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Is Late Teething Sign Of Intelligence- Myth Or Truth?

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Late teething sign of intelligence

Is late teething sign of intelligence? For most parents, the entry of their baby’s first tiny teeth is a momentous occasion. This often occurs around the ages of 4 to 7 months old, with the central incisors (two bottom front teeth) coming in first!

However, some babies often take their own sweet time before their pearly whites make their most-awaited entrance.

Such a delay in teething has given rise to a curious notion that’s often discussed among parents and caregivers — Is late teething sign of intelligence?

So, if you’re also wondering “Is my baby advanced?” because of late teething, this article is for you! Ahead, we’ll discuss:

  • Is late teething sign of intelligence?
  • 5 Benefits of late teething.
  • When to worry about baby teeth not coming in?
  • Pediatric Teething Chart.
  • Tips for Teething Baby
  • Treatment for late teething!
  • FAQs

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Is Late Teething Sign of Intelligence?

All babies are born with a full set of primary teeth (20 of them) hiding under the surface of their gums. When they finally start growing out, these teeth are affectionately referred to as “milk teeth” as the baby’s diet usually consists only of breast milk or formula during the first year or so!

During the beginning months of an infant’s life, they will cutely flash their gummy smiles with sparkling teeth missing from the picture.

But what if your baby doesn’t surprise you with their first tooth until well after their first birthday?

Even if you may begin thinking that baby teeth coming in late signals the birth of a future genius, the truth might be somewhat less fascinating.

What’s the truth?

In simple words, the phrase “late teething sign of intelligence” is nothing more than a prevailing myth suggesting that late teething could serve as a sign of high intelligence. But, alas, it remains just a myth.

The gift of intelligence and higher IQ is well-received by early bloomers, those who hit milestones right on time, and even the late bloomers.

While it has been widely accepted that babies reaching developmental milestones ahead of schedule might be destined for greater intelligence, an ever-growing body of data suggests that the same holds true for those who develop at a more average pace.

In essence, intelligence finds its home in various forms of childhood development, whether swift, steady, or late to the party.

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Late Teething in Babies

Late teething sign of intelligence

Late teething in babies is a common concern for parents, but it is often considered normal because every infant grows at their own pace.

So, what is considered late teething in babies?

Typical Teething Age

The average time a baby takes to grow out their tiny teeth usually ranges from 6 months to a year. 

Keep in mind that this is a general reference, and it’s not strictly the same in every child’s case. It’s safe to say that some babies might start a little earlier, while others may take a bit longer!

Early Teething

How early can the early teethers be? Some babies may begin growing out their teeth, with the first tooth making an entrance as early as three months. This early onset is considered perfectly normal and usually nothing to be concerned about.

Late Teething

On the other end of the horizon, late teething occurs when a baby hasn’t shown any signs of teething by the age of 1 year. It is even more serious when their first teeth don’t come out by the age of 18 months!

This is where parental concerns often arise. However, late teething, in itself, is not necessarily a cause for alarm.

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Benefits of Late Teething

While late teething may not be a sign of intelligence, there are other benefits your baby enjoys with this tooth eruption delay!

Let’s take a look at some benefits of late teething:

1. Less Teething Discomfort

Endless crying, a fussy little one, and sleepless nights —early teething can literally turn your world upside down.

With late teething, you can at least catch a break for yourself. It allows you and your baby fewer painful moments and more peaceful nights. But how exactly does late teething aid discomfort?

It’s because infants who experience late teething can handle the associated pain better than early teethers. By the time their first teeth begin to emerge, their gums may have already toughened up.

Healthier and more mature gums make the pain and process more tolerable. This results in a more comfortable experience for both parents and baby!

2. Stronger & Healthier Teeth

You know how they say good things take time. Well, late teething follows up on this saying!

Late teething gives your baby’s teeth more time to grow sturdy and healthy beneath the surface. During this extra time, the teeth get to soak up necessary essentials like calcium, which makes them extra strong!

This is one of the great benefits of late teething, and an important one. It’s because strong teeth aren’t just about a beautiful smile; they are crucial for chewing and digesting food properly!

Related: Naptime Simple Tips

3. Delay in Dental Appointments

Late teething sign of intelligence

Late teething has a cool advantage you might have never dreamed of—canceled or delayed dental interventions!

When your baby’s teeth take their time to grow out, they get the opportunity to line up properly with better positioning. This reduces the chances of their teeth getting all jumbled up or too close together.

As a result, it may allow your little one to avoid needing braces or other dental treatments down the line.

4. Good Oral Hygiene

When your baby’s teeth debut late, it allows you to start teaching them good oral hygiene habits at an older age!

