Posted 2010: This question and answer in magenta below is from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (www.aapd.org). I thought this would be helpful if you are wondering when to visit a dentist for the first time.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
As a dentist and Mom, I am asked this same question all of the time, “When should I take my baby / child to the dentist?”. Here in Alabama, we recommend by a child’s first birthday just like the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry does. However, most pediatricians here say to make sure you visit by the third birthday. Early intervention is key, and the child will also have an opportunity to get acquanted with the dental office…getting toys, balloons, stickers etc. Hopefully, a child will have a very pleasant experience before having to have any work done. We want them to enjoy coming to visit us or at the very least not be afraid!
Dr. Helen Bloom Smith
President, Dr. Bloom Inc.