If you have kids, it might seem like the milestones come a mile a minute! One minute you’re taking your baby home from the hospital, the next they’re off to the first day of kindergarten.
So many changes happen in their early years — including that exciting yet bittersweet moment when they start to get their first teeth. It’s a real sign they’re growing up!
While your child’s first teeth mean no more long nights nursing or teaching babysitters how to prep a baby bottle, they also mean it’s time to introduce new oral health habits.
To help your child learn good dental health habits, it’s best to teach them why and how to care for their teeth from a young age. But one common challenge some parents may face is their child’s fear of the dentist.
Going to the dentist is a whole new experience with all new people, so it’s natural that your children may be a little hesitant during their first dental appointment. When it comes to preparing your kids for their first dentist appointment, the key is a combination of comfort and education.
Their hesitance provides a wonderful opportunity to learn more about what a kids dentist does, and how they can help you and your family stay healthy and happy.
And what better way to teach them than the most timeless way to share quality time and education with little ones — storytime!
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite children’s books about dental health and going to the dentist, so your child can feel comfortable and excited about going to the dentist for the first time.
Peppa Pig: Dentist Trip (Ages 2-5)
Little ones love Peppa Pig, and who could blame them? Between her caring friends and colorful adventures, we do too!
Peppa Pig is at it again with “Dentist Trip.”
Peppa and her son George are due for a dentist visit and decide to do it together. Peppa has already been to the dentist and is excited to see her dentist friend.
But George has never been and is a bit nervous about his first trip.
In true Peppa fashion, Peppa Pig stays by George’s side every step of the way to show him how fun and helpful the dentist is!
When the story is over, your children can enjoy the fun dentist-themed stickers included in the book.
Vamos al Dentista (Ages 4-8)
Vamos al Dentista (At the Dentist) is a bilingual children’s book that walks your child through each step of a dentist appointment in both English and Spanish.
Whether your child already speaks Spanish or English, or you’d like to teach them a new language early, the English/Spanish combo is bound to teach your child skills that go beyond brushing teeth.
They’ll follow a little girl on her first dentist visit, where her kind and clever dentist shows her all the amazing tools that help keep teeth healthy.
Our new friend leaves the dentist’s office with an even bigger, brighter smile than before.
Elmo Visits the Dentist (Ages 4-9)
Who doesn’t love an adventure with our good old friend Elmo?
In this fun exploration of dental hygiene called Elmo Visits the Dentist, Elmo gets to take an exciting trip to the dentist’s office. But this time, it’s with a friend.
Elmo’s good pal Big Bad Wolf gets a toothache that has him howling in pain. He refuses to go to the dentist because he’s never been, and he’s afraid it might hurt or be scary.
Elmo provides Big Bad Wolf with plenty of comforts by going to the dentist with him. Elmo also shares all the fun facts he knows about the dentist, and why it’s important to take care of your teeth.
Sugar Bugs (Ages 5-7)
Sugar Bugs has just the right amount of humor and adventure to keep young children entertained.
Robbie loves sugar. In fact, he loves it so much, that he lets an entire family of sugar bugs called the Mutans move into his mouth!
At first, the Mutans are fun. They love sugar as much as Robbie does, and he enjoys sharing his treats with his new friends.
Eventually, things take a turn. As the Mutans grow stronger, they start to hurt his teeth and gums.
Luckily, Robbie gets to have his first kid’s dental care experience by being taken to a dentist, who saves the day.
The dentist has a bunch of cool tools to get those pesky sugar bugs to move out of Robbie’s mouth and teaches Robbie ways to make sure they never come back.
For even more fun, download the Sugar Bugs game by Leapfrog, an interactive way to teach kids proper brushing techniques.
Did Dinosaurs Have Dentists? (Ages 5-8)
Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur tale, let alone a silly story about a dinosaur going to the dentist!
In Did Dinosaurs Have Dentists? a child wakes up the morning of their dentist appointment with one important question on his mind: what if a dinosaur had to go to the dentist?
His mind wanders through whimsical situations where dinosaurs have to get checkups and fillings, just like him. Along the way, your child will learn about the dentist’s job, the tools, they use and why it’s important to visit the dentist regularly.
A fun bonus: This book is packed with real dinosaur facts!
Educational Dental Apps for All Ages
The fun doesn’t stop at books!
There are also tons of entertaining and educational games and apps that can help teach your children how to keep their teeth and gums nice and clean.
Ready for some hands-on learning? Check out 5 of the most addicting apps that make brushing a blast >
Brush, Book, Bed
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized the importance of connecting the dots between good oral health, early literacy, and sleep to help children thrive.
Brush, Book, Bed is a program developed by pediatric and family medicine experts to help build simple a simple ritual for families.
As families continue to adapt to new routines and venture out on more adventures this summer, having a regular nightly routine will help keep your family connected and healthy.