The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that kiddos have their first dental visit around age one. This may seem early, but there are many benefits to seeing a dentist at this age. If your child is older than one, just get them in as soon as possible, ideally by age three.
One reason we see children at age one is to get them introduced to the dentist, the staff, and the office and to establish a dental home. Often times, kiddos are apprehensive to get their teeth brushed and examined. If they start dental visits early, they are often ready to try x-rays and are willing to sit in the big chair by the time they are three.
Another great reason to get your child an appointment around age one is to learn ways to help your child prevent decay. The dentist will answer any questions or concerns you have and can show you how to best brush and floss for your kiddo. Your child will also have fluoride varnish applied to their teeth, which can help remineralize teeth and prevent decay.
It is also important to establish a dental home early in case a dental emergency were to occur. Dental injuries are traumatic to begin with, but going to a place the child is unfamiliar with when they occur can make the experience more difficult. We want each kiddo to feel as comfortable as possible in the dental chair.