It’s back-to-school time for your kids, and now that we’ve covered tooth care tips to keep their smiles bright, let’s back up those healthy habits with some good reading material. Besides the importance of reading and encouraging it for our back-to-school theme, books about oral health can work as a way to get your kids excited about taking care of their teeth. With some assistance from you, what they read can inspire them to be more independent when taking care of their teeth. Using books as a tool to teach dental and vision health can be fun and helpful. Books can also work as a buffer for push-back from kids who don’t want to brush or floss. Books can also help calm fears if your child is apprehensive about a visit to the dentist or eye doctor. And for kids who need reassurances about wearing glasses to school, we’ve got a list of good reads for that, too.
Add to your children’s library
We’ve put together a list to add to your children’s bookcase:
Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron, for children ages 1-3, may be helpful if your child is scared or fussy when the little toothbrush comes out. Because it’s a board book, it’s easy for little hands to grip. Cheerful pictures demonstrate each step of brushing, like putting toothpaste on the brush and rinsing with water.
The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss, for children ages 2-5, might be the most recognizable book about teeth because it’s from one of the most adored children’s authors. Another good introduction to dental hygiene for the little ones. The book illustrates who has teeth and who doesn’t and how to take care of your teeth.
Going to the Dentist by Anne Civardi, for children ages 3-5, will teach your kids what to expect when they visit the dentist. This could help with any fear or anxiety. The book explains the different tools the dentist will use during the visit with an amusing and friendly tone. If you need a few more with this subject matter, there are similar ones from character favorites like Curious George and the Berenstain Bears. Famous author Mercer Mayor also has a book about visiting the dentist.
Brush, Floss, and Rinse by Amanda Doering Tourville is for children ages 5-8. The book teaches readers about the importance of brushing and flossing. It describes how brushing keeps plaque and cavities away and explains how flossing keeps gums healthy. Other details in the book include when to get a new toothbrush and wearing a mouth guard for sports to protect teeth.
For the nervous and uncooperative kids
Here’s a few more titles to help if your kids are not cooperating when it’s time to brush their teeth, and if your child is nervous about their first dentist appointment:
Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl (ages 2-4)
Brush Your Teeth, Please by Leslie Mcguire (ages 2-5)
Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth by Lucy Cousins (ages 2-5)
Dentist Trip from the Peppa Pig series (ages 2-5)
For kids returning to school with a new accessory
A book can be a great way to introduce wearing glasses and visiting the eye doctor. If your child is worried about going to school with glasses, here are some recommendations that could help.
Who Wears Glasses by Ana Galan, for ages 4-7, is a fun way to remind kids that they’re in good company if they wear glasses.
The Princess Who Wore Glasses by Laura Hertzfeld Katz is for ages 4-8. The book emphasizes how healthy vision is important to see all the beautiful details in the world. The story presents an eye test and glasses as magical, a great and positive approach for kids.
Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Saltzberg, for ages 3-6, tells the story of a shaggy dog who can’t play catch because he can’t see the ball. Arlo’s story is a way to show kids that glasses can help them do all the things they want to do. The book is also interactive and includes details on Arlo’s visit to the eye doctor.
My Travelin’ Eye by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, for ages 4-7, tells the story of a girl who has an eye condition called strabismus. The book shows the challenges of being different, and highlights an upbeat and creative outlook. The story can be an inspiration for kids with eye conditions.
All these books will coincide with your kids’ upcoming back-to-school dental and vision appointments and provide preparation for the school year. There are lots more titles to choose from, so spend a little time at the bookstore and find the ones that best suit you and your kids.