According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist by his/her first birthday. By having a properly trained specialized children's dentist examine your child, you can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and their staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. The less to-do concerning the visit, the better.
It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as needle, pull, drill or hurt. At our dental office we make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.