Sometimes, kids can be a little nervous about going to the dentist, especially if it’s their first visit or they haven’t been in a long time. However, dental anxiety in kids really comes from not knowing what to expect. While choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in working with little ones can go a long way in making children feel at ease, there are things parents can do at home to further help with their jitters. One great way to prepare kids for the tooth doctor is to read about it! Here are some of our favorite children’s books about the dentist:
- Daniel Goes to the Dentist (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) Adapted by Alexandra Cassel Schwartz and Illustrated by Jason Fruchter – This book is based on an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood where Daniel goes to the dentist for the first time. He’s nervous about his first visit to Dr. Plat, who seems like a pretty skilled dentist by the way. Dr. Plat walks Daniel through everything at his checkup and shows him all of the tools and gadgets before examining and cleaning his teeth. It’s a great book for toddlers or preschoolers who are going to the dentist and it also touches on oral hygiene at home.
- My Dentist, My Friend by P.K. Hallinan – While it might be a little older, the reason we love this children’s book about visiting the dentist is because it keeps it positive and isn’t focused on dental procedures but more on the visit itself. While, even the children’s books that do talk about getting a cavity filled are super positive, for some kids, avoiding any mention of fillings is the best route to take. My Dentist, My Friend won’t require any creative editing or skipping over parts. Instead, it’s reassuring and takes kids step by step through a visit to the dentist.
- Curious George Visits the Dentist by H.A. Rey – When Curious George bites into a wax apple, his tooth gets wiggly. The man with the yellow hat takes George to the dentist but since it’s his first time there, he’s a little nervous. Of course, some shenanigans ensue. It is George, after all. The book shows there is nothing scary about visits or loose teeth and the overall message is positive. The book also includes stickers and activities.
- If the Dentist Were an Animal by Rachel Grider, RDH with Illustrations by Summer Morrison – Written by a dental hygienist, this book brings kids along on a dental adventure while teaching them how to keep their smile healthy. It helps familiarize little ones with dental terms and oral health and shines the dentist in a positive light. In addition to the fun, imaginative story, the book also includes a brushing and flossing chart and a dental word search.
- Doctor De Soto by William Steig – Doctor De Soto is a mouse dentist who works alongside his wife and assistant, Mrs. De Soto. He treats other animals and is so skilled they never feel any discomfort. His main rule is that he stays away from “dangerous” animals that like to eat mice. However, one day a fox shows up with a toothache. Kind Doctor De Soto can’t turn him away but he must also make sure the fox doesn’t give into his instincts and have him for a snack when his tooth is better. Can Doctor De Soto find a way? While this isn’t technically one of the children’s books about going to the dentist it is an exceptional book that won a Newbery Honor and was written by the creator of Shrek. Kids can’t help but love Doctor De Soto, which can create good feelings about dentists in general. Plus, you can’t beat the story or illustrations.
- The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller – This fun, engaging book is comprehensive and really accessible. While a lot of the children’s books about the dentist are geared towards toddlers and preschoolers, this book is good for school-aged children too. The book relies on colorful illustrations to teach kids everything they need to know about caring for their teeth and gums and also details what happens at dental appointments. You’ll find a ton of fun dental facts and it truly covers all aspects of oral health.
We hope these children’s books about the dentist help give your kiddo an idea of what to expect and will get them excited about their next visit. For a fun, bright pediatric dental practice in Park Slope and Williamsburg, schedule a visit at Bitesize Pediatric Dentistry by calling us at (917) 397-1341 (Park Slope) or (718) 899-4500 (Williamsburg). To get ready for the appointment, in addition to tackling some of the books on this list, you can even read to your child about the awesome Bitesize gang!