5 Children’s Books that Help Kids Care for Their Teeth (Plus 2 Bonus Books!)
Have some bashful brushers in your household? Perhaps some dentist deniers? Kids and oral hygiene aren’t always a match made in heaven. Whether brushing is too much of a chore or the dentist has taken on the reputation of Big Bad Wolf, it can be a struggle to get kids to take care of their mouths without a fight. But rest assured, the librarians of the world have hope waiting for you on the shelves.
Children’s books are a great way to tell kids about the dentist and dental hygiene in a way that fits right into their everyday routine. For younger kids, just understanding brushing can be a hurdle.
Try these books to make brushing fun, funny, and a normal part of their bedtime and morning routine:
Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron
This book is aimed at the youngest group of kids, from older infants to toddlers, and has words that can be sung or chanted. The idea is to read or sing the book and then transition right into the routine of brushing your child’s teeth, so that the book itself makes the “chore” of tooth brushing fun.
Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl and Oriol Vidal
This book is for kids a little older, and tells the story of Pony learning to brush his teeth alongside his dad. That means it can be an especially great story for dads to read with their kids, but it works for moms (and older siblings), too! A word of caution: the last page does feature Pony spitting on his dad, which might inspire your kids to do the same.
For both younger and older kids, a visit to the dentist can be scary. But even for kids who aren’t scared to go to the dentist, knowing more about what’s going to happen and maybe more importantly, why, can help make them a lot more comfortable with it (and in a perfect world, enthusiastic about it).
Try these titles to explain the dentist in a way that’s both comforting and entertaining:
Dentist Trip (Peppa Pig) Scholastic
This book is for kids from 3–5, and gives a clear, fun explanation of what happens at the dentist, without too much detail that might be confusing or scary. It also includes stickers (and who doesn’t love stickers?).
Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
For kids a little older, this book has a more realistic take on a visit to the dentist, including the idea that sometimes, you have cavities that need to be treated, and that waiting in the waiting room is part of the process. For kids afraid of shots, there is a needle in the book, but everything’s just fine in the end.
Doctor De Soto by William Steig
This book is more of a fun story than a book specifically designed to talk to kids about a dentist visit, but really, that means it does a lot to normalize the idea of the dentist. Doctor De Soto is a mouse dentist who treats all kinds of animals, no matter their size—but one day, a fox comes to the office, and he has to climb right inside his mouth! Your kids will be fascinated by the illustrations of all the different animals getting treated, and it will make the dentist seem like a much more exciting place.
And as a bonus, if you’ve got a kid with a loose tooth, try these two charming stories:
A story can go a long way towards making oral health a little bit more fun and interesting—and a lot less scary.
For more tips on fun ways to help your kids develop healthy oral care habits, check out 5 Ways to Help Your Kids Enjoy Brushing Their Teeth.