First Dentist Appointment

Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

 When should I set my Child’s First Dentist Appointment?

Should infants go to the dentist?

Is toothpaste harmful for babies and young children?


Older generations did not appreciate the true value of taking their children to the dentist at a very young age.


We used to hear questions like these on a regular basis:

  • Should I be concerned about “baby teeth”?
  • Aren’t they just going to lose those primary teeth anyway?
  • Why should we have teeth checked that are going to come out anyway?

Well, we now know that there are several reasons to start protecting our teeth early.

  • Properly positioned teeth are essential when learning to speak clearly.
  • They are also necessary to process (grind) food. If your teeth hurt you don’t chew your food properly. This affects your nutrition and regularity.
  • And, those primary teeth pre-form the gums in a way that makes a path for those permanent teeth to follow.

With that in mind, consider the effects of thumb sucking,  use of a pacifier, and loss of teeth due to accidents or extractions due to extreme decay.

If you have concerns, ask your dentist for an opinion on the seriousness of any of those conditions and any possible remedies, or procedures that might be necessary to correct it.

Your Child’s First Dentist Appointment

How old should my child be when I first take him/her to the dentist?

The general rule of thumb is on his first birthday or 6 months after the first primary tooth emerges through the gums. Primary teeth are also know as  “baby teeth” .

The logic is that 6 months exposure to saliva, food, and drink warrants an inspection. In fact, that is pretty standard practice for all of life. 6 months is a tight enough window that  if things start to go wrong, measures can be taken to correct the situation. And as we mature, teeth cleaning at 6 month intervals helps to prevent, not just tooth decay, but,  gum disease.

It is a good practice to start your child thinking that it is normal and a necessary to get their teeth checked twice a year.

Of course, tooth decay is of chief concern in children. That is why, when your child’s teeth first emerge you should use a “soft” toothbrush to clean her teeth once or twice a day. Start early to get them used to it. It will not only help prevent tooth decay but will get them started on a lifetime habit of good oral health.

For your very young child, a small – infant – toothbrush should be used at bedtime. Use toothpaste that is specially made for children under the age of 3 – no fluoride!

Be gentle with your cleaning.

Let me repeat, even though you should be brushing their teeth at a very young age, don’t use a toothpaste with fluoride until they reach their third birthday.

Unless there is an obvious problem, your dentist will probably not take x-rays until about age 4 – 6.

As a special gift to your child, get them checked out early. Teach them the healthy habit of brushing their teeth regularly while getting regular checkups. This will ensure a healthy mouth and positively affect their overall health.

Also, see:

ADA – Child’s First Dental Visit

In Case Of Emergency

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