Dental Hygiene for Children: When to See a Dentist
When do I take my baby to the dentist for the first time? This is a common question for first-time parents. Start proper dental hygiene at a very young age, and your child will be on the path to a lifetime of good oral care.
By 6 Months Old: Doctor’s Oral Care Assessment
Take your child for an oral-health assessment performed by a primary care practitioner at 6 months of age. At this appointment, your baby's doctor does the following:
- Evaluates your baby's risk of developing oral disease and performs a cavity-risk assessment.
- Provides education on infant oral health.
- Evaluates fluoride exposure (and provides supplemental treatment if needed).
By 12 Months Old: Know Your Dentist
Establish a relationship with a dentist by the time your child is 12 months of age. At this first dental visit, your baby's dentist should do the following:
- Helps you and your child understand and be comfortable with the oral care process.
- Provides an age-appropriate demonstration of brushing teeth.
- Establishes a routine of regular checkups.
- Determines the need for fluoride treatments.
- Gives parents a place to turn in the event of a dental emergency.