• Search
A lifestyle magazine for Central Florida's modern parents

Dentist Prep for Kids

Taking your child to the dentist shouldn’t be, well, like pulling teeth. Here are nine tips for drama-free dental appointments.

You child’s first dental exam is an important first step in ensuring your child’s overall dental health. How parents frame that first exam makes all the difference when it comes to how much anxiety your child may have when it comes to future visits.

Parents should schedule that first dentist appointment by the time their child turns 1 year old. Creating that early relationship allows a dentist to grow with the child and allows parents to learn about the habits and diet essential for good oral hygiene. 

Here are My Tips:

  • Find a smile. Visit a few pediatric dental offices to find the best fit for your child. The office should be friendly and soothing to your child. 
  • Attitude matters. Parents, if you’re anxious about the visit, your children will be anxious too. Project confidence and a feeling that this is a positive event. Doing so is contagious and soothing to your children.
  • Talk to the older siblings.Speak with older siblings about how to frame a visit to the dentist. Don’t allow them to offer unnecessary information to the younger ones. 
  • Keep chatter to a minimum.Many parents make the mistake of overselling the dentist. Don’t talk about it too much. Be casual about it. At the same time, prepare your child by telling them a few things that will happen, such as, “The dentist will count your teeth and show you how to brush.”
  • Don’t make promises. Don’t make any promises about shots or pain. That sets children up for a lifetime of dental distrust and unrealistic expectations. A first visit should not be painful or require shots; however, what children find painful is subjective
  • Start early. Start daily dental hygiene early. Teach children the parts of the mouth when you’re teaching them about the body.
  • Be comfortable. On the day of the appointment, dress children in comfortable clothing. One idea: have your child pick out a “going to the dentist” outfit that he or she is excited to wear.
  • Schedule appropriately. One mistake I see happening all the time is that parents schedule dental appointments right before lunch or during nap time. If you can avoid that, I recommend it. Tired children equal cranky children, and the appointment will be more difficult for everyone.
  • Read and play. There are several books you can read to your child before the appointment. Some good ones are Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer; Peppa Pig Dentist Trip Scholastic Readers; Going to the Dentist by Anne Civardi; and Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron. Or, try the Monster Mouth DDS smartphone app that’s super funny (and a little yucky!) and offers comical lessons in dental hygiene.

Remember, children mirror your behavior. If you’re anxious, they’ll be anxious. If you just relax and make brushing a part of your children’s everyday schedule, your child’s first dental appointment will be a breeze — for both of you!

Dr. Mandana Nabizadeh, DDS
Written by
Dr. Mandana Nabizadeh, DDS

Dr. Mandana Nabizadeh, DDS, known to her patients as Dr. Nabi, attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and earned her D.D.S. degree in general dentistry. She specializes in working with pediatric dental patients in the downtown Orlando-based pediatric practice Your Downtown Dentistry. Dr. Nabi is married to Dr. Ali Behzadi and has a young daughter, Melody.

View all articles
Dr. Mandana Nabizadeh, DDS Written by Dr. Mandana Nabizadeh, DDS


Follow us

Proactively formulate resource-leveling imperatives through alternative process improvements.

Family Events


September 2019

September 6, 2019
Kiddie Culture https://www.disneyonice.com/road-trip-adventures

Disney On Ice presents Road Trip Adventures is Coming to Orlando  September 6-8, 2019 to Take Families on a Fun-Fueled Excursion to Iconic Disney Destinations 

September 6, 20196:00 pm

Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Movie starts at 8 p.m.
Admission: $6 adult, $3 child (ages 4 – 17 years)
Bring your own food (including alcohol) and seating (chairs, ...

September 7, 201910:00 am - 2:00 pm
Central Florida Zoo
3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
Educational / Free / Nature Play https://www.facebook.com/events/349377655994782/

Bring the whole family for activities and a meet and greet with Cat in the Hat on Saturday, September 7, 2019 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Central Florida Zoo.

There is no cost to meet Cat in the Hat or participate in any of the activities. If you would like ...

September 7, 201910:00 am - 12:00 pm
Nature Play https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hand-in-hand-with-gran-tickets-69888387047?ref=estw&aff=efbeventtix&fbclid=IwAR07HKP3V4N-eNEtVZ9Swg7u2jocyFztpebRRaYOhia4HEGE-adq5emlrEA

Grandparents Day is on September 7th and what better way to show them you care than with a handmade card! Enjoy a morning outdoors at the beautiful Mead Gardens while making a special card for your special grandparents!

Grandparents Day is on September 7th and what better way to show them you care than with a handmade card! Enjoy a morning outdoors at the beautiful Mead Gardens while making a special card for your special grandparents!

September 7, 2019

Love Mess Fest at Orlando Science Center? Then you’ll love the squeaky clean sister event – Bubble Bash!

Kick off Aquatic Adventures month with a splash as you learn the science ...

September 7, 20192:00 pm
Kiddie Culture https://www.orlandorep.com/show/tuck-everlasting-theatre-for-young-audiences-edition/

Experience The REP's first show of the season from September 3-29th, on weekends at 2pm or 5:30pm seatings.

Tuck Everlasting is a magical story about family and friendship, framed by the question &...

September 8, 201912:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Free / Kiddie Culture

Celebrate International Dot Day a week early! Based on Peter H. Reynolds' classic book, THE DOT!

Dot Day challenges us to both celebrate our own expressions of self - to 'Make your mark ...

September 11, 201910:00 am - 10:30 am

Meet up at the Discovery Courtyard for Storytime at the Zoo!

Listen to an immersive animal story and meet an Animal Ambassador up-close!

September 13, 20195:00 pm
Volunteer https://www.eventbrite.com/e/family-volunteer-night-registration-61796440818?fbclid=IwAR0xL0zRe-JpbGv5drTzhe2jXHlPOXDxegu0uOwea1o1GXvVyM6q29-AGdc

Family Volunteer Night at The Sharing Center is a wonderful opportunity to spend an evening of service and togetherness with your loved ones.

Volunteer projects will help local struggling families rise above and ...

September 14, 201910:00 am - 12:00 pm
Central Florida Zoo
3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771
Kiddie Culture https://centralfloridazoo.doubleknot.com/event/wild-zoo-art-for-families-september-2019/2553496

Kids and canvases! It’s art gone WILD at the Zoo! Join us for an exciting opportunity to meet a special animal up close and paint its portrait. An art instructor will guide everyone to create their own masterpiece as both kids and adults meet some amazing animals at the ...