Teeth Defender – Helping Kids Not Fear the Dentist Through a Game

Dentists may be the most feared people in the medical field.  For those who have perfect teeth maybe it isn’t as much of an issue, but for people who really have to get a lot of work done it can be a miserable experience.  Kids are especially vulnerable to this fear with their lower pain tolerance, and the fact that they just generally scare easier.

One simple way to eliminate fear is to distract someone so that they don’t even notice what is going on.  In a lot of ways that is exactly what games do; they distract us from other things.  Sometimes they distract us from things we are supposed to be doing, but in places like the dentist’s office, they can help distract us from an unpleasant experience.

Students from the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands are developing a game to help kids get through the scary experience going to the dentist can be.  The game is played on a set of special glasses with a simple game controller.  As you may expect the bad guys are candy and soda, and the good guys are toothbrushes and toothpaste.

While the game obviously cannot physically get rid of the fear experienced at the dentist, but it can provide a nice distraction.  It also helps the dentist in doing their work, as the glasses start to go dark if the patient closes their mouth.  So not only does the patient get a little distraction, the dentist gets some help with their work.

The game is still in development, and should be released in a pilot version by the middle of next year.

A more in-depth article can be found here, but it is written in Dutch.