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Oh Baby! When Your Baby Should Visit the Dentist

toddler brushing teethOne of the most important aspects of a child’s wellness is their oral health. It’s essential for parents to understand that quality dental care is just as critical as physical care. Not only is establishing a dental care routine critical for their health, but it also normalizes going to the dentist and makes it less likely that a child will develop an uneasiness with being in the dentist’s chair. Getting children comfortable with the process only goes another step further in helping them develop good oral hygiene. 

Why Should Your Baby Visit the Dentist?

Beginning dental visits early will help kids understand that this is just another way to take care of their bodies, and it’ll provide parents with the peace of mind in knowing that their children’s gums and teeth are developing properly. As a general rule of thumb, children should visit the dentist by their first birthday or within six months of getting their first tooth. While children may not be able to have a complete exam, it will give the dentist a general idea of how their teeth are developing. If there are any concerns, it is also a way to think about future treatment plans and what options may be available to remedy any concerns. 

What is the Dentist Looking for During the First Visit?

The very first visit is intended to acquaint the child with the dentist. This is a brand-new process for the little one and simply going to the office, meeting the dentist, and seeing all of the tools and equipment can help children start to understand what it means to take care of their smile. 

Because children at this age are squirmy and can’t keep their mouths open for an extended period of time, it is unlikely that a complete exam can take place. However, that doesn’t mean that you should wait until your child is older. 

Depending on the child’s demeanor, a complete examination may be done, or if the child is distressed, a quick look at the gums, teeth, and jaw will provide a general idea if their mouth is healthy and developing appropriately for their age. X-rays are avoided unless there is a critical need for them. 

This is also an excellent time for the dentist to show parents a few tips for proper cleaning and other things they can do to help ensure their child is receiving the best dental care at home. 

Baby and Child Dental Care Tips

Sometimes, people forget that oral care should start right very early with a baby. You don’t have to wait for him or her to have teeth before you begin caring for their gums. Doing so will not only get a child used to have their mouth cleaned, but will help ensure that their gums and developing teeth are kept clean and strong.

There are many things that parents can do to help their children have strong and healthy teeth. Some of the best advice includes:

  • doctor looking at baby's teethCleaning gums with a damp washcloth even before teeth have erupted
  • Avoid giving babies and small children sippy cups or bottles of milk or juice at bedtime as this can lead to decay.
  • Don’t allow children to drink from a bottle for a long period of time.
  • Limit foods that may cause cavities, such as foods with large amounts of sugar.
  • Help teach children to brush their teeth and assist them until they reach at least six years of age.
  • Encourage children to brush and floss themselves so that they can learn the proper techniques. 
  • Add fluoride toothpaste to the routine once a child is old enough to spit it out after brushing.
  • Make sure your child has a fresh toothbrush. Replace as needed or every three to four months.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. 

All of these tips can help keep children’s teeth strong and help avoid cavities. Doing the work at home will also go a long way in normalizing visits to the dentist. 

What Can You Expect at Lockhart Dentistry?

At Lockhart Dentistry, we strive to make sure each visit is comfortable for all of our patients. This is especially true for our smallest patients who are just learning what it means to go to the dentist. Our caring staff takes our time with babies and children to ensure that they have a pleasant experience with us. 

We also work with parents to teach them ways to start a quality oral hygiene routine at home. If there are concerns with your child’s teeth, our staff will work with you to find a solution. If you would like to know more about a first-time visit and what you can expect, please contact our office. You can reach us at (317) 849-9715. We look forward to hearing from you! 



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  • 8202 Clearvista Parkway, Suite 4C, Indianapolis, IN 46256


