not coincidentally was pretty uninterested in solid food until that time. Then she proceeded to cut six teeth in six weeks–argh! She’s now four, with the usual number of teeth and the usual level of preschool eating issues.

  2. S is almost 16 months and has premolars in, and is taking her sweet time breaking in those pointy, pointy canines. She’s had big, white lumps in her gums for ages. I have no idea what normal teething is!Our ped told us the latest teether he saw was 17 months–and the baby’s father was the same. He said if he ever saw a later teether, he’d probably send them for xrays.

  3. I knew a woman who adopted a child one of whose parents was Native American. The baby was born with some teeth and had all her baby teeth by nine months. The adoptive mother told me that she understood that it is quite common among Native American populations for babies to get their teeth quite early.

  4. A friend of mine had at least one (maybe two) kids who were born with teeth. All four of her kids are healthy beautiful children and I don’t know any other details beyond that.

  5. My son was born with a bottom tooth. And the others came in at “regular” time. (5 months for the next bottom tooth) He is a bit more of a biter than his sister, and definitely bit me more while nursing than she ever did, but other than that there have been no issues either with the tooth, his other teeth or anything else.

  6. All I have is an anecdote from French history: Louis XIV was supposedly born with teeth, and a couple of his wet nurses resigned their royal charge on account of the biting (!). Don’t know if there’s any connection with early teething and obsessive château-building later in life, however.My son teethed on the early side at 4 months, but was an easy-teether (or at least no more fussy, maybe less, than he otherwise was as an infant — maybe by then the fact that my cluelessness as a mother was subsiding was enough to make up for any teething discomfort!)

  7. My son was teething by 2 months. We could see exactly which bit of gum was sore, and it really upset him. We were so relieved when a canine finaly appeared half way out. Then it vanished the next day. Did this twice more. Then other teeth started appearing at the normal time. (Can’t remember when this was, just it was about the same as other kids we knew.) Finally canines appeared after everything else.I hated those canines, as if they had a malicious will of their own.

  8. My son is 4 months and the only teeth that look like they are comming in are his canine teeth. We are hoping once they come in we can get some good “vampire” pictures 🙂

  9. Mouse was like @electriclady’s daughter – no sign of teeth until 11 mos and then cut 6 of them by the time she was 13 mos. Still had only the 8 front teeth at 18 mos and didn’t get 2-year molars until 30 mos or so. I wondered if she’d be late losing her baby teeth, but the first one fell out at 6 years 4 months, right on schedule – she’s lost 4 so far, and 2 of the adult teeth are just about in, with one more coming through.I had 2 friends whose babies got their first teeth at 2-3 months – one of them went on to have all 8 front teeth by 6 months. She did bite her mom a lot nursing but they all made it through, and all of the children mentioned in this post are happy and healthy as they approach their 7th birthdays.
    Interesting thing I learned: adult teeth that come in really slowly after the baby teeth come out (like taking many months to a year, not a few months) can be a sign of hypothyroidism, which is scary but completely treatable and manageable. Comes with other signs, like being cold and low energy and slowing way down growing sometime in middle childhood, but who knew teeth would be involved? This happened to another friend’s daughter, they caught it (mainly because of the growth slowdown, they found out about the teeth later), and she’s just fine now.

  10. My daughter started having teething symptoms at around 2 months old, but didn’t cut any teeth until 9 months old–then she cut 4 in 1 week and one more the next! Her teething pattern thus far has been similar: teething pain for weeks and weeks (6-8 in most cases) and then she’ll cut the next set over the course of 2 weeks. However, we just finished her eye teeth and what a pain they were. They took 13 weeks from the first signs of teething until the 4th one finally cut. Those were miserable weeks. She didn’t take much of a break and is now apparently working on her 2 year old molars. Lovely.

  11. I was born with two teeth. My mom nursed me for a year or so. No dental problems outside a standard set of braces for a year or two in junior high.

  12. My girls are earlyish teethers, but not that early! First teeth were at 5 months and 4.5 months. Pumpkin was an easy teether- but her sleep was so crappy anyway, maybe I just didn’t notice any difference. Petunia has more trouble teething. She’s working on her canines now (at 16 months- she has pretty much everything else, except her 2 year molars) and it is clearly bothering her.Both girls bit me a little nursing, but Pumpkin was really easy to break of that. She hated being put down, so it literally only took a couple of times where I put her down when she bit me to get that to stop. Petunia is more easy going about being put down, so I think we suffered through about a week of biting. But we made it through, and are still nursing.

  13. Neither of my twin daughters had a single tooth until several weeks after their first birthday, and my son got his first one at about ten. When the teeth came in, they all sprouted within a couple weeks — there were a lot of jokes about Jaws and vampires. Dentist said it was fine, though, and all children have appropriate dentition at 4.5/2.5 years old.

  14. Mine both started at 3months and had the full set by 12 months, including first molars. My dentist says he x-rayed his own daughter’s mouth b/c she had none at 12 months! Viva la difference!

