Are Infant Dental Exams Necessary?

Photo by Rodrigo Pereira from Unsplash

Your baby is, well, your baby. Our children are our whole worlds which is why we want the best for them. Most parents want their children to experience everything they felt like they missed out on in life. We want our kids to see the world, have good friends, be engaged in lots of extracurriculars, and of course to have healthy little bodies.

Every parent knows the importance of taking their little one to the doctor on a regular basis. But how important is going to the dentist? Does your one-year-old baby with exactly 3 teeth actually need to see the dentist? While it may seem like it’s not important for children to start going to the dentist until most of their teeth have grown in, the American Dental Association (ADA) suggests your baby go the dentist within 6 months of their first tooth coming in. If your baby doesn’t have any teeth by the time they are one-years-old, they still need to visit the dentist. There are a few different reasons it’s important to take your baby to the dentist.

Teach Your Child that the Dentist’s Office is a Safe Place

It’s not uncommon for children, and adults, to be scared of the dentist. A study done in 2011 found that 12% of school-aged children were scared of the dentist. Because the dentist is an unfamiliar environment full of strangers, weird tools, and new noises, it’s natural for a child to feel uneasy at the dentist. Taking your child to the dentist from a young age can help lessen any anxieties they have about the dentist. When children are introduced to the dentist/dentist office at a younger age, they feel more comfortable there later on.

Baby Teeth Are Important

It may seem like baby teeth aren’t important because they are just going to fall out anyways. However, this is not the case. Baby teeth play several important roles

  • Helping with speech development
  • Making a safe space for permanent teeth to grow into
  • Allowing children to properly chew solid foods

Baby teeth also help children’s self-esteem. Children can be self-conscious of their smiles, so a smile that has healthy and clean baby teeth promotes a good self-image in children.

What Should I Expect from an Infant Dental Exam?

According to, an infant dental exam should give you information on a few different aspects of your infant’s oral health. Your dentist should teach you about preventing teeth and mouth injuries, good habits dealing with fingers and binkies, how to avoid child cavities, and the dental growth and development you should expect to see from your baby. 

Build Good Oral Health Habits YoungTeaching your baby good oral habits from the very beginning will help them have better oral health as they grow older. Realize that there are major benefits to infant dental exams, and they are not something that should be seen as “extra” or “optional.” Teach your baby the dentist office is a safe place. As they grow older, remember to help them make brushing and flossing their teeth a regular part of their everyday routine.