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When Should a Child Come in for their First Appointment?

Little girl at the dentist checkup

Parents often wonder when they should bring their child in to see the dentist for the first time.  How are they going to react?  Will they throw a fit?  Will it traumatize them for the rest of their lives?  The answer can vary depending on the child, but for the most part they should be introduced to the office when the first teeth come in or around 1 year old.  This early introduction should help the child become more comfortable in a dental setting.  It also gives the dentist a chance to look for any abnormalities which could be benefited from early detection.

Often times these first few visits are just a quick exam and going over hygiene instruction and dietary counseling with the parents.  The biggest problem faced by very young children is rampant decay usually caused by going to bed with a bottle of juice or milk.  This decay can cause early tooth lose, pain, infection, trouble eating, and problems with development and eruption of the forming permanent teeth.  It is not just an issue of “they are just going to lose those teeth.”  Much of this could be mitigated through a combination of patient education and early detection.

I know it’s not always the easiest thing getting kids (as well as some adults) to go to the dentist, but it can be very important in maintaining the health of these growing buckets of joy.

Dr. H

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