  15. My daughter didn’t cut her 1st tooth until she was 13.5 months old. Now at 3 she still doesn’t have all of her teeth. I was a little concerned but her dentist said it’s fine, and she’ll probably get her adult teeth in later as well. It must be genetic because I had a wisdom tooth come through for the first time last year at 38 years old!

  16. Oh thank you for this post! For the past 4 weeks I’ve been trying to decide if my DS is teething (he’s 12 weeks now). It just seemed so early and yet the way he’s been drooling and trying to rip off my finger at the joint it just seemed so right. His sister had her first teeth at 16 weeks but it didn’t seem to be such a drama with her.

  17. The range of so-called “normal” teething is literally all over the place. I’ve heard that if a child doesn’t get a single tooth by 18 months, it is probably worth getting checked out by a professional. I think it is cool that some kids are born with teeth; seems like a bonus for everyone involved! As for my house, we thank the lawd for orajel, and do our best to remember to record each new tooth in DD’s woefully under-used baby book. Digital pictures help jog mama’s memory.

  18. My daughter got her first tooth at 5 weeks and had all her teeth (incl. 2-yr. molars) by 11 months. My son began teething at 3 months but got his teeth at a more average rate.My mother says I was born with 2 teeth and lost my first one at age 3! I had braces in late elementery school, YEARS before anyone else did, because by that time I had had all my adult teeth for quite a while. I still have them all!

  19. I have to say that I think the process by which humans get their teeth is a pretty bad design. Whether they get them early or late, it seems like there should be a better way to get them then having sharp objects slowly move up through tender gums, causing (my kids at least) much discomfort, pain and a whole host of issues.My kids were on the early side, but not that early.
    Our weirdest teething issue was like @Chive’s kid’s disappearing tooth. Every. single. one. of my boy’s teeth has taken a long time to poke through, then each receded, and then moved slowly back through. And some of them even receded and had to move back through again! It was pretty miserable, taking days for them to reappear, almost as painfully as the first time they poked through.
    And they really did recede. It wasn’t that the gum swelled up to cover them. Those suckers really, truly went back. I told his pediatrician, and she said that was the first time she’d heard of that happening, but I swear it’s true.
    Every. single. one.

  20. My older daughter got her first two teeth at 12 weeks.Younger daughter has all her teeth, including 2 year molars, at 18 months.
    Older daughter didn’t sleep through the night until 22 months. Argh.

  21. DD was neither early nor late. She did always get her teeth in twos. Never a single tooth. With the molars it was in quads. By 20 months she had the full set of baby teeth. She did have pairs that emerged and then submerged in gum again. That’s normal as is being born with teeth said the dentist.On late teething I got my milk teeth at the usual rate, as in all there. But there’s a family history issue involving canine teeth. Not milk but permanent.
    I changed two at the usual age, 10, then one at 14, and one at 32.
    Now that took some orthodontics. I was told getting a tooth when you’re ancient takes years, giving time for your other teeth to be moved/turning to make space.
    I asked how long at ten? Ten months. And it was. Traction for ten months. Was I ever down in the mouth. Didn’t know what was worse.
    The orthodontist playing Mozart while he cranked or the way he asked about my weekend plans, anything jolly? when the appointments were all on Friday afternoon or the fact the receptionist would ring up for me to make an appointment for Wilhelmina. Like I was my own mama.
    I do hope DD has my family’s strong teeth without the antics of the canines. DH’s are not nearly as good but did come on time.
    Sorry, this was the worst digression/diverting of a useful post. But do I win a prize? Not quite.

  22. I worked as a baby nurse for 6 years and saw a few babies who were born with teeth. We had a baby born 16 weeks premature who had a tooth, but it was pulled while she was in the NICU because it was very loose and there were choking concerns… I guess that’s not really helpful, but it was wacky.

  23. My sister was ‘late’ to get her teeth – well after a year. My parents were living in Zambia at the time and the local women suggested that my mother get a rough stick and rub the gums down (’til they bled) so the teeth could come through. Needless to say, she decided to pass on the local wisdom!Another true story from Africa: I worked in rural Tanzania for a while and the people believed that babies often had fake ‘plastic’ teeth that would try to come through. Babies were taken to traditional healers to have these “plastic teeth” gouged out. We saw babies with terrible infections because of this – not surprisingly. I guess the so called ‘plastic teeth’ were the tooth buds/baby teeth working their way through the gums. The Tanzanian government had a big public health campaign to try to convince parents that there were no such things as plastic teeth.
    YIkes.

  24. My son grew a tooth at four weeks, but then it disappeared. I thought I was nuts, but I had other people see it as well. Then at about 15 months I thought he had a tumor on the roof of his mouth. I took him in to the ped and she said take him to the dentist. They did an x-ray and said it was a tooth.He’s five now and all his teeth have come in normally. I guess they just started out strange.

  25. The bops teethed pretty normally, though it took forever for each tooth to come in, especially the molars.My sister had a bizarre tooth issue: her teeth never fell out. Her adult teeth were starting to grow in, but she never got a single loose tooth. She had all 20 of them pulled, plus 4 adult teeth for orthodontia, plus 4 wisdom teeth, for a total of 28 teeth pulled by early adulthood. And she’s a fainter. Other than the wisdom teeth, for which she had general anesthesia, she fainted every single time.

