Pregnancy is an exciting time for the parents to be. They get to see their tiny little egg develop into a full human being over a period of 40 weeks. Did you know your baby develops teeth when they are in the womb? Yes, teeth develop in the foetal stage itself.
We all love a toothless grin; but teeth are an important aspect of a baby’s physical development. When a baby develops teeth around 8 – 10 months of age, they achieve an important milestone. Many parents wait for that first tooth to sprout out. So, when and how do baby’s teeth start developing? Scroll down to know more.
In This Article
A baby develops gums when they are around 8 weeks of age in the womb. The gums come up in a “U” shape on both upper and lower jaws. These bands of tissues form along the contour of the jawline.
At around 9 weeks, tiny tooth buds will form in each of these bands of tissue (upper and lower). Each band will have 10 tooth buds which then grows into tiny baby teeth between 8 and 33 months of age.
These tooth buds will then produce enamel for each of the teeth, between 9 and 10 weeks. Both an outer shell – the enamel, and an inner shell – dentin, are produced until the third trimester of the pregnancy. The enamel and the dentin are two of the hardest tissues in the body. It is their responsibility to protect the teeth from any breaks or chipping.
The roots start forming and reaching deeper into the gums at around 10 weeks. These roots extend all the way to the jaw bone and attach each of the teeth to the jaw. The tooth buds will continue growing and harden until the birth of the child.
What can a pregnant woman do? How can you help this process?
Certain medications can have an ill effect on the baby’s teeth. Such medicines can not only delay the development of teeth in the fetus but also cause discolouration. Many antibiotics are not advisable for pregnant women because they can have a severe impact on the unborn child. It can affect the fetus’ growth and development.
When you are pregnant, ensure you inform your doctors about your pregnancy. If you are undergoing any medical treatment or procedure, you ought to let the medical professionals know about your pregnancy. They will either change the medications or postpone the treatment until after the birth of the child.
Some of the antibiotics you need to avoid if you are pregnant are:
Apart from ensuring safety for the developing baby, you need to ensure that they get enough calcium too. Calcium is an important nutrient, essential for the bones and teeth development in the fetus.
Increasing your calcium intake during pregnancy is important. Doctors will also prescribe calcium supplements as these will be bio-available and easily absorbable by your body.
[Read : Antibiotics During Pregnancy ]
Let’s break down the entire teeth formation process week by week:
|Week of Pregnancy||Key Milestone|
|8 Weeks||This is the time when the gums form in upper and lower jaws.|
|9 Weeks||This is when the tiny tooth buds start forming within the gums.|
|10 Weeks||The roots start forming and anchor the teeth to the jaw.|
The teeth keep developing until the end of the pregnancy. If they don’t form properly, you can notice issues when the teeth start coming out. The child might have to undergo dental procedures after they grow up, to address the issue caused by this developmental delay.
Teething is an important part of a baby’s development. Proper teething and healthy development of teeth in fetus is possible only if the teeth buds have formed properly during fetal development. Though those pearly whites show themselves only months after birth, they are already there at the time of birth.
Yes, though very rare, it is possible. There have been cases reported with babies having teeth right at the time of birth. This can be influenced by the baby’s genes.
Foetuses have two sets of tooth buds. The second set of buds form right beneath the first set. They come out after the milk teeth fall out. The enamel is also formed for these buds around 22 weeks. So, a baby will be born with buds for both milk and permanent teeth.
Some children’s teeth may not come in on time. They might not come out and can stay hidden in the jaw. This delay could even be genetic. In many cases, this delay in tooth eruption can cause tooth decay later. Even if the tooth is not erupting as expected, brush your baby’s gums. Sometimes, this can help the tooth break open the gums, to come out.