Teething is a mysterious thing that babies go through. There is no knowing when the first tooth is going to appear, or if your baby will be an easy teether or in misery non-stop until the offending tooth has popped through the gum.
Sure, there are approximate timetables for when each tooth will emerge, but while general wisdom says the first tooth will arrive at 6 months, there is plenty of evidence to say that isn’t always the case. In fact, a study published in Pediatrics in April of 2000 suggests that the most of the symptoms associated with teething were not exclusive to teething and that “no symptom cluster could reliably predict the imminent emergence of a tooth.”
The American Dental Association has a helpful chart that lists the approximate time when each set of teeth will emerge, but these are statistical averages. Some babies go months past the half-year mark before that first tooth shows up, only to arrive with 4 others at the same time. Sometimes the tooth arrives early.
In rare cases, a baby can be born with a tooth. But regardless of when that first tooth shows up and whether your child is an easy teether or a bad teether, there will be tearful nights, fussiness, drool, and any of a number of other “problems” that you will attribute to teething…whether it is truly the cause or not.