One of the many rites of passage no one prepares a parent for: teaching their child proper tooth care. Nary a parent will make it through the terrible twos without a child refusing to brush his teeth, no matter how many Elmo toothbrushes you try to bribe him with. And then there's your child's first trip to the dentist, which can raise a lot of questions: "What will the dentist do?", "Will it hurt?", and even "Why am I going?" (Pre-dentist appointment jitters are a given — even many adults still harbor a fear of the dentist!) Even a mature kid can get a bit unnerved when she and her friends start losing their baby teeth. Help ease your child's worries with our list of toothy tales:
- For the first-time dentist visit, try Going to the Dentist by Anne Civardi, which follows siblings Jake and Jessie as they make a visit to the dentist and learn what can happen when you don't take care of your teeth. This dual-reader is built with two separate texts: one you can read aloud to your child, and a simpler text your child can read himself. This delightful, lesson-packed picture book will demystify what exactly happens in the dentist chair.
- For your child's first lost tooth, introduce her to the wonders of the Tooth Fairy with Peppa Pig: The Tooth Fairy. Everyone's favorite talkative pig loses her first tooth, and the story does an extraordinary job of explaining the whole process: the importance of brushing twice a day, the "clatter" of Peppa's tooth falling out, Peppa's dismay as she spots the gap in her teeth, and Mommy Pig's soothing explanation. (And yes, the tooth fairy does make a special appearance as Peppa sleeps!)
- For the kid who loves science and learning, try the educational The Magic School Bus and the Missing Tooth. Your child will learn all about teeth from Ms. Frizzle herself: what teeth do, why they look how they do, and much more!
- For the kid obsessed with fairies, Daisy Meadows's Rainbow Magic Special Edition: Brianna the Tooth Fairy will be right up her alley! Icy Jack Frost is suffering from a toothache, and he decides the only cure is to take away Brianna the Tooth Fairy's magic! Read as Brianna teams up with a young girl who's lost a tooth in order to regain her tooth fairy magic.