Are My Kids Ready to See the Dentist?

Ask the Experts by Eric McCutcheon 

Q: I have two kids, aged three and five, that are getting ready for school. I try my best to keep their teeth clean and look for problems, but I don't know when they should start going to the dentist since mine doesn't see children. When is the best time to take my kids for their first dental checkup?

A:  As a family dentist, I get this question often from parents concerned about their children's dental health but worried their kids will be scared or cannot sit still. I have found that the sooner your child visits the dentist, the LESS anxious they will be going forward.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises the first visit be by age one! In my office, I recommend, when they get their teeth cleaned, patients bring their little ones in to get comfortable in the office. We can take a quick look at their teeth, they get a prize and a great memory. At that point, I don't expect a toddler to sit in the chair and allow x-rays or dental instruments in their mouths.

After that, I recommend a visit every six months. We can touch base with the child and their parents to find that "sweet" spot when they are ready for the full exam/visit. Some kids are ready by eighteen months and others at four years old. The important thing is that they LIKE coming in to visit. They have a dental home.

Now that a new school year is around the corner, it is a great time to start fresh! If your child is just one and ready to meet the dentist or if they are going into kindergarten and nervous, a clean healthy mouth is vital. Cavities or toothaches take time away from learning. Make your child's dental experiences positive and life-long!

Dr. Eric McCutcheon attended the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and graduated in 2004. He began working the Redwood Dental Group in 2006 and recently became the lead doctor in the St. Clair Shores office. He most enjoys getting to know patients and developing long-term dental relationships. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 586-778-4151. McCutcheon is a member of The Family Center's Association of Professionals.


Join Redwood Dental Group on August 14, 2015 for a free event for kids without dental insurance - meet the dentist, get their teeth cleaned, have x-rays and an oral check-up! Open to kids 10 and under. Call today to make your reservation - 586.778.4151. More >

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