Learning about teeth and oral hygiene can be fun – with the right book, that is! For this post I was lucky enough to collaborate with dentist Sam Weisz, co-author of the book Sugar Bugs. Keep reading to get some tips on choosing the right book from Dr. Weisz himself, and stay tuned after the jump for my top picks for preschool through grade 3.
Times have changed at the dentist. Children today think the dentist is a fun and exciting place to visit. The books you choose prior to and after their checkup, play an important role in the long term health of their teeth. It is important that any conversation about the dental visit is a positive one. They get to ride in a big special comfy chair. They learn about mister thirsty our special suction. They get tooth vitamins, stickers, and a fun goodie bag with prizes. Negative words like nervous, scared, hurt, and shots should never be a part of their vocabulary. That means choosing a book that motivates children to brush is a priority. The research is clear that children with good oral hygiene habits have far few cavities and grow into adults that enjoy easy healthy checkups at the dentist. You will be surprised by the number of dental books out there that use all the wrong negative words and can instill fear around the dentist. Use Katie’s book list as a guide to creating a fun atmosphere around visiting the dentist. Treat going to the dentist like going to the park, and I promise healthier teeth, less visits, and a smaller financial burden at your checkups.
Dr. Sam Weisz, D.D.S (Author of Sugar Bugs)
Connect with Dr. Weisz on Twitter @askmydentist.
Finding quality children’s literature about teeth and oral hygiene is no easy task! I should know – I read almost 20 different books at my local library while researching this list and very few made the cut!
Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller
For kids who like to laugh while they learn, Open Wide can’t be beat. Kids ages 5-9 won’t be able to get enough of this funny, fascinating book. The books covers everything from the anatomy of a tooth to dental care to fun teeth facts, and the illustrations, a mixture of paintings and collage, are absolutely incredible.
The Tooth Book by Edward Miller
Another great choice for elementary-school ages, this energetic book is clock-full of everything kids need to know about teeth! In addition to plenty of tooth facts and a great guide to brushing, flossing, and nutrition, the book also includes fun historical tidbits that will keep readers engaged.
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Fans of this series won’t be disappointed! Sister Bear has her first loose tooth, and plenty of anxiety to go along with it. Her worries go away when she gets to accompany Brother Bear on a trip to the dentist!
How Many Teeth? by Paul Showers
This simple book makes an excellent introduction for preschool and kindergarten-aged kids. Readers will enjoy learning about the importance of teeth in babies, toddlers, kids, and adults. After reading this book, every kid will eagerly anticipate losing his or her first tooth!
Sugar Bugs by Dr. Sam Weisz and Erica Weisz
A boy named Robbie can’t get enough sugary treats, making his mouth the perfect home for a family of “sugar bugs” called the Mutans. Since Robbie never brushes his teeth, the Mutans family continues to grow and grow. Fortunately, Robbie’s parents decide that a trip to the dentist is in order. Can Dr. Sam help get Robbie’s mouth back on track?
What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth? by Michel Luppens
This one is just for fun, but it was one of my all-time favorites as a kid. Three bewitching tooth fairies fly around collecting teeth, begging the question – what do they do with them? The fairies are seen stringing teeth onto necklaces, using teeth to make maracas, creating sets of false teeth, and lots more. Whimsical illustrations and an imaginative story make this one a winner.