Children’s First Dental Visit

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children be seen for their first dental examination not later than their first birthday. This might sound early, but the sooner we start, the sooner we can begin to shape your child’s smile into the picture of optimal oral health. We can check for any early signs of developmental problems, teach you techniques for early home hygiene care, and get your child accustomed to the dental office.

We welcome you to accompany your child to the exam area. However, we have found that many children four and older enjoy their independence and respond more positively when seen without the parent present. If your child is comfortable with new experiences, we suggest that you allow your child to accomplish their dental visit independently.


These first visits generally entail a simple visual exam of your child’s teeth and gums. We count the teeth, and we might perform a very gentle cleaning. We’ll also look for any developmental abnormalities.

Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Twice yearly dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Left unattended, small treatable problems become worse and may require more extensive, expensive procedures to repair. Dental examinations in our office generally include the following:

  • Digital x-rays to assess proper tooth development and healthy eruption of primary and permanent teeth.
  • Head, neck, and mouth visual examination
  • Thorough examination of the teeth, looking for areas of decay, teeth that will be exfoliating (coming out soon), future orthodontic needs, and any treatment diagnosis.

Digital X-ray Advantage

Digital x-rays have several advantages over traditional film based x-rays:

  • They emit up to 90% less radiation
  • They are ready for examination nearly instantly
  • They can be viewed on a computer screen
  • Their image can be refined and enlarged
  • They are greener
  • no chemicals are needed for processing