This means you can begin brushing and cleaning their teeth at a time when they’re more receptive to the routine. With this, your baby may catch up to the habit of keeping their teeth clean, which can last a lifetime and significantly reduce the risk of cavities and dental issues.

This important habit ensures good dental defense and a lifetime of pretty smiles!

5. Extended Mom-Baby Bonding Time

Imagine being snuggled up in your soft, cozy blanket, and your baby is right there, nestled in your loving arms. They are looking up at your face with those big, curious eyes and a cute gummy smile!

It’s a moment where time feels like slowing down, and nothing else matters more than your beautiful baby. Won’t you adore more such moments?

That’s one of the benefits of late teething—your child doesn’t get on a crybaby train and you get to live more of these heartwarming moments. Your soothing tactics (gentle rocking or melodious lullabies) become your baby’s best friends.

Your bond grows stronger every day, like an unbreakable thread connecting your hearts together!

Related: What do babies think about? 

Delayed Tooth Eruption Causes

Delayed tooth eruption, a situation where a baby’s teeth take longer than usual to come out, can be caused by several factors!

Understanding these causes is important for parents and caregivers to take better care of their baby’s dental health. Let’s take a look at some common reasons behind delayed teething:

a.  Genetics
Your family’s history plays a major role in deciding when a child’s first set of teeth will appear.

For instance, if anyone in your family (like parents or blood relatives) had late teething, it automatically increases the likelihood of the same pattern in the family’s next generation!

b.  Premature Birth
Babies who are born prematurely may also experience delayed teething.

The reason behind this is when the baby arrives ahead of schedule, their teeth start following a different clock as well. This clock is known as the “adjusted age,” which considers the due date instead of the actual birth date!

c.  Nutritional Factors

Benefits of late teething
Adequate nutrition is the working force behind the timely development of your baby’s teeth! A diet lacking in vital nutrients like calcium and vitamin D can potentially delay teething.

This is why, providing your baby with the essential nutrients after birth is really important. In the same way, it is also important for mothers to eat healthily since they will be sharing these nutrients through their breast milk!

d.  Hormonal Imbalance
Teething is usually a straightforward process and can be easily influenced by hormonal factors, sometimes leading to delayed teething!

These hormonal imbalances mainly occur when conditions like thyroid issues and other endocrine disorders are affecting your little one. The hormones that manage teething can get disrupted because of such medical issues!

e.  Systematic Illness
Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism or Down Syndrome, can also influence the timing of teething in your baby!

For instance, in the case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Similarly, Down syndrome may involve genetic differences in the blueprint of your baby.

Both these conditions can introduce delays in the overall development of your baby, including delayed teething!

  • Other than the aforementioned delayed tooth eruption causes, there may be several other issues that delay teething in your baby!

Low birth weight, exposure to toxins, malnutrition during pregnancy, inherited genetic traits, etc., are some other causes of delayed teething patterns.

Baby’s teeth coming out late is not much of a cause for alarm, as the timeline for each baby’s growth is very unique. However, if you still feel worried, you can consult a pediatrician for reassurance and guidance!

Related: How To Encourage Toddler To Talk

General Timeline for Baby Teething

Baby teeth, also called milk teeth, primary teeth, or deciduous teeth, are the first set of teeth that pop out in your baby’s mouth after they are born!

Normally, these tiny pearly whites start showing up when your little angel is somewhere between 6 to 12 months old. This is the average timeline, and it can vary from baby to baby.

For some children, baby teeth can’t wait to show up for the party and might grow out as early as 3-4 months of age. In contrast, others might fall asleep and not wake up until around the baby’s first birthday!

It’s all about their individual teething rhythm.

Pediatric Teething Chart

Even with a biological timeline, the growth of your baby’s teeth is divided among different types. Remember that not all teeth will grow out at once; it will take time and variation for your baby’s teeth to come out, one by one.

This is why, a pediatric teething chart is required for you to understand how exactly your baby will form their beautiful smile as they grow.

As per the American Dental Association, here are the usual timetables for the arrival of upper and lower teeth:

Upper Teeth:

  • Central incisor: Typically appears between 8 to 12 months.
  • Lateral incisor: You can expect this one around 9 to 13 months.
  • Canine (cuspid): These might take their time and show up between 16 to 22 months.
  • First molar: Usually, this tooth emerges around 13 to 19 months.
  • Second molar: This latecomer often makes an appearance between 25 to 33 months.

Lower Teeth:

  • Central incisor: Usually arrives between 6 to 10 months.
  • Lateral incisor: You’ll spot these teeth around 10 to 16 months.
  • Canine (cuspid): Plan for these around 17 to 23 months.
  • First molar: Typically makes its debut between 14 to 18 months.
  • Second molar: This one often arrives late, somewhere between 23 to 31 months

Here’s an infographic for you to understand this better:

Pediatric teething chart

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When to worry about baby teeth not coming in?

