Baby teeth eruption

There are 20 primary or baby teeth and they should appear before the child is 3 years old.

When your child is teething

If the child seems to be in pain, you can:

  • Rub the gums with your finger or a cold washcloth.
  • Rub the gums with the back of a cool small spoon.

If the pain persists, your dentist, pharmacist or doctor may recommend an over-the-counter medication to relieve the pain.

Here’s what NOT to do:

  • DO NOT use the kind of pain medication you rub on your child’s gums; he/she could swallow it.
  • DO NOT give him teething biscuits. They may contain added or concealed sugar.
  • DO NOT underestimate a fever. The eruption of new teeth does NOT make babies sick or feverish. If your child has a fever, see your doctor.


It is normal for a baby to suckle. This is how he/she relaxes and feeds. As your child nears 2 or 3 years of age, the less they need to suckle. If this is not the case, the use of a pacifier is recommended rather than thumb sucking.

Why avoid thumb sucking?

Because YOU can control when and how your child uses a pacifier, but not his/her thumb. Never put sugar, honey or corn syrup on a pacifier. This may cause cavities.

Why stop sucking before the age of 3?

It is best if your child stops sucking BEFORE 3 years old. If a child continues to suck his/her thumb or pacifier after his/her permanent teeth have appeared, the growth of his/her jaw and the position of his/her teeth could be affected.