Just wondered when you take your child to the dentist for the first time. My daughter is 13 months old and the teeth brushing is a struggle so I am not sure if I should take her sooner rather than later. My pediatrician says not to worry as they are just baby teeth and she will loose them anyway but I am concerned and don't want them rotting.

asked 15 Oct '09, 00:06

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 25 Nov '09, 22:04

Emi's gravatar image


We started taking our daughter with us to our dentist appointments when she was about 2 years old. The first time, they just did a quick check to look in her mouth just to make sure there wasn't anything wrong. The second time we took her she had an "official" appointment and got her teeth cleaned. She sat pretty still on my lap while the dentist did the work. I think it helped that she had already been to the dentist before and saw the same work done on "Mommy and Daddy" before she had it done to herself.

If you need help getting her to brush her teeth, you could try having a brushing teeth time, where everyone in the family brushes their teeth together. Our daughter seemed to want to start brushing her teeth at a fairly young age because she say us doing it all the time. You could also check out this answer on using Chuck E. Cheese charts for rewarding her for brushing her teeth.


answered 15 Oct '09, 01:45

jeffl8n's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I have no idea how you linked to "this answer," but I think you should do that again for the 'Sticker Chart' question. :)

(16 Oct '09, 06:28) Sabrina

I took my daughter for the first time when she was 3. I asked the dentist about it when she was 1 and was told to wait until she was 3 or could keep her mouth open on command.


answered 15 Oct '09, 02:33

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%


This is what our dentist said as well.

(15 Oct '09, 02:59) Emily

My kid didn't even have teeth at 1. We practice brushing our teeth at night together. When she is consistent at that we will look at a dentist.

(15 Oct '09, 03:44) MrChrister

this is what my dentist suggested as well.

(15 Oct '09, 10:46) Michelle

Around age 3 was also what our dentist recommended.

(16 Oct '09, 01:35) Tammy ♦♦

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests when your baby's first tooth comes in or, at the latest, one year. (I'm curious in other answers as this recommendation seems like it could be a little self-serving to me.)


answered 15 Oct '09, 00:26

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%


+1 for recognizing the self serving aspect of their advice.

(15 Oct '09, 03:43) MrChrister

From what I was told at our dentist is mostly so the child can "get used to" going to the dentist and be comfortable with all that it includes (opening mouth, sitting in a strange chair, etc). We haven't signed up for these "hanging out" visits yet, so I don't know first hand. :)

(16 Oct '09, 06:33) Sabrina

I was told by my dentist and our family doctor that it wasn't necessary until the age of 4.


answered 15 Oct '09, 02:42

bbrown's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

I think introducing children to the idea of Dentists is important so they are familiar with the concept but I think that 13 months is a bit young for an actual visit. I would suggest you continue trying to make the "brushing teeth" activity as fun as possible, by doing it while she is having a bath or looking in the mirror and so fourth.

We took our daughter with us during our own appointments, she was around 2 and just about able to understand what was going on.

Our own dentist advised us to start "introductory visits" to the dentist at 4. During our first official visit the dentist spent an equal amount of time examining her teeth, and then talking with her about how she holds her toothbrush and how she brushes her teeth.

We were told that between the ages of 4 & 5, the dentist would be able to see whether our daughter had any irregularities while opening or closing her jaw, and would advise whether any ortodontic treatment would be needed.


answered 15 Oct '09, 09:03

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 15 Oct '09, 11:14

We've always taken our children with us to the dentist, and as soon as they had any teeth the dentist took a look -- although often they wouldn't open their mouth.

Dentistry is free in the UK for children, so we might as well get them registered and used to the idea of regular visits. I understand that in other countries, where you have to pay, the decision might not be so easy -- especially if the dentist might not even get to see the teeth of a stubborn child.

Having a ride in the fancy chair is something to look forward to, though!


answered 27 Oct '09, 09:37

Paul%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Paul Stephenson
accept rate: 4%

We just started to brush teeth together to develop the habit and keep her temporary teeth clean and smelling good. She is two and only has four teeth, so we aren't going to the dentist for a while.


answered 15 Oct '09, 03:45

MrChrister's gravatar image

accept rate: 3%

It's a great question for your pediatrician, who should be the overall coordinator and adviser of your child's health issues anyway.

From what I've heard, opinions seem about equally divided between "as soon as they have teeth" and "around 2.5-3 years old." Ours doc into the latter category, we were very careful about tooth brushing (and we're not a household with sweets around anyway), so when he saw our son everything was perfect, the boy was old enough to be interested in what was going on and not fight it.

Note that the AAP recommends "as soon as they have teeth", so there's probably nothing wrong with that approach either. I think the only wrong answer is to wait significantly longer than 3 years.


answered 15 Oct '09, 05:47

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

My wife took our son to the dentist with her from the very beginning. The dentist did the usual check-up of my wife's teeth, and looked into Robin's mouth as well. You can never start to early.


answered 28 Oct '09, 09:08

Huibert%20Gill's gravatar image

Huibert Gill
accept rate: 5%

edited 09 Feb '10, 18:11

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 15 Oct '09, 00:06

Seen: 20,844 times

Last updated: 09 Feb '10, 18:11