The pediatric teething chart offers you a general timeline that shows how long will it take for your baby to grow out all their teeth!

A slight difference between your baby’s teething and the chart is normal. However, if your baby’s teething schedule seems too far off the timeline, it’s a good idea to meet with your healthcare provider.

Here are some situations where you must see your doctor:

1. Baby hasn’t grown any teeth by 18 months

Most babies get their first tooth around 6 months. But if your baby is 18 months old and hasn’t shown any sign of teething, it’s a good time to consult a dentist.

2. Baby shows other dental problems

If you notice other issues like discolored gums, lumps, or signs of infection where the teeth should be coming in, it’s a cause for concern. You should see a dentist in this case.

3. Unusual Delays or Missing Teeth

If you, as a parent, or your family has a history of unusually delayed tooth development or missing teeth, you must consult a dentist early on to monitor the situation.

Syndromes with Delayed Eruption of Teeth

When you imagine your baby’s teeth, think of them like tiny, white stars in the night sky. Just like stars appear at different times, baby teeth also show up at their varied moments.

Sometimes, these tiny stars may take longer than usual to shine, and the reason behind them could be certain syndromes. Let’s discuss a few associated syndromes with delayed eruption of teeth:

Down Syndrome

Late teething in babies

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is caused when an extra copy of chromosome 21 is present in the baby’s genetic blueprint!

Babies with Down Syndrome often experience a delay in teething. The first tooth may take longer to appear than usual, and the sequence of tooth eruption can also be different.

As a result, they might grow smaller teeth, have gaps in between, and face issues with the alignment of teeth!

Cleidocranial Dysplasia

Cleidocranial Dysplasia is another genetic condition that is caused by mutations in the RUNX2 gene!

In CCD, tooth eruption, both for baby teeth and adult teeth, is often slower than in individuals without the condition. This delayed tooth eruption can result in a mix of primary and permanent teeth, creating a unique dental situation.

Moreover, some milk teeth might stay longer than usual, leading to extra or supernumerary teeth in the baby’s mouth.

Ectodermal Dysplasia

If you’re looking for syndromes with delayed eruption of teeth, Ectodermal Dysplasia is another genetic example!

It is a condition that affects various parts of the body, including the skin, nails, hair, and teeth as well. It can have major consequences for oral health, such as small or missing teeth, misshapen teeth, and uneven spacing between teeth.

These dental challenges require many parents to get orthodontic treatment later in their kids’ lives, as it helps alight their teeth properly.

Related Article: How to build confidence in a child?

Tips for teething baby

Teething is one of those hard challenges that come with a growing baby. When those first set of tiny teeth start making their way through your baby’s gummy smile, it can lead to discomfort and fussiness in your little one!

As parents, it’s really important to know some good tips for teething baby so you can ease your child’s pain and make the process smoother for them.

Below we will share some simple yet effective dental practices for healthy gums and teeth:

1. Massage your baby’s gums

If you wish for your baby to have healthy gums, you can offer some teething relief by carefully massaging those sore, little gums!

Simply, sit with your baby and use a clean finger to gently massage their gums in circular motion. This can be very comforting for your baby and a natural way to uplift any gum discomfort.

The best part is that this may relax your baby and help them fall asleep faster . And in case your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you can just rub their gums again and ease the pain.

2. Chilled Teething Rings

Tips for teething baby

Teething rings (or toys) are a must-have when you’re trying to relieve your baby’s teeth problems!

All you have to do is chill them up and give them to your baby. While chilled teething rings work better than ones with normal temperatures, you need to make sure you don’t put them in the freezer as they could get extra cold and solid for your baby to chew.

Before doing so, read the instructions that come with the toy. You may find it mentioned if it’s safe to chill and how long can you keep it in the fridge.

Safety reminder: Please never tie a teething ring (or any other baby stuff, like a pacifier) to a cord or ribbon around your baby’s neck, as it can lead to strangulation.

3. Cold Washcloth

How to get healthy gums? Another great chewing item could be a cold washcloth!

Take a soft cloth and soak it in water. Remember you don’t want it dripping wet, so wring out the water until it is damp. Then, fold it in halves until it is small enough for your baby to chew on.

You can place it in the fridge to make it even more colder. However, do not ever leave your baby unattended if they are chewing on the washcloth (or any other toys), as this could be a choking hazard.

4. Offer your baby cold water

Has your baby started sipping on plain water? In that case, another simple yet practical tip is to give your baby some cold water to drink!

It’s not only great for quenching your baby’s thirst, but also a natural way to ease teething discomfort. Drinking something cool can really soothe your baby’s sore gums, and water is just perfect for them.

