Oral Health and Dental Specialists A general dentist has had three or more years of undergraduate college education plus four years of dental school. A Child's First Dental Visit Fact Sheet Your child should see a dentist six months after eruption of the first tooth, experts say. The dentist can provide or recommend preventative information regarding baby bottle tooth decay, infant feeding practices, mouth cleaning, teething, pacifier habits and finger-sucking habits. Dental Health Overview Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every six months for children. Encourage good oral hygiene at home by helping your child brush his or her own teeth. Care of the Mouth and Teeth Most children should begin regular dental care by the time they turn 1 year old. Brushing and Toothpaste for Children You should begin brushing your child's teeth around 24 months of age, or as directed by your child's doctor. Children will need help brushing their teeth until they are 7 to 8 years old. Flossing and Children Flossing should be started when your child is 2 to 3 years old, under the direction of your child's dentist. Children younger than 2 don't need to floss. Fluoride and Children Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, strengthens tooth enamel, and reduces the harmful effects of plaque. Anatomy and Development of the Mouth and Teeth Children's teeth begin developing in the fetus. Good nutrition from the mother during pregnancy is important in the development of the teeth.