When Should You First Take Your Child to the Dentist?

The American Dental Association recommends that you take your child for his or her first check up by the first birthday. Surprisingly, baby teeth are just as important as permanent (adult) teeth, and tooth decay can occur as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts. Parents often dismiss these cavities since the tooth will be replaced with a permanent one. However, if there is decay in the baby teeth, there is a higher likelihood of decay in the permanent teeth, which can potentially affect overall health. Also, your dentist can show you the right way to clean your child’s teeth, discuss diet and fluoride needs, and check for any problems. So, how do you make your first visit a success?

Tips for Your First Visit

  • Play dentist at home with your child, so he or she knows what to expect.
  • Make the appointment early in the morning when your child is rested and cooperative.
  • Know that the dentist is there to help your child, so stay positive with your child even if you are anxious about dental visits.
  • Never use the dentist visit as a punishment or a threat.
  • Keep cool if your child is anxious and uncooperative. Work with the dentist to finish the exam instead of cutting it short.