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How old was your LO when you took them to the dentist for the first time? What was their experience like?

I'm so confused! Everything I read in parenting magazines and books says to take your child by the time they turn ONE. However, our pediatrician says she recommends around 3 years old, and my own personal dentist doesn't see children until 4! I guess we don't have the best dental insurance, because to see a pediatric dentist who's considered a "specialist" it would cost us over $100.

I was thinking that by taking her to the dentist now at 13 months it would get her used to going and having someone look in her mouth. However, the receptionist at my dental office said one is way too young and would just traumatize her for future dental visits. Not sure what to think now!! Any advice?

by on Feb. 7, 2013 at 7:23 AM
Replies (21-25):
by Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:47 PM

I was going to take my daughter when she got her first tooth lol.  They told me she was too young and that as long as her teeth were coming in o.k. in the future no need to worry that the usual first visit is at 3.  That is when we took her no problems.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:50 PM
My sons Pedi had us take him when he was 5. His teeth are great. It went very well.
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by Platinum Member on Feb. 7, 2013 at 11:51 PM

We used a pediatric dentist and recommendation is first tooth or when they turn one.  At first they do nothing more than look inside mouth and maybe do a cleaning (depends how child is acting).  Around age 4 is when they start doing Xrays and more intensive exams.   DD went when she was 2.5 yrs old for the first time.   Not sure what they would do to a 1 yr old other than just look in their mouth to traumatize them.  I have seen 6 month olds at dd's dentist office sit quietly on their moms lap for the peek in mouth.

by Carin on Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:12 AM

We started taking ours at around 15 months and he is now almost 6. The benefit of doing that is that it got him used to having someone poke around his mouth, examine him, etc. The first few visits was just the dental assistants and the dentist looking at his teeth, really nothing more than that. They have been patient with him, have never forced him to do anything he didn't want to do. When it came time for his first cleaning, he was nervous. They showed him the equipment and demonstrated it on a toy. He still didn't feel ready to let them do it at the time, so they said that was fine, they would try again at his next visit and that's what happened, he did fine and it no longer bothers him. We have been having some trouble getting his x-rays, but I'm hoping his visit next Friday will be the one. But again, no freak out, no fits. He has never been traumatized. Sometimes it just takes finding the right dentist (we use a pediatric dentist). From our personal experience, I can tell you without a doubt that the receptionist couldn't be more wrong.

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM

I find all the responses interesting.  I wondered this too and have found there is no perfect answer.  We recently befriended a hygenist and their office's thoughts were to bring them in, but not for a check-up, just a visit at about 12-18 months.  It is a really friendly office and they don't charge for this.  It is not a pediatric dentist, just a great office.  My pediatrician suggested we bring in our LO once they have most of their teeth.  That made sense to me.  Too early and it is just to get them used to the idea.  out LO is really good at brushing her teeth, so I am not too worried.  We plan to bring her in next time I go so she can see what they do to me, and then try and see how much she will let them do.  She is really into copying us right now.

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