  26. I guess were about average for when the 1st tooth showed up for DS – at around 6 months, I think. Teething has been slow and steady since then. I’m still trying to figure out if all of DS’ 2nd year molars are in at 32 months…which strikes me as taking a little long, but not sure what the range is. I think there’s at least one top one still waiting to pop through. Which would explain the INSANE amounts of drooling lately. Wetter than wet.Very interesting about teeth pulling back below the gum before they’re ready to poke through all the way. As it seems like DS has been teething almost constantly since 6 months, I don’t doubt that this may have been happening for some of his teeth.

  27. BabyT got her first tooth pretty late compared to most people we know (but earlier than your friend’s brother!). She was around 11 months when the first one finally came in. And she only bit me twice while nursing, both accidents. We both cried :(She only had one for a while, then got another one next to it, and had just those two for a while. After that they started coming in like crazy, with no rhyme or reason. She’s got 3 on the bottom front, 4 on the top front, and then miscellaneous molars. I’ve actually lost track of how many she has now, though she’s far from a full set still.
    So sorry for mamas who had to deal with this early. Are the Hyland’s tablets safe to use again after the recall?

  28. While we’re on the subject of weird tooth growth, a cousin of mine’s two front teeth actually grew horizontally, from right to left ( of left to right). They could do nothing about it except remove them and have a couple of falsies put in.

  29. I thought my baby was going to be an early teether – it seemed like he was teething from early on, and I could see where the bottom two teeth were going to come in. He drooled a lot and was very oral. But nothing happened and nothing happened, and now at 8+ months, those suckers are finally starting to move. It’s great to know there’s such variety! I think it would kind of freak me out to have a baby born with teeth. Though newborn gums are pretty barracuda-like anyway.

  30. Neither of my kids had any teeth until 13 months and then had quite few of them in rapid succession. My almost 7 year old is yet to lose a baby tooth much to her chagrin. It’s mostly genetic, so break out the orajel and cool cloths before nursing and he’ll get used to it soon.

  31. My daughter got her first 2 teeth at 12 months. We’re at 17 months, no sign of any more teeth. Not even bulging gums–nothin’. I almost started the website http://www.whatswrongwithmykid.com until I read Moxie’s post and your comments. Thanks, all. They’ll come when they’re ready. in the meantime, it gives me hope for my elder years to see how proficient she is at using her gums to eat.

  32. Milbarge pretty much followed all of the timelines and popped teeth out very quickly and in bunches (her record is four molars in two weeks with almost zero fussing and only three doses of Motrin).Fitz-Hume, on the other hand. Oy. She started teething not-so-very-early, but she’s been doing it pretty much constantly since about three or four months because she is really sloooow to teethe. Every tooth in her head represented months of hard labor, sleepless nights, drool soaked clothes and bed sheets, drool rash, weeping, OMG, kid, just get the teeth already!
    She is now three. She still doesn’t have her two year molars, although she’s been grinding away at them for almost a year.

  33. DS (now 3 years old) teethed early. I can’t remember the dates, but what Moxie describes sounds about right, except that we didn’t see them at all until 5 months. For his two front teeth, he teethed *hard*. At one pedi appointment, the NP said they’d come in any day now. At the next appointment, two or three months later, she said the same thing about the same teeth. He teethed on those for at least three or four months.Seriously, he teethed early and *hard*. We lived on baby tylenol and baby motrin. Eventually we discovered tylenol worked the best . . . until the molars.
    FWIW, we had trouble starting nursing, but I don’t think it was the teeth. Once we got started (a week or two did it) we kept going for 2 1/2 years. His teeth are fine now.

  34. A friend of mine’s baby girl was born with a few teeth (4 or 5?). They dubbed them “milk teeth” and had them pulled (because a baby doesn’t know what to do with teeth and she was hurting herself) and then it turned out that only SOME of them were milk teeth, and she’s got 2 missing teeth now that she’s 5 and has to wait for her adult teeth to grow in. So, if it’s early teething and someone suggests pulling them, consider carefully.

  35. My daughter was over 14 months old when her first tooth came in. My doctor sent her to a specialist after she didn’t have one at a year. I remember saying “what are they going to do, give her baby dentures?” and I almost cancelled the appointment. But when I got there, the doc gave her a really thorough examination, felt her joints and her skull and asked me a thousand questions about her since, apparently, really late teething can be a symptom of more serious issues. Who knew? She was fine…got eight teeth in eight weeks when they started coming in.

  36. I am the mom of the two-day old teether. I was hoping Moxie readers would have tons of experience with this phenomenon! So far, so good with nursing, but there is much gnawing and soreness all around.Kelly, above, mentions a native American connection, and that is a possible lead since my son is half Mexican Indian.
    With all this toothy goodness, we are getting on fairly well. The milk over supply issues are more compelling, since I’m effectively water boarding my son each time he nurses. I’m sure that is another post here on Ask Moxie.

  37. I am happy to see what i saw in this blog. I am not much into reading but seems like you have lots of interesting ideas that i am glad you have shared. Thanks for your time and effort for providing this.

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