1-Year-Old Still Doesn't Have Teeth: Is It Normal?

baby with mouth open

Sooner or later your baby will smile ... and reveal his first tooth! It's an exciting moment for most moms, but if you've been waiting and waiting and waiting for your baby's teeth to come in with no pearly whites in sight, your baby's gummy grin may start to set you on edge. If your baby has hit her first birthday and still doesn't have a tooth, you're likely wondering if everything's all right.

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Good news: experts say that no teeth by age 1 shouldn't worry you.

"Babies typically get their first teeth between 7 and 11 months," says Jessica Baitner, a pediatric dentist in Hollywood, Florida. "But parents should be reassured that there is extreme variability in the eruption of teeth -- plus or minus six months for baby teeth. In fact, my own daughter didn't get her first tooth until 13 months and my niece not until 18 months!"

If you're worried, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that kids see the dentist soon after the appearance of their first tooth, or even without teeth, no later than their first birthday. So this visit should help clear up any concerns. The dentist can feel for teeth under the gums, or an X-ray will tell you for sure whether they're there.

More from The Stir: Caring for Your Child's Teeth: The Baby Years

In certain isolated instances, no teeth may be a sign of a genetic condition called anodontia (having no teeth) or hypodontia (missing a few teeth). "But they're very rare, and when it occurs, it's usually part of a syndrome or disease such as ectodermal dysplasia," says Kenyon Glor, a dentist in Ohio. For instance, only about .5 to .9 percent of people are missing teeth, and most are missing only a few, which can be fixed with dental implants.

The one thing you will want to keep an eye on with toothless babies is the food they eat.

"The important thing to remember is that babies without teeth cannot chew their food as well as babies with teeth, so they need to be on a softer diet so they don't choke," says Josephine Dlugopolski-Gach, MD, a pediatrician at Loyola University Health System. But aside from that, the only thing you need is a healthy dose of patience while you wait for those teeth to arrive on their own sweet time.

When did your baby get his first tooth?

 

Image © Sue Barr/Image Source/Corbis

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