A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet
Your child should see a dentist six months after eruption of the first tooth, experts say. The dentist can provide or recommend preventative information regarding baby bottle tooth decay, infant feeding practices, mouth cleaning, teething, pacifier habits and finger-sucking habits.
Anatomy and Development of the Mouth and Teeth
Children's teeth begin developing in the fetus. Good nutrition from the mother during pregnancy is important in the development of the teeth.
Brushing and Toothpaste for Children
You should begin brushing your child's teeth around 24 months of age, or as directed by your child's doctor. Children will need help brushing their teeth until they are 7 to 8 years old.
Care of the Mouth and Teeth
Most children should begin regular dental care by the time they turn 1 year old.
Caring for Tiny Teeth
Make sure your baby's developing teeth are not at risk from nursing or bottle tooth decay.
Dental Health Overview
Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every six months for children. Encourage good oral hygiene at home by helping your child brush his or her own teeth.
Flossing and Children
Flossing should be started when your child is 2 to 3 years old, under the direction of your child's dentist. Children younger than 2 don't need to floss.
Fluoride and Children
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and reduces the harmful effects of plaque.
Oral Health and Dental Specialists
A general dentist has had three or more years of undergraduate college education plus four years of dental school.