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Did you know baby teeth are at risk for decay from the moment they emerge? All kids should go to the dentist sometime before their first birthday, according to both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

Untreated tooth decay can result in discomfort or pain, which can cause eating difficulties in developing mouths and overall health issues, plus possible infection down the line, says the AAPD.

Going early also lets your little one get comfortable with the idea of going regularly. The more familiar they become with the dentist, the less scary it’ll be.

Here are some tips from the ADA to prep for baby’s first visit:

  • Wait to give snacks or lunch until after the exam.
  • Play it cool—if baby sees you nervous or freaking out, she’ll follow suit.
  • Brush baby’s teeth and gums yourself before the visit with a soft baby toothbrush or a wet, clean cloth.
  • Ask about teething, thumb-sucking and pacifiers.
  • Don’t schedule your visit during naptime!
  • Go when he’s most likely to be rested and calm.

Products You’ll Love

Special Supplies

PEARLY TIKES Sturdy handles make brushing a breeze for little learners.
Easy Grip Toothbrush, Special Supplies. $0.99/each, specialsupplies.com

Foreo

BRUSH CRUSH This brush uses silicone bristles and sonic pulsations to keep baby’s teeth clean.
ISSA mikro, Foreo. $99, foreo.com

LouLou Lollipop

SWEET TOOTH Baby will look extra sweet while soothing her gums with this sprinkle-topped teething ring.
Pink Donut Silicone Teether, LouLou Lollipop. $14, potterybarnkids.com