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Newborn Basics

Is It Normal For Baby To Be Born With Teeth?

I’ve heard that some babies are born with teeth. Is this okay?

A baby born with teeth sounds like something from a horror movie, but it does happen! These kinds of teeth are called natal teeth, and they occur in about one in every 2,000 to 3,000 births, according to the National Institutes of Health. The teeth normally develop on the lower gum, are attached with soft tissue and don’t have strong roots. They’re different from neonatal teeth, which can grow in 30 days after birth. Your doctor might choose to remove baby’s teeth while he’s still in the hospital after delivery, because the teeth might be loose.

But if your doc doesn’t remove his natal teeth right away, expect a few minor problems. Baby might have trouble nursing, since his teeth will get in the way, or he might cut his tongue. And it won’t be a picnic for you if you’re nursing (ouch!). You’ll want to keep him clean by wiping his gums and teeth with a damp cloth daily. And in the meantime, take your baby to see a dentist to monitor his condition. Keep an eye on the condition and examine his gums and tongue to see if he’s getting any cuts. You’ll want to talk to baby’s doctor for teeth removal if you see these signs: his gums look injured, or his teeth are loose and he’s at risk of losing them and then choking on them.

If you’re worried that your toothy newborn will have a problem with dental development in the future, he should be fine. They’re just an extra round of teeth; your baby will still get his childhood and adult teeth.

Plus, more from The Bump:

When Should I Start Taking My Baby to the Dentist?

How do I Clean Baby's Teeth?

Why Are Baby's Teeth Coming in Crooked?

By Anita Chandra-Puri, MD, pediatrician with Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group and instructor of clinical pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine