Preparing for the First Dental Visit

Preparing for the First Dental Visit

NOT MUCH IS better in the world than the smiles of our kids, and we have to work hard to keep those smiles healthy. Regular dental visits are a crucial part of a lifetime of good dental health, and that should start early on. If your child’s next dental visit will actually be their first, we’re here to put you at ease and give you a good idea of what to expect and how to prepare.

Kids Can Experience Dental Anxiety Too

A third of American adults struggle with severe enough dental anxiety that it stops them from going to the dentist, but kids can deal with fear of the dentist too. New things are often scary for young children, and maybe an older family member has already put frightening images in their mind by describing an unpleasant experience they had. Kids are also perceptive and will notice if their parents have negative feelings about the dentist even if you didn’t say anything directly.

You Can Help Your Child Have a Positive Mindset About Dentists

There are many things parents can do to help their children have a positive mindset when it comes to going in for a dental checkup. We can help once you arrive at our practice, but before that, it’s up to you!

  • Begin early. Kids can benefit from dental visits as soon as they have teeth! Starting early makes it easier to build a trusting relationship with the dentist.
  • Play pretend to help you explain what will happen (if your child is very young). You could play the role of the dentist and show them how their visit can be fun and interesting.
  • For older children, simply explain. Take the mystery out of the dental visit, because kids are more comfortable when they understand what’s happening. Give a quick explanation of what dental visits are like and why they matter for their teeth.
  • Teach your child how important dental hygiene is. If kids know that brushing and flossing are helping keep their teeth healthy, they will be able to appreciate the dentist more.
  • Bring them to meet the dentist in advance! You can help make the first appointment much less stressful by doing a meet-and-greet first. If the dentist isn’t a stranger anymore, the experience won’t be as stressful!
  • Accompany your child. No amount of information can substitute for the comforting presence of a loved and trusted adult. If you stick by, you’ll be able to offer support and encouragement through the early visits.

Here’s a video to help explain the dentist to a child:

We’re Excited to Meet Your Child!

We cannot overstate the importance of making your child’s first dental visit a good one, and if you’d like more suggestions for ways to help your child avoid dental anxiety and the issues that come with it, we’re here to help. We also welcome your questions about your child’s dental care.

We look forward to helping make the first checkup fun and easy!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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LaDawn Knicely

Cathy is always amazing. She remembers personal care details about my visit each time which shows me that she is a great listener, she has heard me and follows through with such care.

Cathy Ryan

I had Dr. Whiting for the first time and the practice will be in excellent hands when Dr. McIntire retires in Sept. He was profesional yet had an engaging demeanor when interacting with me. What makes this practice exceptional is the support staff- the welcoming friendliness of the front desk and the business office personnel. In particular, I would like to give high praises to the dental technician, Faith. She is warm, engaging and puts you at ease. She educates you during the whole process and is extremely knowledgeable about the procedures. Without a doubt, this is the best dental practice in the Valley.

Howard Dean

Dr. Whiting and staff did an excellent job. They were respectful, professional, and very helpful during the process of getting some dental implants. They expedited my appointments to get my new teeth before Father’s Day. Very happy with the results!

Susan Hairston

Dr. Mac performed a small miracle for me yesterday during my appointment. I was having an issue with my temporary bridge and he squeezed me in with his other patients to fix it. He went to great lengths to help me and I am very grateful. Thank you SFL!!

Dottie Westhafer

I had every intention of shopping around before committing to the extensive dental work I needed. However, after visiting the practice and seeing how dedicated they were to making life changing improvement for their patients, I looked no further. It is a process, starting with evaluations, recommendations, x-rays and scheduling. Beginning with my first appointment I marveled at the kindness, care and professionalism I received. I was taken care of skillfully and gently as we began my transformation. Today, June 6, 2024, I left their office with a beautiful smile without discoloration, wear, and misaligned teeth, and I now have a corrected bite and completely restored teeth that I am proud to show. Dr. Geo is very caring and meticulous, striving to complete his work with skill and perfection. I’m so glad that I came to Smiles For Life.

Charles Kimbrough

Smiles for Life has taken care of my dentistry needs for the last 6 years or so. Other offices in the past have had difficult times fitting me in when I needed an appointment. That hasn’t been the case here. Today, I needed to reschedule my appointment for next Monday, and they had an opening today with Cathy Batton instead of my regular hygienist. Cathy does a great job with years of experience and has a way about her to make you feel comfortable.

Linda Clague

Alex, . Morgan, and Dr Geo are very personable and professional. I felt very relaxed the entire visit.I especially appreciated Dr. Geo's careful mouth and teeth exam. They explained everything step by step and allowed time for questions.


On my first visit I meet Becky, we sat down and talked about everything they do there and she allowed me to tell her about my issues with my teeth and she felt that they could help me with my problem. This is the first time I have ever been able to explain, in detail, about my past and present experiences with my dental problems. She made me feel very comfortable in taking about my care and what I would like to have done with my denture issue's. I have set up my next appointment to have x-rays done and feel very good about that! I'm looking forward to my visit and what they have to say about fixing my problem .

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