When Should Your Child First Visit the Dentist?

Parents of new children often wonder, “When should my child first see a pediatric dentist?” The Academy has partnered with local pediatric dentist Snodgrass King to offer some advice that will help answer this question.

What is the earliest you encourage parents to bring their baby in for a dental checkup?

child first dental visit

Your child’s first pediatric dentist appointment should occur shortly after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations early may lead to detection of early stages of tooth decay that can be easily treated.

What would you go over or do during such a visit?

There are multiple topics that need to be discussed at the first dental appointment which include:

  • Proper bottle-feeding and nursing techniques
  • Proper brushing techniques, which include what toothbrush to use and how; how much toothpaste to use, and what kind of toothpaste to use
  • Proper flossing techniques and the best types of floss for children
  • How and when to encourage your child to stop using a pacifier or their thumb/ finger for comfort

What are some things parents can do at home to begin a healthy oral hygiene routine?

  • Read your child books about going to the dentist, for example, Sesame Street’s “Ready, Set, Brush”. You can also prepare your child for what’s to come by starting proper home oral care at an early age. Then they will be used to getting their mouth cleaned and taken care of, and won’t be surprised at the dentist.
  • Show your child that oral care isn’t scary! Brush and floss your teeth in front of them, and act enthusiastic about it. Then, when you have to go to the dentist, talk about it excitedly. Avoid talking about pain or discomfort and emphasize how healthy their teeth and smile will be afterward. This will help ensure your child that the dentist isn’t a scary place.

Request More Information

If you have additional questions about your child’s dental care please visit www.snodgrassking.com.