So it’s time for your child’s dentist appointment and you’re wondering how to convince them that the dentist isn’t dangerous. Here’s a tip: one of the best ways to acclimate children to the ideas of the dentist is through reading. There are a number of great titles out their available for parents who want to teach their kids not only about what dentists do but also how kids can take care of their oral health. Below are a few of our favorites:
The Berenstein Bears Visit the Dentist – What list of great children’s books could be complete without the Berenstein Bears? The Bears and their creators Stan and Jan Berenstein have been delighting kids for 50 years, and this book is no exception. In the story, Sister Bear watches as Brother Bear gets a cavity filled by Dr. Bearson. Then Dr. Bearson puts Sister Bear in the chair and removes one of her baby teeth. The story is perfect for preschoolers as well as first-time readers.
How Many Teeth? – This book introduces kids to losing baby teeth. It starts out with a baby who has no teeth at all and then goes through how teeth come in and how they fall out. It also introduces kids to the importance of preventative oral care. The book’s author Paul Showers wrote a number of children’s books in his lifetime and also worked for 30 years writing for The Sunday New York Times. How Many Teeth? was first published in 1962 but it got a nice update in the early 1990s and is still a great option for kids today.
Brush Your Teeth Please – There’s a shark who flosses and a hippo who brushes. What could get better than that? This book is a great introduction to oral hygiene and can be used for a nightly brushing routine. Be forewarned, however, this book is a pop-up and if handed over to toddlers it faces certain destruction. Read it with your kids but think twice before completely letting them take control of it.
Show Me Your Smile! – This is another installment in the Dora the Explorer series and lives up to the series’ reputation. In the book, Dora goes with her mother to the dentist office, points out some of the office equipment and gets her teeth cleaned. As with all of the Dora books, this one leaves a lot of room for child interaction. When Dora asks questions to the reader, she provides a great opportunity for parents to speak to their kids about the dentist and why going to the dentist is important.