When Should Kids First Visit the Dentist?

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Many parents are unsure when they should take their child to see the family dentist for the first time. Should you take them after all of their baby teeth come in? Or save it for when there seems to be a problem? At SLO Smiles, your child’s health and comfort is our top priority. That is why we encourage you to bring your kiddo in for a visit to your San Luis Obispo dentist by their first birthday, or when their first tooth becomes visible—a recommendation backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association. Our team is comprised of parents just like you, so we understand your worries. Here are the reasons why we practice what we preach when it comes to childhood whole body health.

Baby teeth are important

Since they all fall out eventually, it is easy to assume that a child should receive dental care after all their primary (or baby teeth) have fallen out and permanent teeth have formed. This is not true! Baby teeth are critical to your child’s lifelong oral health, and a first visit to the dentist is an opportunity for parents to learn how to best care for their children’s teeth. The health of these teeth are key to:

  • Helping children chew properly to maintain good nutrition
  • Aiding in speech development
  • Saving space for permanent teeth

After your kiddo’s first visit to our friendly SLO Smiles office, together we can come up with an at home dental care routine to ensure that your little one’s teeth stay in top shape.

Ensure teeth develop correctly

An early visit to your family dentist allows them check your child’s teeth and monitor their growth to ensure they develop correctly. They will take note of missing or crooked teeth, and also watch out for fluoride deficiency, as well as recommend appropriate changes to their fluoride intake or use of fluoridated toothpaste.

Experience Builds Comfort

If you take your child to your family dentist around the time their first tooth erupts, they are probably too young to be anxious, or will be a lot less anxious than they would be at an older age. That’s why we recommend acclimating your child to the world of medical care early so they can build trust with our team, and begin to learn the importance of lifelong healthy oral care habits. Here at SLO Smiles, our comforting office and kind staff are unlike any other dental experience in San Luis Obispo and we just love visits from our little patients!

Preventing future troubles

Early and regular visits allow your family dentist to detect initial signs of disease and decay. You may be a star parent and take excellent care of your kiddo’s pearly whites, but they can still have problems for which you cannot see symptoms. Your family dentist can treat these issues before they become serious health problems.

Whether you’re ready to book an appointment or simply have questions regarding our children’s services, feel free to reach out to us online or over the phone at (805) 541-0550. At SLO Smiles, our dentists are committed to providing you and your little ones with top quality dental care here in San Luis Obispo.

San Luis Obispo family dentist


Office Hours
  • Monday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday7:00am - 2:00pm
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New patients are always welcome at SLO Smiles. Our friendly San Luis Obispo dental team looks forward to meeting you!