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.
Data on file.