My 2-year old son only has eight of his teeth. Should I be concerned?
Probably not. Most children, but not all, have all 20 of their primary (baby) teeth by about age 3 and they usually have more than eight by the time they are 2. However, there is a very wide variation and your son’s development could be completely normal.
Babies get their first teeth, on average, between about 4 and 7 months of age, although some still have no teeth at 1 year old. Each child is different. If your son’s first tooth erupted late, then it would follow that his other teeth will, too. There are some nutritional and health problems that could contribute to delayed tooth eruption. Rather than spending time wondering and worrying, I think it makes sense to ask your son’s dentist or pediatrician whether everything’s shipshape with his dental development.
At a child’s first dental visit, the dentist counts the teeth, look for signs of decay and gum disease and make sure everything’s in order for proper dental development. There is a difference of professional opinion about when that first dental visit should take place.
The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists advise the first visit at about a year. The Academy of General Dentistry says children should have that first visit between 18 and 24 months. Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatricians says a dental visit before age 3 is unnecessary unless the pediatrician notices a problem when examining the child’s mouth.