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When Should Kids Begin Going to the Dentist

As a parent, you’re probably wondering if you should take your kid to the dentist when they have their first set of baby teeth. But did you know that you’re supposed to make that visit earlier than that? Your infant needs to have their very first teeth taken care of to ensure good oral health and also so you can instill proper dental hygiene habits early on. 

The question remains – when should you start visiting the children’s dentist?

Read on and find out:

When Should Your Child’s First Dental Visit Be?

If there’s one thing you should know, your child’s dentist’s goal is to care for your little one’s oral health. They don’t only take care of teeth. That means you don’t need to wait until your child’s first tooth erupts before you take them to the dentist. 

Typically, babies begin getting their first teeth at around six months. You should take your infant to the dentist within six months of their first tooth’s appearance. By the time your child is one year old, and your baby still hasn’t had a tooth, you should not wait longer and take them for a dental exam.

What Are the Benefits of Early Dental Visits?

Many adults today still experience dental anxiety. Your child doesn’t have to fear visiting the dentist if they get accustomed to going to the dental clinic from an early age. When they become familiar with the dentist and their clinic and know what to expect when they visit, they wouldn’t dread going to the dentist for a checkup or treatment later.

Know that the dentist won’t do any poking or prodding during your child’s visits. Kids can have a relaxing time familiarizing themselves with their dentist, the other staff in the office, and the office itself. 

During those early dental appointments, you, as a parent, can also learn important information. For one, your dentist can educate you on how you can properly clean your baby’s gums and teeth. They’ll also share information on how to establish good feeding habits for your child to avoid tooth decay, plus recommendations on how to stop certain concerns like finger-sucking or using pacifiers.

What You Can Expect from Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Your child’s initial appointment with their dentist will be pretty short. Depending on how old your kid is and what the dentist finds, no treatment might be needed. That means your child will meet your dentist in a non-threatening situation. 

If your child is old enough, they could be sitting in the dental chair on their own, but it’s not uncommon for parents to have their kids on their laps during the oral examination. The dentist will check the teeth (if there are any) and gums to see if more teeth will erupt soon.

If your kid already has teeth, the dentist will check for any signs of decay. If there are no teeth yet, their gum could be checked to see if there’s any potential problem with the gums or the jaw. If your child is already comfortable with the dentist, they might recommend professional cleaning.

Questions to Ask Your Child’s Dentist during Your First Few Visits

It’s natural for you to be concerned about your child’s oral health. Your dentist expects you to have some questions for them, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions like:

  • How can I provide my child with the proper nutrition for their oral health?
  • Does my child need products with fluoride?
  • What do we do when a milk tooth is knocked out?
  • How often should my child visit your dental clinic?
  • How do we deal with pain from teething?


Bringing your child to a children’s dentist from their infancy is important if you want to ensure that your child grows up with good oral health and a positive relationship with their dentist. A dental visit as soon as their first tooth erupts is crucial for your child’s oral health so make time for that. But more importantly, follow the advice your child’s dentist will give so you can establish a good oral care routine at an early age. 

Manassas Smiles is where you can find one of the best children’s dentists serving Manassas, Centreville, and other Northern VA communities. We offer complete dental care services for the whole family. Schedule your child’s dental appointment today!

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