When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

Your child should become familiarized with visiting the dentist at an early age.  According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists:

Child's First Dental Visit“Your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday.”

This is an opportunity to evaluate facial and dental development, early onset of dental disease and to review home care habits with the parents.


Children at this age are usually most comfortable sitting in the lap of mom or dad and can graduate to being in the chair by themselves within a year or two.  Any signs of tooth decay should be addressed before they become more severe.

At our office we see children of all ages and refer to a pediatric specialist if there is a need for extensive treatment or if behavior management is beyond our abilities. If your child is nervous and you would prefer a more conservative first dental visit then we are happy to offer an “office visit” where they can see the inside of the rooms, ride in the chair and have a toy before leaving.  This hands-off visit usually helps establish a positive impression of visiting the dentist and can make the next visit much easier.

You could also share this office tour with your child prior to the first visit: http://www.bethanydentistpdx.com/office-tour.php#

Hillside Dental at Bethany

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