Do's and Don'ts of Your Child's First Visit with the Dentist


  • Familiarise your child with the dental clinic. Take your toddler along when someone else in the family who enjoys their dental check-up is going too.
  • Schedule your child's appointment earlier in the day when they are alert and fresh.
  • Be low-key. Treat the visit as routine. Answer any questions the child has honestly but not too specifically.
  • Be patient if your child is frightened and non-cooperative. It may be better to reschedule another time.
  • Let the dentist decide whether you should stay in the room. Children often respond better without their parents present.


  • Wait for an emergency to be the first visit.
  • Make the visit the high point of the day. Your child will suspect something is up.
  • Use bribery or threats in an attempt to encourage good behaviour.
  • Threaten the child with a dental visit for any refusal to brush teeth or misbehaviour.
  • Say negative words like pain, pull, jab or drill, or phrases like “It won't hurt much” or “it won't be too bad” as this will only create anxiety.
  • Try and explain exactly what will happen. The dentist has special words and ways to explain procedures to children.

Meet Bronwyn, Emily and Madeline ... they were introduced in the right way to their children dentist and are well on their way to having ‘healthy teeth for life’


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