At what age, or how many teeth, should you schedule, the first-time dentist's appt?

Jody - posted on 02/21/2010 ( 65 moms have responded )

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Zak has 5 teeth at 10 mos old, I thought it was time for his first-time dental appt, my husband thinks that we should wait until Zak is 1 yr old. What do you think?

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Melissa - posted on 02/21/2010

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Call your dentist and see what they would recommend. Most books say after first teeth or a year old.

Liane - posted on 02/21/2010

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I'm pretty sure recommended first cleaning/check-up (per a dentist) is still 3 years old. But, it certainly wouldn't hurt to take your child to your appointments (only if you are not a nervous/dramatic dental patient) to experience what it's like. You probably will want to have another adult with you (who also has a positive attitude about dentists) so you can actually get your check-up done. Let them sit in the chair and "check out" the stuff in the room. That way, it won't be so initimidating the first time they have to be seen for a real appointment. I'd also check with your pediatrician to see what they recommend. They should be checking your child for things like bottle/juice rot anyways at your normal well-baby visits. I'm sure they'd let you know if you needed to see the dentist sooner.

Theresa - posted on 02/21/2010

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With my boys that are 11 and 14 they recommended waiting until they were three. hat may have changed now. My daughter is 17 months with 10 teeth and hasn't been in yet. I figured the pediatrician will say something at a check up when it's time. I wouldn't go before he's old enough to comprehend opening his mouth when asked and having the doc look. Probably closer to two? Ask his doc if you're unsure.

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Deborah - posted on 06/28/2011

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My pediatrician said to wait until my twins were at least 3 yrs old, as they wont let you near their mouth as easily unti lthen....

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I agree that it totally depends on the dentist. Call and see what age the dentist you want suggests. Mine won't take them unless there is a problem until they turn 3. As part of well child checks, my pediatrician checks out the teeth. Obviously not as full as a dentist would, but if there was a problem, she'd notice. Yours might, too, without mentioning anything.

Lea - posted on 03/02/2010

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When I tried to find a dentist for my 18 month old, I called around looking for a new family dentist. One office told me that they didn't see little kids until they were 4 or 5 getting ready to go to school unless something was wrong. That was several years ago.
I now take my children to a children's dentist (I know they have a specific name and I can't remember it at the moment) and she's wonderful. She wants to see my children as soon at they're a year old so she can take a look at them and make everything's ok. I love that. So, I guess it depends on the dentist.

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i just took my fiances daughter to the dentist last week n i asked bc i have a 9 month old w 1 tooth n they said as long as none of there teeth are black or discolored they reccomend either age 3 or when they have all of there baby teeth

Lisa - posted on 02/28/2010

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I have been told before that the child should be 4years old but the dentist my kids have now said that as soon as they start getting teeth they should go! So all my kids go and i have a 4yr old a 3yr old and a 17month old!

Jane - posted on 02/28/2010

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If you just take your son to your denatist with you whenever you go , the dentist will tell you when he needs to be seen and he will be used to the enviroment so will have no fear .

Kristin - posted on 02/28/2010

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Ask your dentist, see when the insurance company starts covering kids, and also talk with your pediatrician. You can always take your son along to one of your appointments so he can watch what happens. Then it isn't so foreign when it's his turn. My older son went the first time at about 2 and the younger at 9 months (he had a spot on a tooth that made me nervous). For either of them the dentist just had them sit in the chair, showed them the tools, did a quick count and check of the teeth, and spoke with the older boy about the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing if Mommy or Daddy see things stuck between even after brushing. The earlier you get them comfortable with these visits, the less stress for everyone. You can probably wait until he is a full year old, especially if you think his teeth are in good shape. Good luck.

Anita - posted on 02/27/2010

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As long as his teeth are normal and you brush his lil teeth once or twice a day and before bed, his pediatrician should be just fine checking them until age 2.

Britny - posted on 02/27/2010

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The "Portable Pediatrician Guide" says to schedule the first visit to the dentist either around the first birthday or when the first tooth is fully grown in.

Alyn - posted on 02/27/2010

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I was told after they get their first teeth--I waited a little longer, but it was before they were 2. It depends on the the dentist I think--we go to a dentist that is just for kids. The first visit is usually just teeth counting, though my daughter did let them put floride on hers.

