Yours is a great question that has a different answer from almost anybody you ask. The American Academy of Pediatricians, of which I am a member, recommends 3 years of age. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (of which I am also a member) recommends 1 year of age or earlier to be sure there isn't a problem and to educate the parents on how to keep their child cavity-free. I have treated hundreds of children under general anesthesia under the age of 3, and this could have been avoided if I had seen these children when they were one. We give every new parent a Cavity Busters Total Oral Healthcare Kit® with an instructional video and book, and these are now available in all dental offices.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.