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When Should I Take My Child For Their First Dental Visit?

Dr. Leona Kotlyar, D.D.S. as Toothfairy, educating young students the importance of oral care


5th Avenue Dental Associates
7815 5th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11209
United States
30° 10' 41.898" N, 93° 11' 17.88" W

(Pictured: Fun Cast of 5th Avenue Dental Associates)
What is a Pediatric Dentist and What Do They Do?
When Should I take my child for their First Dental Visit?


Pediatric dentists are trained to meet the oral needs of infants, toddlers, school aged children and adolescents. Pediatric Dentists are required to undertake an additional 2-3 years of child-specific training after fulfilling dental school requirements. In addition to the dentistry aspect, pediatric dentists study child behaviors and psychology so that they may better understand and communicate with your child.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a pediatric dentist before the age of 1 or 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. This might seem quite early however, the first appointment is more of a counseling session for parents in which the dentist will go over preventive dental care including oral hygiene, diet, and perform a caries risk assessment; provide information on oral habits such as thumb sucking, pacifier use and tongue thrusting;talk about trauma and injury prevention/treatment and mention growth and development as well as eruption patterns.

During the visit, the dentist will do an analysis of the oral tissues including the gums. The dentist will check the development of the teeth if any are present, as well as check for disruptions in jaw growth due to habits.

During the first few years of dental checkups, a child’s behavior can widely range from pre-cooperative, meaning that they do not yet developmentally comprehend the ease of a dental visit and are very apprehensive/”uncooperative”, or they can be very cooperative when treatment is explained in a tell-show-do type of manner. You might actually be pleasantly surprised with the way in which your child behaves.

Regardless of possible anxieties due to your child’s behavior, it is important to take your child to the dentist in order to learn healthy habits at an early age. Most of your child’s baby teeth will not exfoliate (fall out) until the age of 10-11. It is therefore important to know how to properly take care of them so they can serve as natural space maintainers for the future permanent teeth.


Article Written By:

Dr. Leona Kotlyar, D.D.S.
5th Avenue Dental Associates
7815 5th Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Tel: (347) 356-6863