When it comes to oral health, it’s important to start young. That’s why teaching your children about the importance of good oral and dental health practices is essential. One good practice is to instill the importance of regular dental checkups. This begs the question, when should a child see a dentist for the first time? In this guide, our team of Chattanooga dentists talks about when’s the best time to introduce your children to the dentist and how they can have a positive experience on their first appointment.

When Should a Child Have Their First Dental Appointment?

When it comes to dental visits, many parents wonder when the right time is for their child to see a dentist. After all, you want to ensure that your child gets the best possible care.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents take their children to the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. This is because tooth decay can develop as early as six months old. By taking your child to the dentist early on, you can help to prevent any future tooth decay.

If your child is older than one and has never seen a dentist, it’s not too late. You should still take them to the dentist as soon as possible. Dental problems can develop at any age, so it’s important to get them checked out regularly.

What to Expect at the Dentist

When you take your child to the dentist for the first time, they will most likely have a dental exam. This is a process where the dentist will check your child’s teeth for any signs of decay or damage. They will also look for any potential problems with your child’s gums and jaw.

If your child needs dental work, the dentist will likely recommend a treatment plan. This plan may include braces, fillings, or surgery. It’s essential to start treatment as soon as possible to prevent any further damage to your child’s teeth.

How to Ensure Your Child Has a Positive Experience at the Dentist

It can be scary for a child to go to the dentist, but there are a few things you can do to ensure your child has a positive experience.

The most important thing is to make sure your child is comfortable with going to the dentist. You can do this by taking them to the dentist for a checkup before their first appointment. This will help them get comfortable with the dentist and the staff.

You can also help your child feel comfortable by talking to them about the appointment beforehand. Let them know what to expect and explain that the dentist is there to help them keep their teeth healthy.

It’s also important to make sure your child is well-prepared for their appointment. You can do this by packing a bag with their favorite book, toy, or game. This will help keep them occupied during their appointment. If your child is still nervous, you can ask the dentist to give them a tour of the office. They can show them the equipment and explain what will happen during the appointment.

Finally, be sure to praise your child for their bravery and congratulate them on a job well done. This will help make them feel proud of themselves and encourage them to go to the dentist again in the future.


There is no hard and fast rule as to when is the best time to introduce your child to the dentist. However, it is generally recommended that you do so by their first birthday. This gives the dentist a chance to check for any potential problems and get your child started on good oral hygiene habits.

If you think your child is ready for their first dental appointment, then Shallowford Family Dental Group is the perfect place to bring them. As a long-established name in dentistry in Chattanooga, we’ve made a reputation for providing the best care possible to families for more than 80 years. You can rest assured that our skilled and compassionate dentists in Chattanooga will take good care of your child’s dental needs. Schedule an appointment today!

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