For many children, a visit to the dentist can be a frightening experience. However, experts who study the role of play in early childhood education have discovered some simple ways parents can ease their child’s anxiety about having their teeth checked. Parents often select books to help children understand new experiences like visiting the dentist. However, buying toys that allow your children to play dentist can be a much more helpful way to ease their fears. In fact, pretend play helps kids in a variety of ways.

Experts emphasize children don’t learn the way adults do. If adults want to understand something involving a medical or dental procedure, they will ask questions, research the subject on the internet and gather information to learn more. However, children learn by acting out and repeating their experiences. This is why the role of play in early childhood education becomes so important. Using a dentist playset allows kids try out the new words they learn from their parents and their dentist. They tell their doll they’ll be taking a picture of their teeth, called an x-ray. Or they might inform their sibling that the little instrument with the mirror helps them see the dolls teeth way in the back of their mouth.

Playmobil Dentist Office

Playing Pretend Helps Kids Feel Less Scared at the Dentist

By acting out these things through pretend play, children ease their own fears and increase their understanding of the process. Toys that allow your child to play dentist will help them become more comfortable visiting their own dentist. They can ease their doll into the dentist chair, adjust the xray machine. You might even find your child trying to comfort their patient and remind them they don’t have to be scared. This is simply your child’s way of easing their own fears and building their confidence to face experiences in the real world.

The Playmobil Dentist’s Office offers everything your kids need to play dentist. It comes with a dentist and a patient your child can use to act out their dentist visit. A cool dentist chair with a light and space for holding tools looks just like the kind you see at a real dentist office. There’s even a little sink where the dentist can wash his hands. Your child can adjust the patient in the dental chair and choose the tools the dentist will use to help clean and examine their small patient’s teeth.

Calico Critters Dentist Playset

Let Barbie or the Calico Critters Help Your Child Conquer Their Fear of the Dentist

Calico Critters has another great pretend play set your child can use to play dentist. Becky Beaver Visits the Dentist includes two plush, poseable beaver dolls and an assortment of accessories. Dr. Ben can move the dental lamp to examine Becky’s teeth as she lays back in the adjustable dentist chair. A rolling cart holds all the special tools he’ll need to make sure her teeth are healthy.

If your child is already a fan of Barbie, their favorite fashion doll might be the perfect thing to help them overcome their fear of visiting the dentist. The set includes Dentist Barbie, Patient Kelly, a dentist chair, stool for the dentist and an xray stand. Dentist tools and a light are ready to use during the Kelly’s check-up. A button on the dentist chair even features gargling and spitting sounds, just like your child might hear when they visit the dentist.

Barbie Dentist Playset

Kids Learn A Lot by Playing Pretend

Parents often don’t realize the importance of play in early childhood education. Young children learn many things during play. Allowing time for imaginative play that your child controls will help them make sense of their world. Parents often struggle to help their child deal with difficult situations and experiences. Yet, if they are provided with the opportunity, children will often resolve many issues and concerns on their own, through pretend play.   

Dental health is so important. Since children should visit the dentist every six months, you want them to feel comfortable. By choosing a dentist play set that allows your child to play dentist, you will help your child become more relaxed and at ease with the routine of visiting their dentist. Next time your child has a dentist appointment, they may not be excited to go, but after playing dentist, parents often find their kids are much less scared to visit the dentist.

Happier Dentist Appointments
Credit: Joebeone