Defender Chris Wilmot secured a deserved victory for Wimbledon as he struck only the second goal of his senior career.
Wilmot headed home a Neal Ardley corner on 66 minutes to underline a spell of Dons dominance.
The victory saw Wimbledon leapfrog their young rivals in the First Division table and Forest boss Paul Hart could have had few complaints.
Wimbledon enjoyed the better chances in the first half, David Connolly carrying the biggest threat.
Connolly was desperately unlucky not to break the deadlock in an entertaining first half, first hitting a post and then seeing a goal ruled out for a push.
His first effort came inside four minutes as Dons got off to a flying start.
Ardley provided the cross and Connolly was unfortunate to see his close-range header crash off the woodwork.
Forest's Darren Ward was consistently the busier of the two keepers and had to be alert in the first half to keep out efforts from Connolly and Neil Shipperley.
Forest had to wait until midway through the first half for their first chance, David Johnson seeing an effort comfortably saved by Kelvin Davis.
Stern John did go close late in the first half, with a drive across the face of goal, but Wimbledon remained in control.
Connolly did have the ball in the Forest net on 32 minutes as Connolly headed home Ardley's free-kick, but the effort was ruled out for offside.
Wimbledon continued where they had left off after the break and their persistance finally paid off on 66 minutes.
Again it was an Ardley set piece that troubled Forest, but this time it was a defender who applied the finishing touch.
Ardley's corner was flicked on by Darren Holloway to the far post, where Wilmot was waiting to head home his first of the season.
The breakthrough was no more than the home side deserved, but they should have doubled their advantage within a minute.
Damian Francis sent Ardley clear down the right and his precision cross found Cooper in space, only for the striker to scuff his right-footed shot wide.
As Forest began to play more adventurous football in search of a way back, they found themselves more exposed at the back.
Wimbledon should really have increased their advantage, but Forest were spared again by their goalkeeper as Ward saved at the feet of Connolly after a neat exchange with Cooper.
Then, in injury time, Ward produced the save of the game, diving full length to push away Holloway's shot and leave the former Sunderland midfielder still searching for his first goal in 125 games.