In most cases, babies will start the teething process at around six months of age. However, about 1 in 3,000 babies will be born with one or more teeth already in place. Known as natal teeth, this rare development may present minor complications and might require simple treatment. To shed more light on this family dentistry topic, here are a few common points that parents should know about natal teeth.
What Causes Natal Teeth?
The exact cause is not known. In some cases, they occur due to a family history of the problem. In others, the issue may be connected with a condition that affects the child’s development—such as Sotos, Hallerman-Streiff, Pierre Robin, and Ellis-van Creveld syndrome.
What Do Natal Teeth Look Like?
Natal teeth usually come in at the lower or upper front area of the mouth, and rarely, as molars. Some appear like normal baby teeth. But in many cases, they will be weak, discolored, and partially loose with little to no connecting roots.
Should Natal Teeth Be Removed?
If the tooth is intact, it may not need to be removed. However, if there’s a risk of complications, your doctor may recommend removal. Some common risks include accidentally swallowing a loose tooth, tongue injury, and injury to the mother during breastfeeding. If removal is necessary, it can usually be performed in the hospital soon after delivery.
Can Teething Start Soon After Birth?
Neonatal teeth are rarer and occur when teeth emerge within 30 days after birth. Children with this condition usually won’t exhibit common signs of teething—such as pain or excessive drooling. However, family dentistry professionals may recommend removal if they present a risk of discomfort or injury.
When Should Babies First Visit the Dentist?
Children who are born with natal or neonatal teeth may need to visit a pediatric dentist for follow-up care, depending on the extent of the condition.
Children with normal oral development should visit a family dentistry clinic for their initial checkup at some point between the appearance of their first baby tooth and their first birthday.
If you’re concerned about your newborn’s oral health, Valley Family Dentistry in Mayfield, NY, offers compassionate dental services. Our clinic is staffed by qualified family dentistry professionals who use state-of-the-art tools and techniques to address common and rare conditions—including natal and neonatal teeth. We’re also equipped to provide initial checkups, as well as ongoing preventive dentistry services for infants, toddlers, and older children. To learn more about our capabilities, visit us online. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call one of our friendly team members at (518) 661-6405.