31 May

The first dental visit

Introducing your toddler to their first dental visit is an important milestone in their oral health journey. Starting early can set the stage for a lifetime of good dental habits and a positive attitude towards dental care. The first dental visit may seem daunting, but with the right approach and preparation, it can be a smooth and even enjoyable experience for both you and your child. At Tooth Town, we will help your child to get familiar with the clinic, and explain our procedures to him/her using easy words.

As many children require time to adjust and familiarise themselves with a new environment, our paediatric professionals are prepared to do everything possible to make your child’s first visit an enjoyable experience. We always try to involve parents by having them assist in the knee-to-knee exam. This partnership sends the message to your child that dental care is important. If any areas of concern are identified, we will explain these concerns, and ensure that your child gets the care they deserve. This is also a great opportunity for us to answer any questions you may have. We can also provide advice on how to care for the teeth and get your child off to a cavity-free childhood.


What can I do to prepare my child for their first dental visit? 


There are a few simple tips you can do to prepare your child for the first dental visit:

  • Start early, and choose the right time.

    The Australasian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental visit should occur by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth erupting. Starting early helps in preventing dental problems and getting your child accustomed to dental care from an early age.

    Choose a time for the appointment when your child is typically well-rested and cooperative, usually in the morning. Avoid scheduling dental visits during their nap time or close to meal times, as they might be more irritable during these times.

  • Keep It Positive and Play Pretend

    Make the first dental visit a positive experience by using positive words and a cheerful tone when discussing the appointment. Avoid using any negative or frightening words like “pain,” “shot,” or “hurt.” Avoid trying to reassure your child by using phrases such as “it won’t hurt” or “there’s nothing to be afraid of.” These kinds of comments can introduce ideas of fear where none existed previously.

    Emphasize that the dentist will count their teeth and make sure they are healthy. You can play pretend at home, taking turns being the dentist and the patient. Let your child use a toy toothbrush to “brush” their dolls or stuffed animals’ teeth, and then you can be the dentist, counting their teeth and making it a fun game.

  • Visit a Pediatric Dentist

    Choosing a pediatric dentist, who specializes in treating children, can make a significant difference in your child’s experience. Pediatric dentists are trained to create a child-friendly environment and are skilled in dealing with the unique needs and fears of young children. They know how to make the visit fun and less intimidating.

  • Be a Good Role Model

    Children often learn by observation, so demonstrate good dental habits to your child. Let them see you brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and emphasize that visiting the dentist is a normal and important part of staying healthy.

  • Role-Play the Dental Visit

    Role-playing a dental visit can be a great way to familiarize your child with what to expect. Take turns being the dentist and the patient, pretending to count teeth and using a toy toothbrush. Make it a fun and light-hearted activity.

  • Stay Calm and Comforting

    Your child may sense if you are anxious or stressed about the visit, so try to stay calm and reassuring. Reassure them that you will be right there with them throughout the visit and that the dentist is friendly and wants to help them.

  • Offer a Reward or Incentive

    Offer a small reward or incentive for their good behavior during the dental visit. It could be a special treat, a sticker, or a small toy. This positive reinforcement can help create a positive association with going to the dentist.

  • Bring Comfort Items

    Allow your child to bring their favorite comfort items, such as a stuffed animal or blanket, to the dental visit. Having something familiar can provide a sense of comfort and security during the appointment.

  • Stay Patient and Understanding

    It’s natural for young children to feel apprehensive about new experiences. If your child becomes upset or anxious during the visit, stay patient and understanding. The dental team is accustomed to working with children and will know how to handle the situation.

  • Schedule Regular Check-ups

    After the first visit, make sure to schedule regular check-ups as recommended by the dentist. Consistent dental visits will help maintain your child’s oral health and ensure any issues are addressed promptly.


Introducing your toddler to their first dental visit is an important step towards fostering good oral health habits from a young age. By starting early, using positive reinforcement, choosing a pediatric dentist, and maintaining a calm and supportive environment, you can set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Remember, making the experience positive and enjoyable will set the tone for future dental visits and contribute to a lifetime of good oral health habits.

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