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Do’s and don’ts for your child’s first dentist visit


Fear is not instinctive. If your child is frightened about their first dentist visit, says the team at Smilefocus, it is usually because they have learned this from someone. 


  • Familiarise your child with the dental clinic by (cheerfully) taking them along for your own visit.
  • Schedule your child’s appointment earlier in the day when they are fresh.
  • Be patient if your child is frightened and non-cooperative. It may be better to reschedule another time.
  • Consider that some children respond better without a parent present in the room.


  • Wait for an emergency to be the first visit.
  • Make too much of the visit – your child will suspect something is up.
  • Use the dental visit as a threat for any misbehavior.
  • Say negative words like pain, jab or drill, or phrases like “It won’t hurt much” 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.