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First Dental Checkup in Children

The first dental checkup is an important milestone in a child’s oral health journey. Learn when children should see a dentist for the first time.


If you live in Southern California feel free to Schedule a New Patient Visit with us in Zak Dental offices in Agoura HillsCovina/San DimasDowneyLong BeachNorth ParkSan DiegoSanta BarbaraSimi ValleyTemeculaValenciaVentura, and Whittier/La MiradaCalifornia.
For all your dental needs, schedule an appointment by calling the Zak Dental office at 833-ZAK-TEAM.


First Dental Checkup in Children FAQ:

When should my child have their first dental checkup?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental checkup by their first birthday or within six months of the eruption of their first tooth.

Why is the first dental checkup important?

The first checkup helps establish a dental home for your child, allows the dentist to monitor the development of the teeth and gums, and provides an opportunity to discuss oral hygiene practices and dietary habits.

What happens during the first dental checkup?

During the first visit, the dentist will examine your child’s teeth, gums, and oral tissues for any signs of decay or developmental issues. The dentist may also discuss oral hygiene and provide guidance on teething and thumb sucking.

How should I prepare my child for their first dental checkup?

Keep the experience positive and simple. Explain what will happen in age-appropriate terms and assure your child that the dentist is there to help keep their teeth healthy.

What questions should I ask the dentist during my child’s first checkup?

You can ask about:

    • Proper oral hygiene practices for your child.
    • Fluoride recommendations.
    • Teething and how to manage discomfort.
    • Diet and its impact on oral health.
    • Preventive measures like sealants and fluoride treatments.

How often should my child visit the dentist after the first checkup?

Most children should visit the dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits based on your child’s specific needs.

What can I do to help maintain my child’s oral health at home?

  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily, especially once the teeth begin to touch.
  • Offer a balanced diet low in sugar.
  • Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle.
  • Monitor and limit sugary snacks and drinks.

What are the signs of dental problems in children?

Signs of dental issues include pain or sensitivity, discoloration of teeth, swelling or redness of gums, and difficulty eating or chewing.

What should I do if my child is anxious about visiting the dentist?

Help ease anxiety by choosing a pediatric dentist experienced with children. You can also role-play a dental visit at home, read books about going to the dentist, or bring a comforting item to the appointment.

Is fluoride safe for young children?

Fluoride is safe and beneficial for young children in appropriate amounts. Your dentist can recommend the right amount of fluoride for your child based on their age and risk of tooth decay.

Starting dental visits early sets the foundation for good oral health habits and helps prevent dental issues in the future. Always follow the guidance of your child’s dentist for the best care.