One of the many rites of passage no one prepares a parent for: teaching their child the importance of tooth care. Try explaining cavities to a two-year-old who is refusing to brush teeth, or telling a kindergartener that yes, he really must sit still while the dentist pokes around with a sharp metal tool. And even a mature kid can get a bit unnerved when she and her friends start losing their baby teeth.
That's where books come in: Showing kids what happens at the dentist, or what's really going on inside their mouths, gives them a reality check and the tools to helps ease their fears. These toothy tales can help your child through important dental milestones:
- 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 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 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 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.