Along with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, we recommend that a child's first dental visit be scheduled by his/her 1st birthday. That's right, the 1st birthday! This is a newer model, based more on prevention. It is similar to a well-baby check-up at the pediatrician's office. A 2004 study by Savage et al. shows that dental costs for children who have their first dental visit before age 1 are 40% lower in the first five years of life than those who do not see a dentist prior to their 1st birthday. This makes sense because the older model was to wait until age 4 or 5 when "holes" had already formed in the teeth. We would much rather focus on prevention instead of fixing cavities.