Devour Some Good Children’s Books About Oral Health
Reading to children is important for a myriad of reasons, but there’s one you may not have thought about: promoting dental health. Dental caries (tooth decay) is actually the most common infectious disease affecting children in the United States. Cavities in baby teeth can affect dental health for a lifetime, and getting fillings can have painful—and financial—consequences. The best way to help your children avoid dental problems is to make sure they practice good oral hygiene from a very early age.
Picture books are a great way to bring oral health concepts to life. They can help explain the whys and hows of teeth to young children. Some books focus on proper brushing technique, such as Brushing Well by Helen Frost; Brush Your Teeth, Please by Leslie McGuire; and Ready, Set, Brush! featuring the characters from Sesame Street. Author Sally Huss’ Who Needs Teeth? focuses more on the importance of teeth, while other books like Sugarbug Doug by dentist Ben Magleby describe in child-friendly terms how cavities happen.
New experiences can be scary for children, and going to the dentist for the first time is no exception. Sharing stories with your child about dental visits can help demystify the process and may even get him or her excited about going. A number of your children’s favorite characters have books on this topic, such as the Berenstain Bears, Curious George, Dora the Explorer and Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter. If your child does get a cavity, you can prepare her or him for what’s to come with Lisa M. Herrington’s I Have a Cavity.
For older children, losing primary teeth can be a big deal. Help prepare them with titles such as Loose Tooth by Lola M. Schaefer and The Night Before the Tooth Fairy by Natasha Wing. School-age children may also enjoy The Tooth Book by Edward Miller, which takes a more science-oriented (but still fun) approach to teaching dental health.
By sharing these books and others like them with your youngsters, you can give them a solid foundation in dental health—and maybe discover some favorite stories along the way.
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