5 Tips to Prepare for Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Your child’s smile is growing and developing right before your eyes, and it’s time for them to see a pediatric dentist for the first time. It’s completely normal to feel both excited and anxious for your child’s first visit! That’s why it’s important to cultivate a positive mindset to prepare for their first trip. At Iowa Pediatric Dental Center, our team is here to help both you and your child enjoy a comfortable, stress-free appointment every time you visit.

Positive Attitude

A positive experience at the dentist starts with a positive attitude! Our doctors are pediatric dental specialists, which means they have additional training in caring for children’s specific needs. They are experts in providing a positive experience for young patients so they can develop a positive attitude about going to the dentist.

You can jumpstart that positive attitude at home by having a conversation about the dentist with your child. Avoid discussing any negative experiences of your own or other dental procedures you’ve had. Talk about how important their smile is to you and how great oral hygiene will keep it healthy. They’ll reflect your happy attitude and be all smiles when it comes to the dentist!

Inform Your Dentist

Talk to our pediatric dentist office and let us know this is your child’s first visit. The dentist may provide dental tips for practicing good oral health care at home and preparing your child for what to expect at a regular dental appointment. Our office can walk you through what your child’s first appointment will look like, so you can positively discuss it with your child on the day of their appointment.

Play Pretend Dentist at Home

Playing pretend at home can help ease the mystery around going to the dentist and help your child become familiar with what happens during a visit. You can use a stuffed animal or a doll to demonstrate a check-up, as well as brushing and flossing to promote good dental hygiene. You can show your child first, then have them play dentist on their own to create fun associations with dental appointments.

Comfort Items

Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal, toy, or blanket? Bring it with you! Our dentists welcome comfort items in the exam room to make sure your child has a positive, worry-free experience. We’ll let your child hold onto their favorite friend while we conduct their exam and cleaning. Your child’s comfort is our main focus!


A post-appointment reward is always a plus! Planning a non-junk food treat after a dental visit is a great way to help your child stay positive during the appointment. Plan a fun lunch, a trip to the toy store, or an afternoon at the playground to encourage your child and help them associate something fun with going to the dentist.

Call Today to Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit!

At Iowa Pediatric Dental Center, we have great news: Going to the dentist can be fun! Contact one of our four convenient locations today to schedule your child’s first dental visit and ask any questions you have about how to prepare. A lifetime of great dental care starts here!

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