When to Book Your Child’s First Dental Appointment: A Guide for Parents

By Lakeshore Dental Studio

As a parent, you want to ensure your child is healthy and happy at all times. One crucial aspect of their health that often gets overlooked is dental care. Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends scheduling your child’s first dentist appointment by their first birthday? If not, don’t fret! In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about when to book your child’s first dental appointment and why it’s essential for their overall well-being. So let’s dive in!

When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend that children have their first dental visit within six months after the eruption of their first tooth, but no later than their first birthday. 

The purpose of this early visit is to establish a “dental home” for your child. This means finding a dentist you trust who can provide comprehensive dental care for your child throughout their childhood. 

During this first appointment, the dentist will typically do a visual examination of your child’s mouth to check for any problems with their teeth or gums. They may also do a gentle cleaning if necessary. 

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s oral health, this is a great opportunity to ask the dentist. They can also give you some tips on how to care for your child’s teeth at home and prevent cavities. 

Scheduling your child’s first dental appointment early is an important step in keeping their teeth healthy for years to come!

Benefits of Early Dental Care

Starting dental care early is important for a number of reasons. It can help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other problems. It can also help your child get used to going to the dentist and make them more likely to have good oral health habits for life. Here are some specific benefits of early dental care:

1. Cavities are less common in children who see the dentist regularly.

2. Gum disease is easier to treat in its early stages.

3. Regular dental appointments can help catch problems early, before they become more serious (and more expensive to treat).

4. Going to the dentist regularly can help your child feel more comfortable with the dentist and reduce any fear or anxiety they may have about going to the dentist.

5. Good oral health habits start early! Teaching your child good brushing and flossing habits from an early age will set them up for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Tips for Making the Visit Stress Free

The first dental visit is an important milestone for your child. Here are some tips to help make the experience stress free:

1. Schedule the appointment for a time when your child is well rested and not hungry. This will help them be more cooperative and less fussy.

2. Choose a dentist that has experience with young children and offers a relaxed and kid-friendly environment.

3. Explain to your child what to expect during the visit in simple terms. Let them know that the dentist will count their teeth and may use a special toothbrush or mirror.

4. Bring along a favorite toy or blanket for comfort. If possible, have a parent or guardian accompany your child into the treatment room during the appointment.

5. Reward your child with praise or a small treat afterwards to reinforce positive associations with dental visits.

What to Expect During the Visit

If you’re unsure of when to bring your child in for their first dental appointment, you’re not alone. Many parents are confused about the best age to start taking their child to see the dentist. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that children see a dentist by age 1 or within 6 months after the first tooth erupts.

During the visit, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth and gums. They will also assess your child’s risk for cavities and other dental problems. The dentist may also discuss fluoride treatment and sealants with you. Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are applied to the back teeth to help prevent cavities.

The dentist may also ask you questions about your child’s oral hygiene habits and diet. They may give you tips on how to help your child brush and floss properly. They may also recommend ways to reduce your child’s sugar intake to help prevent cavities.

After the examination, the Pediatric dentist will clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride treatment if needed. They will also schedule a follow-up appointment for 6 months to 1 year later.

Post Visit Care Tips

After your child’s first dental appointment, there are a few things you can do to help ensure their continued oral health. Here are some post-visit care tips:

1. Schedule Regular Dental Appointments: 

Once your child has seen the dentist for their initial appointment, it’s important to keep up with regular check-ups and cleanings. Depending on your child’s individual needs, the dentist may recommend coming in every 6 months or so.

2. Practice Good at-Home Oral Care: 

In between dental visits, it’s crucial to brush and floss your child’s teeth daily. This will help prevent cavities and other problems down the road. Help them develop a good oral hygiene routine early on and be sure to model proper brushing and flossing yourself!

3. Limit Sugary Snacks and Drinks: 

Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, so it’s best to limit sugary snacks and drinks (including fruit juice). If your child does have something sweet, make sure they brush their teeth afterwards.


We hope this article has been helpful in understanding when to book your child’s first dental appointment. As parents, it is important to stay up-to-date on their oral health and make sure that they are receiving the best care possible. The earlier you start taking them for regular checkups, the sooner you can ensure that any potential issues are caught early and taken care of before they become more serious problems. Booking an appointment with a qualified dentist today can help protect your child’s smile for years to come!


Q. When should I book my child’s first dental appointment? 

A: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see a dentist within six months of their first tooth coming in, or by their first birthday.

Q. How often should my child see the dentist? 

A: The AAPD recommends that children see a dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.

Q. What if my child has never seen a dentist before?

A: If your child has never seen a dentist before, it is important to find a pediatric dentist who specializes in treating young patients. The pediatric dentist will be able to assess your child’s dental needs and develop a treatment plan specifically for them.

Q. What can I expect at my child’s first dental appointment? 

A: At your child’s first appointment, the pediatric dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of their teeth, gums, and mouth. They will also take X-rays to look for any hidden problems. The pediatric dentist will then work with you to develop a preventive care plan to help keep your child’s teeth healthy.