According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist by his or her 1st birthday.
It's important to 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 fuss made 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." Pediatric dental offices make a practice of using words that convey the same message, but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child.