Children may grow up, but a book before bed never seems to get old.
Your youngster may not be an avid brusher, but why should he or she be? Little ones usually don't know much about how cavities work - only that they hurt. So, put it in terms they'll understand, like a children's book!
Make learning about taking care of teeth fun. There are a handful of good books on oral health out there for kids. Here are some of them:
1. "Tabitha the Tooth" and "Tanner the Tooth" by Gina Mancini
Dentist Gina Mancini recently published two children's books called "Tabitha the Tooth" and "Tanner the Tooth," which focus on three main ideas: healthy snack choices, good oral hygiene and what to expect from dental visits. As a dentist, Mancini knows that kids are often afraid to pay her a visit. The books' colorful illustrations and fun characters seek to educate children on the importance of oral health, working to calm apprehensive youngsters. Plus, each book comes with a Tanner or Tabitha plush character.
2. "Dog Breath!: The Horrible Trouble with Hally Tosis" by Dav Pilkey
This funny tale is about a dog named Hally, a member of the Tosis family. Hally is a good dog, but she has a bad problem: dog breath! Desperate to keep her, the children try everything to rid Hally of awful breath, though it is two burglars who end up ensuring that Hally will stay.
3. "Just Going to the Dentist" by Mercer Mayer
"Just Going to the Dentist" tells the story of Little Critter on his way to the dentist. His mom takes him for a thorough checkup, complete with dental X-rays. When he gets there, Dr. Ghum insists on filling a cavity, and Little Critter goes through it bravely. Thanks to Little Critter's funny, honest way of looking at the world of dentistry, readers learn that going to the dentist isn't so bad after all. This book is perfect for children ages 3 to 7.
4. "The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist" by Stan Berenstain
Sister Bear wakes up with a loose tooth, so Mama takes the two bear cubs to the dentist. Sister Bear watches Dr. Bearson fill Brother Bear's small cavity before it's her turn to sit in the chair. She has to have a dangling baby tooth removed. It's an entertaining and informative read for youngsters who are visiting the dentist.
5. "Behold, No Cavities!: A Visit to the Dentist" by Sarah Willson
Are your kids SpongeBob fans? Then this book will be right up their alley. SpongeBob can't wait for his six-month checkup at the dentist. That morning he finds out that Patrick has never had a dental check-up, so he calls his dentist and gets his friend an appointment for the same day.
6. "ABC Dentist: Healthy Teeth from A to Z" by Harriet Ziefert
A trip to the dentist's office isn't hard once you know the ABCs of it. In this book, kids learn important words like cavity, appointment, plaque and X-ray. Fun collage illustrations and informative facts make this a great book to calm any child's fears about the dentist. The new edition includes an addendum with activities, frequently asked questions and suggestions for parents on how to maximize the book's usefulness.
7. "Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist" by Christine Ricci
In this cheerful guide book, Dora the Explorer invites her friend to follow her during a routine checkup. She explores the dentist's office, gets her teeth cleaned and even receives a present for being a good patient. As always, Dora uses this adventure to teach her young readers a little Spanish.
These children's books are packed with entertaining characters and insightful morales, and by adding them to the reading list parents can help youngsters digest the importance of children's oral health.