By Dr. Kopel
Children should have their first dental checkup within 6 months of their first tooth eruption or by their first birthday. At this age only a visual exam will be done but early dental problems may be detected and parental questions can be answered. Early checkups also provide the child with a safe first experience.
There are no hard rules on when x-rays should first be taken. If decay is detected in a visual exam then x-rays should be taken to see areas of the teeth that are not clinically visible. Otherwise, by the age of 5-6 when permanent teeth start erupting they should be taken.