Ashley - posted on 02/27/2010

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i just heard that you should bring your babys in when they get there first tooth so you should probably schedule an appoinment i did and my daughter was great! she is 9 months has 2 teeth

Debora - posted on 02/27/2010

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IF YOU ENROLL INTO A PRE-SCHOOL LIKE HEAD START ITS 3 YRS OLD SO AS U CN GET INTO THAT TYPE OF PRE-SCHOOL.MOST DENTISTS SAY 21/1-3 IS BEST.

Brittany - posted on 02/27/2010

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My son, who is now a little over 1 1/2, went to the doctor for the 1st time shortly after he turned 1. That's the age that his pediatric dentist likes to start seeing her patients. She will see my son every 6 months & she also said to use the Orojel Training Toothpaste because it's safe if swallowed & flouride-free.

Kelly - posted on 02/27/2010

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I have four children all of which started going to the dentist at the age of three...

Bobbie - posted on 02/26/2010

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Assuming that your child has no abnormalities or health issues associated with his teeth my childrens dentist said that children should start seeing the dentist at 2 yrs of age. Hope this helps.

Amanda - posted on 02/26/2010

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I asked my dentist and he said as long as you take care of their teeth and begin teaching them to take care of their teeth when they can begin to understand, they don't need to be seen until age 3.

Katrina - posted on 02/26/2010

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Around their 1st birthday they should have their first dental appt, no less than a yr but given on how developed your child is, mentally it could be later, for the dentist sake.

Aisha - posted on 02/26/2010

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The dentist say wait till the child can actually sit and maintain themselves (which to me is crazy because who sits calmly at the dentist office?!?!) But I took my now 2 year old when he was 1 year. They check to make sure teeth are growing in correctly and possibly a flouride strip and done!!

Lynn - posted on 02/26/2010

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I worked for a ped dentist. I was always told when they have 10 teeth on top and 10 on the bottom or 3 years old. I see you got a lot of responses. Sorry if this is a repeat one, lol!

Kristina - posted on 02/26/2010

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We asked our Dr. she recommended that we talk to our family Dentist. They said that at age two they do a dry run with kids just to get them use to the process. At our sons first visit at 2 they had him sit in the chair showed him all the tools and took a quick look at his mouth. 21/2 he had his first cleaning and full apt. Many parents that we know have waited till 3, so I guess it depends on the parents and dentist. I am glad we started early and was very impressed with our Dental offices process in getting kids use to the Dental experience:)

Marcia - posted on 02/26/2010

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My boy is going to the dentist for the first time this coming wednesday! He's 3 years old. I'm hoping for the best. I was told it was a 15 minute appt.

Ashley - posted on 02/25/2010

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i actually just asked this question to my dentist and they say that around one u can bring them in just for the dentist to look and start to get your baby introduced to what the dentist is. she said the dentist just like looks at the teeth and puts his hand in the baby's mouth.

Donna - posted on 02/25/2010

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My daughter AbbyGrace went to the dentist at 3 yrs old for the very first time. This was based on conversations with both the pediatrician and dentist. Most dentist in my area of Georgia (Macon) say that the child needs to be able to sit still for a period of time

Rebecca - posted on 02/25/2010

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my son had all his teeth bar his 4 mollars by the time he was one, when I went to the dentist she said to take him at around 3-4yrs. Until then give him tap water not bottled and clean his teeth twice a day with a small soft bush.

Roz - posted on 02/25/2010

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As a dental hygienist I would say ideally its when his teeth first appear. The first visit is more so that the child gets to know the dental office and what we do there. It can also be an education for the parents so they know what things will impact the growth and/or decay of the teeth. But I would say average age is age 3. Again this visit is so the child gets used to the dentist, so it is possible that not much "dental work" will be done lol. It's more important for the child to remember that it's fun going to the dentist than for them to feel tortured, otherwise future visits won't be as wonderful lol.

At least during the appointment the dentist should look in the mouth to check for decay and help you guys with any questions you have. The hygienist or assistant (assistants can clean childrens teeth as long as there is no scaling involved) will just introduce the child to Mr. Thirsty (the suction), Mr. Sunshine (the light), Mrs. Tickle (the polisher) and Mr. Squirt (the water squirter).

If you thing something is wrong or there might be decay then take him in now at the least. HTH!

