It is recommended that your child has their first visit to the dentist around his or her first birthday, but it could be as early as you like if you notice something that concerns you.

Babies can get cavities soon after teeth appear. Cavities can interfere with eating and sleeping and can be painful. Dentists like to see children at a young age, before any major problems occur. When the first dental visit happens at a young age it usually means that it will be a fun experience for your child. The dentist will check your child’s teeth for any signs of tooth decay. This is a good time to talk with your dental hygienist about tooth brushing, eating habits and fluoride.

Preparing your child for the first visit:

  • Read your child a book about going to the dentist.
  • Take your child along when a sibling or friend has a dental visit. Let your child meet the members of the dental team.
  • Don’t let your child know about any anxiety you may feel about going to the dentist. Your child may pick up on your fear if they hear you tell others about your visits to the dentist, especially if you use words like hurt, pain, needle, or drill.
  • When you talk to your child about going to the dentist explain what will happen (“The dentist will look at your teeth” or “The dentist will count your teeth”) without adding words like “it won’t hurt” or “don’t be afraid”.
  • See that your child has a good night’s sleep before the dental visit and try to book a morning appointment.