The Cleveland Clinic

Your Child's First Dental Visit

It is generally recommended that an infant be seen by a dentist by the age of 1 or within 6 months after his or her first tooth comes in.

What Happens at the First Dental Visit?

The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. This visit gives your child an opportunity to meet the dentist in a non-threatening and friendly way. Some dentists may ask the parent to sit in the dental chair and hold their child during the examination. The parent may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and your dentist.

During the examination, your dentist will check all of your child's existing teeth for decay, examine your child's bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If indicated, the dentist will clean any teeth and assess the need for fluoride. He or she will also educate parents about oral health care basics for children and discuss dental developmental issues and answer any questions.

Topics your dentist may discuss with you might include:

  1. Good oral hygiene practices for your child's teeth and gums and cavity protection
  2. Flouride needs
  3. Oral habits (thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, lip sucking)
  4. Developmental milestones
  5. Teething
  6. Proper Nutrition
  7. Schedule of dental check up visits. Many dentists like to see children every 6 months to build up the child's comfort and confidence level in visiting the dentist, to monitor the development of the teeth, and promptly treat any developing problems.