You can also offer other drinks than water, but make sure they are sugar-free.

5. Crunchy Treats

How to make teeth stronger? Once your baby has started trying solid foods in their meal, you can add some crunchy treats to their diet!

Try freezing some fruits or soft food to help soothe your baby’s irritated gums. Chilled mashed bananas, finger foods like apple or carrot slices, and strawberries are a great start.

A crunchy breadstick or a piece of crusty bread can also provide relief from those pesky teething symptoms. Just remember to steer clear of sugary foods, as they can harm those brand-new teeth.

Always be present with your baby at all eating times, and make sure your infant is old enough for these crunchy treats.

Related Article: How to encourage toddler to talk? 

6. Wipe off excess drool

When babies are teething, they have a tendency to drool and soak their clothing. This can give your baby a sore rash around their mouth or on the chin, which is why, it’s a good idea to have your little one wear a bib when they are teething.

More importantly, you must wipe off excess drool from your baby’s face to keep irritation away from them. It is necessary for your baby’s face to stay dry if you want to prevent any unwanted rash.

7. Give Baby Cuddles

Baby teeth coming in late

During teething, babies are in a lot of discomfort and irritation, which is also the reason why they cry so much.

So, make sure you give lots of hugs and cuddles to your little one. During this time, the biggest comforter for a baby is cuddle time with Mom or Dad.

Get a comfortable chair, place your baby in your arms in a comfortable position, and rock your baby gently. This will offer some quiet time for cuddles and comfort, while also giving you both some much-needed rest.

8. Medicines for Teething Pain

If your child is in constant pain even after following the above-mentioned tips for teething baby, the last resort is to talk to your doctor.

They may suggest some medicines to help alleviate pain and soothe the baby for some needed sleep. Do not try meds without consulting as your pediatrician can advise you on which type of pain relievers work best and their correct dosage!

Remember to stay away from teething gels and tablets that contain benzocaine or lidocaine. These can be harmful for your baby, and often numb their mouth which causes issues with swallowing.

Late Teething Sign of Intelligence: FAQs

When your baby is facing delayed teething, they get very irritated and end up crying almost every minute they are awake.

This can put mothers in stress, and they may start getting several questions regarding their baby’s dental health. So, here are some FAQs connected to the question— Is late teething sign of intelligence:

Question 1. How long does it take for first teeth to erupt?

On average, you can expect the first teeth, usually the lower front teeth (central incisors), to start coming in around 6 to 10 months of age.

Question 2. Is there any connection between early teething and intelligence?

There is no scientific evidence to support a direct link between early teething and intelligence. Teething is a natural developmental process, and the timing of a baby’s teething is primarily influenced by genetics and individual variation.

So, just like late teething sign of intelligence is a myth, there’s no truth to connection between early teething and intelligence.

Question 3: Is late teething sign of autism?

No, delayed teething is not considered a sign of autism!

While Autism is a neurodevelopment condition, teething, on the other hand, is a normal development process!

Question 4. Does late teething mean late puberty?

Late teething does not necessarily indicate late puberty. Teething and puberty are two distinct developmental processes in a child’s life, and they are not directly linked.

The timing of one does not predict the timing of the other. In conclusion, a child’s age at teething does not provide any meaningful information about when they will experience puberty.

Question 5. When to worry about baby teeth not coming in?

Many parents have concerns about their baby’s oral health, especially when they don’t make an appearance as expected. Here’s when you should consider seeking advice, as per different ages:

a.  Baby Teeth Coming in Late: Late teething can be perfectly normal, and many babies experience it. Don’t be overly concerned if your baby’s teeth are taking their time to emerge!

b.  My 8 Month Old Has No Teeth: Babies may start teething at various ages, so no teeth at 8 months old is not a reason for immediate concern.

c.  No Teeth by 9 Months: Most babies usually begin teething by 9 months old, but if your child is still sparkling the gummy smile, don’t worry. Rather you should enjoy their sweet gummy smile!

d.  10 Month Old No Teeth: No teeth at 10 months is just as common as any other age under 12 months, which is why you shouldn’t stress about it.

e.  No Teeth by 11 Months: If your baby has not shown any sign of teething by 11 months, it’s a good time to consult with a healthcare professional. While late teething is common, a professional evaluation can rule out any potential concerns.

f.  1 Year Old with No Teeth: When your baby reaches 1 year of age without any teeth, it’s advisable to consult with a pediatrician or dentist. They can assess your child’s oral health to ensure there are no underlying issues.

In most cases, late teething is not a cause for alarm, as babies typically catch up in their teething process!

However, if you have any concerns or if your child is experiencing other developmental delays or unusual symptoms, seeking professional guidance is always a wise step to ensure your baby’s well-being.

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Late teething sign of intelligence


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