No Teeth at 12 Months: Is It Normal?

As a new parent, you may feel excited to see your baby’s first tooth. But sometimes, not seeing that tiny white little friend when your baby's first birthday has passed might get you worried, and you may begin to wonder whether there is something wrong.

My Baby Has No Teeth at 12 Months: Is It Normal?

Not seeing your baby's first tooth at 12 months is quite normal as every baby develops at different pace. Generally speaking, the first tooth develops between 4 to 8 months. However, the teeth can also come as early as the baby is only 1 month, or until he/she reaches one-and-a-half years old. This is the normal range for teeth to appear.

Late tooth eruption can happen for several reasons:

  • Gender: Girls tend to develop teeth at an earlier stage than boys.
  • Genes: Hereditary factors may also play a role here: parents who were late teethers can pass such a trait to their children.
  • Some syndromes or diseases: These may include anemia, low birth weight, cerebral palsy, among others. Disorders such as “anodontia” which is a genetic condition in which teeth simply do not grow, or “hypodontia” which means that there are some missing teeth, can also be culprits, but these are very rare.

Note: It is important to note that babies cannot properly chew their food when they have no teeth, so you need to give them a softer diet to avoid any sort of oral problem. In most cases, patience is everything you need while waiting for teeth to grow on their own.

When Should You Be Worried?

Should you worry if your baby has no teeth at 12 months? No, but it is important to consult your pediatrician if your baby’s first tooth does not grow out after the 18 months. You need to see a pediatric dentist to rule out some medical problems through a blood test. An X-ray may also be performed to check the oral cavity of your baby.

Other Parents’ Experiences

"Sometimes it is better not to worry too much. My first daughter had no teeth when she was 12-month old. But once they started coming out, it was very fast. I saw one tooth after the other appearing on my daughter’s mouth after then."

"Nowadays, dentist rarely prescribes an X-ray for kids so young. In fact, my doctor told me that it is actually better for teeth to take a little longer to appear, and it is normal that he has no teeth at 12 months. If my kid didn’t have any teeth by the time he turned 2, then it would need further research. A good tip is to give your kid what is called a “teething ring”, so your kid can chew on it, which helps the teeth come through gums."

Look for Signs of Teething

1. Disturbed Sleep

The process of teething can be a painful one for babies, causing them to be awake at night. If you notice your little one not having a proper rest or moving too much at night, then check his/her mouth; there might be some little teeth coming out. 

2. Drooling

You might notice your baby drooling much more than he/she usually does; this may be due to new teeth appearing. Try to dry your little child’s face with a soft napkin as soon as you can to avoid skin irritation.

3. Flushed Cheeks

This is another sign of teething. Your baby’s cheek will become redder than usual due to inflammation and irritation of the gums. 

4. Chewing Fingers and Other Objects

Babies chew their fingers or other objects to relieve the pressure or pain caused by teething. Always keep your children’s hands clean so they don’t get infections, and don't give them small things to chew on to avoid suffocation. Giving them a teething ring or a soft piece of food to chew on is a good idea.

5. Being Fractious

Babies will cry more thanks to the pain. If you baby has no teeth at 12 months, and you notice your baby crying a lot more than before, you may be able to see teeth growing very soon.

6. Inconsistent Feeding

Sometimes babies will feel irritated when eating, and you can see them trying to come off the bottle or your breast when feeding.