The 10 Best Books to Read to Kids About Going to the Dentist
Transform your child’s dental appointments from scary to fun.
If we’re honest, taking your child to the dentist can be a harrowing and exhausting experience for both you and your little one, especially if it’s their first visit. The unfamiliarity of the dental office can be overwhelming for your child when they don’t know what to expect from their appointment. The key to relieving your child’s fear is often removing the fear of the unknown. By reading books about going to the dentist, you can familiarize your child with dentists’ jobs and tools while giving them an idea of what to expect from an appointment.
Reading books is one of our favorite ways to do this because it provides a lot of information for your little one. Your child absorbs this information and forms a positive association with the dentist while reading about characters and stories they can relate to. If you’re not sure where to start, try preparing your child for their next dental visit by reading one of our 10 favorite books about going to the dentist.
1. Show Me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist by Christine Ricci
In this informative and entertaining book about going to the dentist, the author does an amazing job of keeping the story engaging by asking your child direct questions. This tactic gives your child plenty to do while reading the story, like finding different objects in the background and matching characters with the X-rays of their mouths. It’s not just entertaining, though—it details Dora the Explorer’s entire dental appointment. including the X-ray process, the teeth cleaning, and describing a few common dental tools. Its upbeat and engaging tone helps the appointment seem fun instead of scary, and it’s enjoyable enough on its own that your child will genuinely love reading it!
2. Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
At the beginning of this story, Little Critter goes through the whole process of getting an X-ray, having his teeth cleaned, and even gets a cavity filled. While he’s scared of getting the filling at first, Little Critter soon realizes there’s nothing to be afraid of. Although there’s no grand adventure, it’s a straightforward and relatable look at visiting the dentist, so it’ll let your little ones know exactly what to expect from their visit.
3. Dentist by Jess Stockham
Dentist is a colorful book about a child’s first trip to the dentist, but it also discusses filling cavities and shows a few common dental tools, mentioning details like the sound that the drill makes so that your child knows to expect it. The language is simple and easy for young kids to understand and the book brings up questions your child is likely to ask, making it a good way to bring up the subject of visiting the dentist with your child.
4. Curious George Visits the Dentist by Margret and H.A. Rey
When Curious George accidentally bites into a wax apple and his tooth begins to hurt and wobble, the man in the yellow hat takes him to the dentist for the first time. George is scared at first, at one point even running away from the dentist, but in the end he realizes it’s not so bad and leaves feeling much better. While this book has some solid information about the dentist and oral hygiene, it sacrifices some details to develop a better plot than most books on this list manage. This helps pull your little one into the story, but if you want more details or are worried that seeing George so scared of the dentist will also scare your child, you might want to start out with a different book.
5. The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears is a classic children’s book series that many of us grew up with, adding a pleasant sense of nostalgia to reading this colorful, upbeat book with your little one. During their appointment, Brother Bear gets a cavity filled and Sister Bear has a loose tooth pulled, which might worry some children despite the positive way it’s described. The book does a good job of describing each of the different dental tools, however, which helps your little one know what to expect for their appointment.
6. Dentist Trip by Scholastic
If your child loves Peppa Pig, they’ll love this cute book about Peppa and George going to the dentist! During George’s first dental visit, Peppa helps George see that the dentist can be fun. Admittedly, this story doesn’t go into much detail regarding the dental appointment itself, so your child won’t learn very much about what to expect during their visit. Despite this, the colorful art, simple language, and positive, upbeat tone makes it a good supplemental read that will help ease your child’s dental anxiety—especially if they already love Peppa.
7. Daniel Goes to the Dentist by Alexandra Cassel Schwartz
Based on an episode from the TV show Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, this adorable book shows Daniel’s first dental visit. Daniel is nervous, so his dentist describes what she’s doing during each step of his appointment as she brushes, examines, and polishes his teeth. The book is perfect for young children and covers topics like the masks dentists wear, noisy tools, making sure you open your mouth wide, and even includes a song about how to brush your teeth.
8. My Dentist, My Friend by P.K. Hallinan
This book walks your child through their dental appointment step-by-step, describing each step of the process so your child isn’t taken by surprise at any point during their visit. Although there isn’t much plot for your child to fall in love with, it’s still reassuring and fun, so it’s worth a few reads.
9. The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller
This book is a gold mine of information on everything tooth-related for children between the ages of 5 and 8. It has practical information on how your child should brush and floss their teeth, an in-depth look at teeth and how to handle a dental emergency, and cool trivia. Visiting the dentist is covered but isn’t the book’s main focus, so it might not be the right choice if you’re simply hoping to ease your child’s dental anxiety; still, it has a lot of valuable information for kids who love science and learning.
10. What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist by Heidi Murkoff
This book provides an in-depth explanation of the dentist and oral hygiene while answering questions like why everyone goes to the dentist. It’s more text-heavy than a lot of the books on this list and is best for children between the ages of 4 and 8. There’s a ton of information for your child along with game ideas at the bottom of each page, which is another great way to familiarize your child with the idea of going to the dentist.
It may seem simple, but reading books about going to the dentist can ease your child’s fears, helping appointments pass quickly and easily for you and your child. Instead of leaving anxious and upset, your child will leave the dentist healthy and happy—all for the price of a few educational bedtime stories!