October 9th, 2014
There are several ways to teach and get your child excited about proper dental care. Yet, sometimes the lesson can be learned from simply reading a story. Children tend to enjoy stories that highlight characters and creative illustrations that they can relate to, which is also the same when it comes to books about dental health!
Losing teeth is a rite of passage for children. Many kids are generally excited when they reach this milestone, while some are nervous and concerned about feeling pain with the loss of a tooth. Your child’s first lost tooth can stir up a lot of questions from your little one. Questions that range from “Why did my tooth fall out?” to “Will I talk or look funny when my tooth comes out?” They may even ask, “What replaces the tooth?” or “Is the tooth-fairy real?”
A good way to answer some of these questions and reassure your child that losing primary teeth is a natural part of growing up is to introduce them to books about teeth! A great number of books contain well-known characters and fun pictures that can get them enthused about taking care of their teeth.
It is important to remind your child that even though primary teeth are expected to fall out, they still must be properly cared for in order to have healthy permanent teeth. If primary teeth are lost prematurely as a result of tooth decay, permanent teeth may not come into their sockets properly, leading to other oral health problems. Unfortunately, tooth decay is currently the number one disease that affects children. It's estimated that 40% of children have experienced tooth decay before starting kindergarten. A step toward defeating cavities is to teach good oral habits.
Help your kids appreciate the importance of dental health with these good reads:
- Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie McGuire
- The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
- Franklin and the Tooth Fairy by Paulette Bourgeois
- Clifford’s Loose Tooth by John Kurtz
- Little Bill: A Visit to the Dentist by Bill Cosby
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan Berenstain
- Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer) by Christine Ricci
- Caraboose: The Tooth Fairy Moose by Lynn Swanson
- Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bate
- Truman’s Loose Tooth by Kristine Warm
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
- Going to the Dentist by Anne Civardi
- ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth from A to Z by Harriet Ziefert
- Behold, No Cavities!: A Visit to the Dentist (Sponge Bob Square Pants) by Sarah Willson
These books not only include stories about losing teeth, but also about trips to the dentist, good oral hygiene habits, and the famous tooth-fairy tale. Although some books can be targeted for a specific age group, there are plenty of stories for just about any child.
In addition to books, online games that incorporate dental health can also be great resources for teaching. The American Dental Association offers an animated online book, Visit the Dentist with Marty. HealthyTeeth.org also offers fun experiments and activities for elementary age kids.
Developing good oral health habits at an early age is vital for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Not only will children have practice reading, but also the importance of dental health can be instilled in them simultaneously!
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.