When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Visit?

Our team at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos is excited to share your child’s first dental visit with you. We are committed to providing state-of-the-art preventive care to set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. We can’t wait to meet you and your little one!

Limited Time Offer: We are happy to offer free new baby exams for children under 24 months for parents without dental insurance. Please contact our office for more information.

When Should Your Baby or Toddler First Visit a Dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA), your child should see a dentist when the first tooth erupts and no later than the first birthday. 

The Importance of Maintaining Healthy Baby Teeth

One of the most frequent questions parents ask is, “Why do we have to fix a baby tooth if it’s going to fall out anyway?” Baby teeth are essential for your child’s long-term oral health, as the adult teeth grow from their roots. Left untreated, cavities can damage the developing permanent teeth before they are even formed, or worse yet, an infection can spread through the face and body, causing serious health complications. 

Baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth yet to erupt, ensuring they come into the correct position. Losing a baby tooth prematurely can cause the surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment, preventing the adult tooth from being able to come in.

The most current research shows that 28% of children under age three and 60% of children under age five already have cavities. Bringing your child to a pediatric dentist by the first birthday will help detect and prevent cavities early on so that your child can enjoy excellent dental health later in life. 

What to Expect at Your Baby’s First Dental Visit

Our kid-friendly dentists and staff at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos are pros at putting children and their parents at ease. While first visits may differ based on a child’s unique needs, here’s what you can generally expect:

  • A Warm Welcome: We will start by welcoming you and your child. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help your child’s first dental appointment be a happy one.  
  • History Review: We will review your child’s medical and dental history. Please let us know if you have any questions or specific concerns. 
  • The First Exam: We will perform a quick but thorough exam to check for signs of decay or any problems. We will also assess your little one’s oral growth and development. 
  • Dental Cleaning: Most children will just require a toothbrush cleaning during the first visit. However, if your child is age 3 or 4 and can tolerate it, we may attempt to clean those pearly whites to aid in the doctor’s exam process.
  • Fluoride Treatment: After cleaning your child’s teeth, we may recommend a fluoride treatment. Fluoride has been shown to strengthen the teeth, lowering the risk of tooth decay and cavities. 
  • Parent Education: We will discuss your child’s habits, including bottle use, pacifiers, thumb sucking, and more. We’ll also demonstrate how to clean your baby’s teeth at home. 
  • Recommendations: We will provide personalized and specific recommendations to keep your child’s smile healthy and prevent cavities.

Quality Pediatric Dental Care Near Me in San Marcos, CA

We look forward to working alongside you to establish healthy oral care habits for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Call 760-978-8285 to schedule your child’s appointment, or complete our online appointment request form today!