Going to the dentist.

United States
December 11, 2007 6:45pm CST
How old was your child when you first took him or her to the dentist? I have heard it should be when they first get teeth. That seems a bit young. I have heard also, that you should wait until about age 3. That sounds a bit more like it to me. It would be pointless now. There is no way my 14 month old is going to open wide for anyone! He clamps down whenever I try to see how his teeth are doing. What are your thoughts?
2 people like this
7 responses
@SViswan (12072)
• India
13 Dec 07
My older son was 4 when I first took him to the dentist. It was just a routine check and I needed the dentist to give my son a talk on how to keep his teeth clean. He actually enjoyed it. My older son got his first tooth after he was a year old. My second one is 1 year old now and has 8 teeth and more on it's way soon. But like your son, I doubt if he would open up to a dentist. I have been thinking about getting his teeth checked...but I also think it would be a waste of time...because he's not going to let a stranger touch him.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 07
I think 3 or 4 years sounds about right. By that time he will be able to understand what it is all about and maybe be a little more comfortable with it. Did the talk with the dentist help your son to brush well and take good care of his teeth?
@SViswan (12072)
• India
17 Dec 07
Yes, it did. My older one liked it and I knew he would enjoy the visit because he felt all grown up then. But I'm not sure about the younger one. If his present behaviour is anything to go by, I doubt if he would want to listen to anyone..let alone open his mouth! I guess I'll have to wait and see ...he might need to visit the dentist sooner than his brother because he's got more teeth than his brother did at this age and his molars have started coming out too.
1 person likes this
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
13 Dec 07
I think that it really just depends on when you want to take him (with in reason) I need to schedule an appointment for my oldest soon, I'll prob. do one in Jan, he'll be almost 3 1/2 so we def. need to get him in there. I would not have gone when my youngest first got teeth (seeing how he was 4 months old) b/c that would seem ridiculous.. and I agree, taking a toddler would be silly as well.. if my 15 month old comes near you with an open mouth, you better watch out, he may be getting ready to bite you.. (: Seriously.. I think 3 is a pretty good age.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 07
Yes, my son would probably try to bite the dentist. Not to be mean, but that's what a lot of toddlers do. He is teething, so he chews on everything he can get in there. I think 3 or 4 years sound about right.
• Italy
12 Dec 07
our first visit around 4-5 years maybe it was too late??? We went there just because there was some problem to fix, if not i would ratther visit the dentist much more later. To bad my dentist didn't gave anything for us but sure does he is very kind and do his job well.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 07
I'm not fond of going to the dentist myself, but I don't want to wait until there is a problem, so I will probably bring my son earlier.
@anetteh (3591)
• Sweden
12 Dec 07
In Sweden we let the children go to the dentist when they have their first teeth. However, first they have to practicing and go to a dentist nurse for some time to learn about the stuff used in the dentist chair. My both children now 16 and 20 years old still have trouble with the fear of going to the dentist, so they still go to their dentist they have had since they where really young. And they should by now had change dentist but will not as long as she still works at the dentist office. I think practicing going to the dentist are important for the children to learn that she or he is not dangerous and that the dentist only keep the teeth in god health.
• United States
16 Dec 07
I worry about my son being scared, that's why I don't want to start too young. How did your children react at their first few visits? Did they open up? Were they scared?
@breezie (1249)
• Canada
12 Dec 07
When they get their first tooth seems a little early to me. you don't want to scare a child because if they have a bad experience you'll have a hard time getting them to go to the dentists. My kids were around three on their first trip to the dentist. We had no problems getting them to go and they actually seemed to enjoy it. Our dentist took their picture for the cavity free wall of fame and gave them a tooth brush and floss. She also gave them sunglasses to wear when she had the light on their mouths. We have had to switch to a new dentist recently and he is even better than our old one. My son had a bad caavity and when the dentist was filling it he had my son laughing. When you do decide to take your son look for a dentist who is good with kids, it really helps. My kids look forward to the dentist. Ask around to friends, family or your family doctor for recommedations.
• United States
16 Dec 07
You are right, that first experience can have a major impact on a child's attitude toward the dentist. I do have a dentist who is good with children- the same one I went to and still go to. I agree that first tooth seems too early, but I just wanted to get more points of view. Thank you.
@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
12 Dec 07
My daughter was 3 when she 1st went. And she actually had a good time. She followed the direction. She got presents. We have a wonderful family dentist. My child left realizing that the dentist wasn't scary. They gave her some floss a toothbrush, (child sized) toothpaste. Stickers and a toothman coloring page. You might shop around see if there is a similar practice near you.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Dec 07
I still go to the same dentist that I saw when I was a child. They are very good, and I was never scared as a child, so that is where I will take him. I always got a toothbrush and stickers or a balloon.
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
26 Mar 08
barring any serious problems that arise ahead of time - it is good to wait until the child is 3 years old - and take them in for a brief exam get them acquainted with the idea do not have any work done at that time... but you want to get them used to the idea of the dentist and not to be afraid of him/her... that is easier to do when there is no necessary work to be done in the mouth. other than that they say school age it should become regular with visits. my husband worked in dental for over 25 years.