  • Gerald B.
    “Approximately 4:45 p.m., a crown came completely out. I immediately called Dr. Lockhart’s office to see if he was available. He was so 15 minutes later; I walked into his office. I was seen immediately; the tooth was prepped and recemented. Less than a half-hour after the tooth came out, it was back in, and I was on my way to the Pacer game. Great job!”
    Gerald B.
  • Steve E.
    “I’ve had several teeth extracted, and can say unequivocally this was the easiest one to date. The tooth was out before I knew it, no muss, no fuss.”
    Steve E.
  • Jessica C.
    “I am never disappointed with Dr. Lockhart’s service. I have been seeing him for my dental care for a few years now and it seems that my dental health has only improved since I began seeing him. I value how straight forward and honest he is with his patients. I would recommend him to everyone!”
    Jessica C.
  • Linda A.
    “Everyone is professional and so friendly. They take the time to explain the procedures, and make you feel very comfortable in a very relaxed atmosphere. If you don’t like going to a dentist for whatever reason, I suggest you try Dr. Lockhart!”
    Linda A.
  • Karen P.
    “At the doctor’s recommendation, an old silver filling was replaced with enamel. This accomplished two things. It provided an opportunity to assess the health of the tooth-as it is a deep and old filling. And secondly it improved the visual of the mouth by having a filling material which blends with the tooth color. Though no further care is needed at this time, it is valuable to know what may be necessary going forward which eliminates the dreaded element of surprise in dental care. Dr. Lockhart and his staff create a comfortable, caring environment which puts the patient at ease while undergoing what might otherwise be an anxiety filled procedure. All aspects of the office visit were professional, efficient and most important of all – painless.”
    Karen P.
  • Joseph O.
    “Great environment, courteous friendly and professional staff. I look forward to my dental visits because Danelle is welcoming and focused on my dental health and Dr Lockhart is always attentive and clear in his care and explanations.”
    Joseph O.
  • Heather B.
    “Above and beyond! Our son broke off a tooth on A Tuesday evening. Dr. Lockhart and his staff are not scheduled to be in the office on Wednesdays. We nevertheless called the emergency number he provided first thing Wednesday morning. Dr. Lockhart promptly returned our call and we made arrangements to meet at the office. Dr. Lockhart was very thorough with his examination. He and McKenzie took great care of our son and got him fixed up. Always the highest level of care and customer service. THANK YOU!”
    Heather B.
  • Anne M.
    “I highly recommend Lockhart Dentistry to all my friends. After 30 years I finally made the decision to get crowns and braces. In less then 6 months, my treatment is over and I can smile with confidence. Thank you Dr. Lockhart, and your wonderful staff. I truly wonder why I waited so long!”
    Anne M.
  • Kyle C.
    “Always a great and efficient visit. Extremely caring and have seen amazing progress for not being in a long time!”
    Kyle C.
  • Lawrence M.
    “Great dentistry ! Top notch all around.“
    Lawrence M.
  • Gregg J.
    “Experience and Tech Savvy. Dr Lockhart has more experience and is more technologically savvy than any dentist I’ve been to in my 54 years.”
    Gregg J.
  • Cassie R.
    “Happy to have found a dentist in my neighborhood for my entire family!”
    Cassie R.
  • Don G.
    “Nice place to visit but don’t want to live there. I generally do not like surveys or questionnaires and am only answering this one because I like you.”
    Don G.
  • Linda M.
    “When I think of Lockhart Dentistry, the terms “kindness, promptness, professionalism, and effectiveness” come to mind.”
    Linda M.
  • Thomas H.
    “Lockhart Dentistry is a step above all others. Great enthusiastic staff that genuinely enjoy their jobs. Ingrid goes out of her way to make sure each visit is enjoyable and she is very thorough in explaining what she is doing throughout my examination. Every appointment I have had has been on schedule, very little time spent waiting in lobby, which is very important to me from a work and family perspective. I like the fact that they have email and text reminders too!!!”
    Thomas H.
  • Clarence H.
    “Best Long Term Dental Care. My wife and I have been patients of Dr. Lockhart for over 20 years. From routine bi-annual cleanings and checkups to implants, crowns and partial bridges that I’ve had through the years; Dr. Lockhart and his team have always provided the very best of care.”
    Clarence H.
  • Dee B.
    "Highly recommend! I’ve been. With Dr Lockhart 25+ years….since he was at 71st and Shadeland. I had some serious issues that Dr Lockhart and his staff have helped me overcome. I can’t say enough great things about them (I even got my husband to join me there). Thank you so much to Lockhart Dentistry."
    Dee B.
  • Joan M.
    Routine 6 month cleaning and check. Have been a patient of Lockhart Dentistry since Doc came to Indianapolis. The entire staff is friendly and caring and works hard to make sure you are comfortable no matter what service is being provided.
    Joan M.
  • Nicole B.
    "Great place, people are friendly and very nice. Dr. Lockhart always has an alternative or solution to my issues. I love Danielle! I always ask for her to do my cleaning. My teeth always feel extra clean."
    Nicole B.
  • Laurie P.
    Wonderful experience! Very thorough and friendly!
    Laurie P.
  • Deborah W.
    "Dr. Bruce and his staff are amazing, kind, very caring. They take care of you like one of their own!"
    Deborah W.