Regular dental exams help protect your child's oral health. Dental exams give your child's dentist a chance to provide tips on caring for your child's teeth, as well as detect any problems early — when they're most treatable.

When to have a dental exam

Various factors might determine how frequently your child needs to have a dental exam, including his or her age, health and risk of tooth decay. Consider these general guidelines:

  • Ages 6 months to 1 year. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend scheduling a child's first dental exam after the first tooth erupts and no later than his or her first birthday. Also expect your baby's teeth and gums to be examined at well-baby checkups.
  • Toddlers, school-age children and adolescents. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling regular dental checkups, with the most common interval being every six months. However, the dentist might recommend fewer or more frequent visits depending on your child's risk factors for oral health problems.
Feb. 14, 2015