When should my child visit the dentist and what will happen?

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The ADA recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. Don’t wait for them to start school or until there’s an emergency. Get your child comfortable today with good mouth healthy habits.

Although the first visit is mainly for the dentist to examine your child’s mouth and to check growth and development, it’s also about your child being comfortable. To make the visit positive:

•Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested and cooperative.

•Keep any anxiety or concerns you have to yourself. Children can pick up on your emotions, so emphasize the positive.

•Never use a dental visit as a punishment or threat.

•Never bribe your child.

•Talk with your child about visiting the dentist.

During this visit, you can expect the dentist to:

•Inspect for oral injuries, cavities or other problems.

•Let you know if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay.

•Clean your child’s teeth and provide tips for daily care.

•Discuss teething, pacifier use, or finger/thumbsucking habits.

•Discuss treatment, if needed, and schedule the next check-up