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  • Writer's pictureDr. Peter - Pediatric Dentist in Arlington, Virginia

Best Kids Books For a Dentist Visit – First Dental Visit & More

Dr. Peter, pediatric dentist at VK Pediatric Dentistry in Arlington, VA often gets the question from parents: “What can I do to make sure my child has a good first dental visit?” Well, the key to a successful visit (other than choosing VK Pediatric Dentistry as your dental home) is to prepare your child beforehand! We do everything possible at our office to make your visits as stress-free as possible (health history forms are able to be completed before your appointment in the comfort of your own home, private sound proof rooms with one on one attention, a kid friendly atmosphere with stuffed animals, fun decorations, and more), but a little at-home preparation can go a long way to ensure success!

One of our favorite ways to prepare your loved little ones for their first visit to a pediatric dentist is to have story time and read books together. There are quite a few positive, fun books out there to help guide your children through what they might experience at their first visit to a dentist. Preventing fears of the dentist from an early age is especially important for encouraging a child’s future overall oral health. Letting kids know what to expect, getting accustomed the new sounds and sights of a dental office, and letting them know that nothing will hurt can improve a child’s behavior drastically. Make it fun, make it exciting, and it will be!

Here are some of our favorite child friendly dental books and our favorite books for a child's first dental visit:

Show Me Your Smile, Dora Goes To The Dentist:

This is one of our favorite books to read little ones before their first trip to a pediatric dentist. Dora talks all about her trip to the dentist and asks the read to look for things in the colorful illustrations (as well as a few commands like “open wide”). The book also mentions cavities in an easy to understand way without going into too much detail. This is a great first book and can go a long way to help children conquer their first dental visit with no tears and all smiles!

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss:

A classic piece of literature that is short, funny, and easy to follow. In Dr. Seuss style, the book is incredibly fun for young children to learn about teeth. It is a perfect book for really any young age and can help get a child interested in their own teeth and oral hygiene. The book also has a ‘board book’ version along with the hardcore but make sure you get the original that has the correct illustrations!

"Only brush the teeth you want to keep" - Dr. Seuss 

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist

Dr. Peter grew up reading the Berenstain Bears and we are so glad they have a visiting the dentist book. The Bears go on an adventure to the dentist and have the whole family get their teeth checked (and even have a surprise visit from the tooth fairy). We especially like this book because it introduces a nice dentist as well as the equipment a child would see at the dentist (chair, mirror, air water squirter, etc.) Just be aware, sister does have a tooth pulled in the story so if your child is very young, we would recommend possibly starting with Dora Goes to the Dentist or Dr. Seuss. This is a great to read if your child needs a filling, extraction, or any dental work done other than a first visit or cleaning.

Brush Your Teeth Please:

This is a perfect popup book for teaching children brushing using fun, pop-up animals and colorful illustrations and can help in conjunction with any of the other books on this list. We use this in our office for children that are 2-3 years old for an exciting way to discuss oral hygiene and proper habits. The book is interactive so it’s great for hands on learning and helping children get excited about their oral hygiene. PS. Children at this age can do really well when you use anthropomorphism – IE: “Can you open your mouth big like a lion/alligator?” instead of just saying “open your mouth” because they may not know how to do what you’re asking.

Curious George Visits The Dentist:

This is a great book for when children are starting to get their first loose teeth and may be a bit apprehensive. This entertaining book follows George after he bites into an apple and his tooth begins to hurt. George shows his loose tooth to The Man with the Yellow Hat, and has a visit to the dentist. This is a great book to help younger children not be afraid when they have a loose, wiggling tooth and shows that a visit to a pediatric dentist can be fun after all!

Off We Go To The Dentist:

The author of this book has a son with special needs and wrote an entire book series to help him adjust to his new life experiences. This book is an excellent resource for any children with special needs, children for whom English is a second language, or for young toddlers. This entire series can be a great resource for parents, occupational therapists, teachers, and aides to read aloud to children with autism, Down syndrome, sensory processing difficulties, or speech and language delays. This book has easy to understand text as well as touches on some of potential sensory issues (bright lights) kids may experience at their dental visits.

Behold, No Cavities:

If your child is old enough to watch cartoons and has seen Spongebob, they will most likely love this book! A very fun book for kids that describes Spongebob's visit to the dentist when he finds out his friend Patrick has never gone! This book is wonderfully entertaining and also introduces some kid friendly terminology our pediatric dental team may use at your child's appoint such as saying "Mr. Thirsty" instead of a low speed suction and more!

Daniel Goes To The Dentist:

An excellent book for children before their first visit to the dentist. This is a great book for any children that love Daniel Tiger (or love animals) and want an easy to follow, friendly story with Daniel Tiger going to the dentist. The book does a great job of keeping things simple and fun without overwhelming or too many details and makes for a great first book for your toddler. We recommend this for the youngest age group.

Doctor De Soto:

This is not for the youngest of kids but this book is Dr. Peter's favorite book on the list. We would recommend this for a slightly older age but written by William Steig (the creator of Shrek), Doctor De Soto is a wildly entertaining story of a clever, capable mouse treating a fox with some tooth pain. This book won a Newbery Honor Award and is one of our favorite stories of all time. We promise you'll have as much fun reading this as an adult as your children will at bedtime!

Ps. Often parents will refer to us as ‘a doctor for their teeth’ but most of the time we prefer to be known as a ‘pediatric dentist,’ ‘kids dentist,’ or ‘children’s dentist’. Why? We want visits to the dentist to be as fun, knowledgeable, and exciting as possible. Sometimes kids can associate our white coats with visits to the other colleagues wearing white coats where children may get flu shots, vaccines, etc., and we want them to be excited to see us - not filled with anxiety or fear! We are passionate about children’s oral health and want kids to be excited to take care of their teeth. That starts with pleasant, pain-free visits to a pediatric dentist.

VK Pediatric Dentistry

5001 Langston Blvd, Arlington VA 22207

Schedule An Appointment Today in Arlington, Virginia at VK Pediatric Dentistry

If you haven't taken your child to a pediatric dentist yet or would like to schedule an appointment, Dr. Peter and the highly skilled team at VK Pediatric Dentistry are just a phone call away. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 703-962-7814. We look forward to providing your children a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles!!


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