When Should Your Kid Start Seeing the Dentist?
By Karen Cicero
When should your kids start seeing the dentist? A couple of weeks ago, I was at a baby shower with a bunch of new moms, and the talk at my table turned to teeth. Baby teeth, of all things. I’ll spare you all the details — after all, you’re not getting a pink and blue cake pop if you stick around — but I promised the moms I’d find out the answer to a question they had: At what age should a child start seeing the dentist?
Some reported that their pediatricians recommended an office visit at 1 year, another said 2 years, and a couple thought it should be more like age 3 or 4. That’s some range!
And I’d hate to admit it, but I don’t even remember when my daughter, now 9, saw a dentist for the first time. I’m guessing it was between 2 and 3, but I can’t be sure — I slacked off the scrapbooking after the first year.
To get the lowdown for my new mommy friends, I called Dr. Pamela Stover-Mejias, dentist and spokeswoman for the Academy of General Dentistry. She was confident in her answer: “The first dental visit should take place about six months after a child’s first tooth has erupted.” And when does that happen? “Usually between 6 months and 1 year,” she says. So, most kids should have their first dental appointment when they’re 12 to 18 months old.