I have long recommend a first checkup by 12 months old to make certain that teeth and jaw development are normal, and even more importantly so that parents and guardians know how to help their children be healthy from the start. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now also recommends the same thing: First Visit by the First Birthday.
My Guidelines for Working with Children
comfort is always our concern
parent / guardian consent and guidance are vital, before any procedure
no restraint is ever used
Being a ‘good parent’ does not require that you take your child to a Children’s Dentist (pedodontist). I routinely see children, and I do refer to a pedodontist when needed (extensive dental treatment required, special needs, etc.).
* Generally it is most effective if parents are NOT in the room during the full time of treatment. If the parents have any dental anxieties, please don’t bring those with you. For your child’s best interest, you will likely be invited to wait in the reception room during treatment.
There is a significant value for early well baby dental checkups. In particular, checkups for very young children address many concerns including teaching adults how to care for their child’s teeth and gums, how to help their children learn to care for themselves, answering parents questions and concerns, and planning for future dental health.