Research has shown that kids with parents who read to them daily are exposed to at least 290,000 additional words before they begin kindergarten, compared with children who are not read to regularly. Reading to your kids exposes them to new vocabulary and sets them up to read on their own faster and more proficiently. And since maintaining good oral and overall health is essential for children’s overall well-being, reading them books about oral health can kill two birds with one stone (figuratively speaking, of course). Let’s explore 12 fun children’s books that teach kids about their oral and overall health. From humorous stories to engaging illustrations, these books will educate and entertain young readers while encouraging healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
How to teach kids about oral health.
As parents, we have many responsibilities. From caring for their basic needs, setting boundaries, encouraging independence, teaching values, and providing discipline, parents have so much to be responsible for when it comes to raising future productive members of society. And one of those additional responsibilities lies in teaching your kids about the importance of their oral health.
Unfortunately, when you say “oral health” to a child, they’re likely to tune out. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to teach your kids what they need to know about their teeth and gums. And reading stories to them about oral health can be the key to success. Here’s a list of our favorite books that teach kids about their oral and overall health.
Best oral health books for ages up to three.
- “Brush Your Teeth, Please: A Pop-Up Book,” by Leslie McGuire, is an interactive children’s book that teaches young children the importance of dental hygiene through fun pop-up illustrations and rhyming text. It features animal characters demonstrating proper brushing and flossing techniques to encourage your kids to practice good oral health habits.
- “Just Going to the Dentist,” by Mercer Mayer, is a story that follows Little Critter on his first visit to the dentist. The book explores common fears your kids may have about going to the dentist and teaches them what to expect during a dental check-up.
Best oral health books for ages four to six.
- “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist,” by Stan and Jan Berenstain, is a classic children’s book you might have read as a child. The book follows the beloved bear family as they prepare for and visit the dentist for the first time. The story also addresses children’s common fears and concerns about going to the dentist and reassures them that it’s not as scary as it may seem.
- “Dora the Explorer: Show Me Your Smile!” by Christine Ricci, is a fun and educational children’s book that follows Dora and her friends on a mission to find their animal friends’ missing smiles. Along the way, they learn about the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth, eating healthy foods, and visiting the dentist regularly.
- “How to Catch the Tooth Fairy,” by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton, is a whimsical children’s book that follows a young child’s attempts to catch the elusive Tooth Fairy. Along the way, the child learns about the importance of good dental hygiene and the value of taking care of their teeth.
- “A Dragon Goes to the Dentist: A Children’s Story About Dental Visit”, by Steve Herman, is a charming children’s book that explores a dragon’s first visit to the dentist. In this installment in the series, the dragon learns about the importance of dental hygiene and overcoming fears of going to the dentist.
Best oral health books for ages seven to 10.
- “The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums,” by Edward Miller, is an informative children’s book that teaches kids about the anatomy of their teeth and the importance of good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing techniques, and healthy eating habits. It also helps generate excitement about going to the dentist.
- “Open Wide: Tooth School Inside,” by Laurie Keller, is a funny and educational children’s book that takes readers inside Tooth School, where students learn about the importance of taking care of their teeth.
- “Sugarbug Doug: All About Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth,” by Dr. Ben Magleby, is an entertaining and educational children’s book that teaches kids about the science of dental health, including the causes of cavities, the importance of brushing and flossing, and how the dentist can help kids maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- “Behold, No Cavities!” by Sarah Willson, is a fun and engaging children’s book that teaches kids the importance of good dental hygiene. Through the story of a young girl named Olivia and her visit to the dentist, the book covers brushing and flossing techniques, healthy eating habits, and the benefits of regular dental check-ups.
Best oral health books for ages 11 and older.
- “Smile,” by Raina Telgemeier, is a graphic novel for children and young adults that tells the story of Raina’s dental experiences from age 11 to 15, including a traumatic injury that results in years of dental work.
- “Doctor De Soto,” by William Steig, follows a mouse dentist and his wife as they treat animals of all kinds, including a fox who wants to eat them. The book teaches children about the importance of dental hygiene and the value of kindness and compassion in treating others.
Do your kids have other great books about dental health?
Reading children’s books about oral and overall health is a fun and effective way to get kids interested in caring for their teeth and bodies. By exposing children to the importance of dental hygiene and healthy habits at a young age, parents can help them develop lifelong habits that will benefit their overall health and well-being. With the 12 fun children’s books we have explored in this article, you now have a great starting point for engaging your kids in learning about oral health. Remember, healthy teeth lead to healthy smiles, and healthy smiles lead to a happy and confident child!
And the next time your kids have a dentist appointment, encourage your child to tell us about the books about teeth they’ve been reading. We love seeing parents help encourage dental education for kids and can’t wait to add more books to our list. Request an appointment for your child’s preventive dentistry visit today.