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

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The team at Smilefocus puled together this list of key tips to help guide you and your child through their first visit to 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.

We look forward to welcoming your child to lifelong dental health!