Your child should visit the dentist by his or her first birthday or by the time their first tooth erupts. This way any developing problems can be detected, treated early, or avoided all together. Be sure to inform your child of the visit and its purpose, but take care in how you present it. Avoid using words that cause fear such as “needle”, “pull”, “drill”, or “hurt.” The first visit rarely requires such things, and, even should they be necessary at some point, keep in mind that pediatric dentists are trained to convey the information in a non-threatening way, helping to keep your child calm and comfortable.