June 7, 2021
6 Dentist Games for Kids to Ease Their Dental Phobia
At Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that going to the dentist can be scary for some children. An excellent way to help ease dental phobia is to play some fun dentist games. As a bonus, your little one will learn about the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene practices for long-term healthy smiles.
#1 Role Play
Kids love role play, so it’s a great idea to act out dental visits, especially before a dental appointment. Take turns being the dentist, examining and cleaning a favorite stuffed animal’s teeth. When it’s your turn, model a kind, gentle dentist, and make sure your time is positive and filled with laughter.
#2 Clean the Tooth
Dental cleanings are essential components of dental visits. The hygienist uses a dental instrument called a scaler to remove plaque and grime off your child’s teeth and demonstrates proper dental hygiene practices. So why not prepare ahead? Here’s what you can do. Cut a soda bottle in half and place it upside down to look like a tooth. Cover the tooth with plaque (shaving cream) and hand your child a scaler (popsicle stick) and a toothbrush. Set a minute egg timer and have your child scramble to “clean the tooth” before the time is up. Better yet, have two kids race, and whoever removes all the shaving cream first wins!
#3 Dentist Pictionary
Put a dental spin on Pictionary. You can do that by preparing a one-minute egg timer, a whiteboard, whiteboard markers, and note cards with words such as dentist, cavity, filling, missing tooth, x-ray, dental chair, scaler, mouth mirror, fluoride, floss, tooth bugs, etc. To get started, have your child choose a notecard and draw the word. If you guess it in under a minute, your child earns a point. Take turns trying to draw and guess the words.
#4 Mouth Healthy/Not-So-Healthy Scavenger Hunt
Ahead of a dental visit, collect supermarket fliers to prepare for this activity. Talk to your child about the harms of sugary, sticky, or acidic foods. Label a large construction paper with “Mouth Healthy” on one side and “Not-So-Healthy” on the other. Work together to cut out pictures of foods and tape or glue them under the appropriate headings. Have your child proudly share the masterpiece with our staff during the next dental visit.
#5 Toothless Chit-Chat
Understanding the importance of maintaining healthy teeth will highlight the importance of visiting the dentist. For older kids, challenge them to speak with their lips pursed and not use their teeth. Do it with them and try to have a coherent conversation, which you’ll find is impossible. “Toothless chit-chat” is hilarious and will drive the importance of maintaining healthy teeth to avoid tooth loss.
#6 Going to the Dentist Books
Here are some examples of book titles that will help prepare for the next dental visit and ease your child’s anxiety:
- Dora Goes to the Doctor/Dora Goes to the Dentist by Random House and Robert Roper
- Zane Visiting the Dentist by Christine Reda
- Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Jan Berenstain
- Daniel Goes to the Dentist (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) adapted by Alexandra Cassel Schwartz, illustrated by Jason Fruchter
Quality Pediatric Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ
At Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we are all about providing our young patients with top-notch care in a happy and relaxing environment. Please let us know if your child is fearful of going to the dentist, and we will do everything possible to put these fears to rest. Together, we will establish healthy habits for long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!