Protecting Your Baby's Smile

Children should visit a dentist by age 1 or within six months after their first tooth comes in. Visiting the dentist by age 1 helps you:

Get to know

the dentist.

Stop cavities

that can cause your child pain and serious health problems.

Know who to call

if your child has an emergency.

Save money

by learning healthy habits and how to care for your baby's teeth.

Baby's First Visit to the Dentist

At the first checkup, the dentist will:

  • Check your child for cavities.
  • Show you how to brush and floss your child's teeth.
  • Teach you about food, drinks and habits that can cause cavities.
  • Talk about fluoride.
  • Check your child's bite, growth and development.
  • Give you information on how to prevent accidents as your baby grows.

Dentist By 1

See a dentist within six months of getting the first tooth or before the first birthday.


Clean your baby's gums with a damp washcloth after eating and drinking.


Use a soft toothbrush and water to brush your baby's teeth and gums. Brush in soft, gentle circles two times a day.

No Bottle in Bed

Don't let your baby sleep with a bottle at naptime or at night.

Give Milk or Water

Give your child milk or water and avoid drinks with added sugar, such as soda or juice.

Don't Share Forks, Spoons or Food

Sharing utensils can spread germs that cause cavities.

As a leader in oral health, the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation offers the following helpful materials for you.

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Dentist By 1

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Dentist By 1

  • English
  • Spanish

  • About the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation

    The mission of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation is to support and improve the oral health of Iowans and to make a measurable difference in the oral health of Iowans with an emphasis on underserved populations. Since 2002, the Delta Dental of Iowa Public Benefit Program and Foundation have distributed over $30 million for oral health support and improvement projects in Iowa. In 2012, the Foundation announced two visionary, long-term goals focused on improving the oral health of Iowa's children and seniors.