It’s not uncommon for children to feel anxious or afraid of visiting the dentist. At the same time, many parents have difficulty getting their kids to adopt healthy dental habits. The following games can help your child become more comfortable with dental checkups while providing important knowledge about keeping their teeth healthy and clean.
Workday Dentist App
This fun, interactive app allows your child to see what it’s like to be a dentist. Kids get to fix cavities, perform professional cleanings and even apply braces. While playing the app, your child gets to learn what types of tools a dentist uses and what to expect during a dental exam. This provides a nice foundation of information that helps kids feel more at ease during their dental checkups. It’s also just one of many fun, interactive dental apps available. Browse through the many options and see if you can find one that will interest your child.
With this game, you get to floss the teeth of a giant. All you need is some Play-Doh or modeling clay, a little yarn, and a large Lego building block at least four pegs long. Use the pegs to represent teeth and smear some of the clay in between to represent food and “sugar bugs.” You can then help your child work the sticky matter from between each “tooth” using the yarn like floss. This is a great way to give a clearer insight into why it’s so important to brush and floss to keep bacteria and food particles from building up between teeth.
Fact or Fiction
Developed by first-grade teacher Mrs. Terhune, this true-or-false game is a great way to help young minds learn important facts and common misperceptions about dental health. To play, you will need construction paper, tape, scissors, markers, and index cards. Cut the construction paper into a pair of extra-large toothbrushes and mark one “true” and the other “false.” Make true statements, such as “It’s important to brush twice a day” and false statements, such as “Brushing very hard is better.” Have your child raise the “true” or “false” toothbrush in response and display the actual answers on the backs of your note cards. You can reward correct answers with stickers to add a little extra fun and motivation to the activity.
These days, there are all sorts of dental computer games that blend education and fun. From dental Bingo and Tic Tac Toe to drag-and-drop puzzles, word scrambles, crossword puzzles and word searches, you will find all sorts of dental-focus games designed to educate your minds and alleviate fear and anxiety about visiting the dentist.
Happy Tooth, Sad Tooth
To play this game, you will need markers, construction paper, scissors, glue, and several magazines. Cut the construction paper into two large teeth and use the markers to make them look happy and sad. Next, go through the magazines and look for foods that are healthy and unhealthy for teeth. Cut out the photos and have your child glue the healthy foods to the happy tooth and unhealthy foods to the sad one.