Kelly - posted on 02/25/2010

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My little girl is 3. At her last well-baby check, her Dr. told us to take her to the dentist sometime this year.

Paula - posted on 02/25/2010

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To be honest, my dentist (who obviously has a vested interest) said, unless there are any problems, he really didn't need to see mine until their adult teeth started coming through!

Kandice - posted on 02/25/2010

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My daughter chipped her tooth at 10ms old so we took her in and was told that you should introduce your child to the dentist at 1yr old and basically just so the child is aware of who it is and what they do so that when it is time for a procedure they are not afraid. My daughter loves the dentist...i think she's crazy lol. We went to a pediactric dentist and they recomended that if your child will allow it let them go back without you because alot of children put on a show for their parents. There is rules that a tech has to be present at all times and the 2 pediactric offices that i have been in all have open exam areas so all staff is present and in sight at all times!

Emma - posted on 02/25/2010

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id recemend u go now as the dentist can check them make sure they are coming through in the rite places and check that they are good and strong chick xx

T - posted on 02/24/2010

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Go to a pediatric dentist, but NEVER let your child go back alone! I've heard some terrible stories how kids are tied down to the chairs and also how pediatricians are being charged with molesting patients who they are with alone. It is a sick world, so stand up and be the voce for your child and protect him/her.

T - posted on 02/24/2010

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I took my daughter when she was 18 months, and I thought that was a perfect time as she could be somewhat cooperative without being fearful. In my opinion waiting until 3 years old is too late. My duaghter has been to the dentist 3 times already since turning three, and even then she needed to have some tartar scraped off, and we brush faithfully 2-3 times a day. By thr age of three, they could end up with a cavity which could very begin instilling fear in going to the dentist if the first/second time they go, they face pain or fear.

Tracey - posted on 02/24/2010

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I have 4 kids and every year its a different time my youngest is 2 and he has had his theeth checked all the do is remove some plaque and show u how to floss their teeth he cried of course but that was expected I took him early because he still drinks from a bottle. My pediatrician did even know when he my 6yr old should of went for years he had a discolored tooth from a fall she just told me to let it fall out and by time we went to the dentist he said it was infected so they had t pull it that was horrblie for me but he took it well,

Christy - posted on 02/24/2010

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Most ped. dentist recommend waiting untill all baby teeth are in before bringing them in

Kelli - posted on 02/24/2010

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I dont exactly agree with your child going alone with the dentist. If it were me and my child does do better with me not there....I would be standing right outside of the room, out of sight but in hearing range.

Lee-Ann - posted on 02/24/2010

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My dentist says only at two years although you should obviously be brushing still twice a day.

Rachel - posted on 02/23/2010

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my boys went when they were 3 years old but the doctor is suppose to check there teeth when the kids go to the doctor the doctor will let u know when they really need to go but if everything is ok its around 3 years old

Claire - posted on 02/23/2010

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My little girl has 7 teeth 4of which r just starting to come through the gum, she was 1 on 17/02/10 and i have booked her a dental app for the 15th of March she will b 13mths old.

Jane - posted on 02/23/2010

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Was just @ the Dentist & he said they don't see kids until 3 years old. My son is 10 months with 6 teeth & 2 more coming in. Our older son didn't see a dentist until he was 4 years old.

Giseli - posted on 02/23/2010

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My daughter is 3 and she is seeing the dentist in a couple of weeks for the first time:)

Katie - posted on 02/23/2010

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i asked my dentist the other day and they said age three for the first appointment unless something is wrong with the teeth.

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if you get a pediatric dentist then he will see him now, most general dentist won't see them till they are 3

Tonya - posted on 02/22/2010

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I had my dentist start when they were two just to get them used to the chair. He didn't actually start doing anything intill they were three. It made it a little easier.

Dana - posted on 02/22/2010

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My daughter 3 1/2 has been going to the dentist since she was 18 months old. She goes to a pediatric dentist. We took her in because her teeth were turning colors. Thankfully it was nothing that needed dental care. It was because of antibiotics she was on. She screamed and cried the first few times week took her. She was just in to see the dentist a couple of months ago for her first cleaning. Before that they just counted the teeth and made sure they all looked okay.

My son is going to the dentist at 13 months. A the rate he's getting teeth, he's only going to have 4 of them. He's only going in because his sister is going in for her check up at the same time.

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