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Does your baby need to go to the dentist? Hmm. That’s a question on many new moms’ minds. The American Dental Association recommends that baby get her first check-up when her first tooth makes its grand appearance. If that hasn’t happened by her first birthday, the pros say to go ahead and schedule an appointment. But is taking your almost-toddler to the dentist realistic?

Okay, so taking your kiddo to the dentist early on can help to prevent a host of potential problems. Even though your baby’s teeth aren’t permanent, they still need care. Not only can baby teeth get cavities, but starting early sets your child on a path to a life-time of dental health.

Now here comes the problem — your tot just isn’t ready to sit and let the dentist examine her teeth (or tooth). That’s completely normal. Hey, you probably think that your baby is scared of the dentist. She might be. Or it might be that the dentist is scared of your baby.

Yes, your dentist may know all kinds of important info about teeth, gums and treating dental issues. But, do they know how to get an 11-month-old to cooperate with him or her? In an effort to help dentists feel more comfortable treating babies, some areas are starting special training programs. The public health agencies of Alameda and San Francisco counties, in California, are helping the dental pros in their area to learn about their tiniest of patients. These pilot programs will provide training to roughly 70 dentists over the course of three years.

How old was your baby when you first brought him or her to the dentist? Tell us in the comments below.