This month was a bad month in the teeth department for my family. My husband is going to need a new crown and a filling replacement due to wear and tear — he’ll be fifty soon too! My son needed a baby tooth pulled last week to make room for a permanent tooth trying to come in with nowhere to go.
PickyKidPix just got metal bottom braces added to her top ones, and needed three emergency pit stops at her orthodontist due to the wire coming loose (because she ate various foods that were slightly too hard). Her new braces means it now takes her twenty minutes to brush and floss her teeth at night.
Grasshopper and Sensei has Invisalign braces, but her most recent dental appointment wasn’t a good one. She’s going to have to brush and floss several times a day to prevent more cavities.
And here I thought we were doing so well because the check ups had been going smoothly!
I always think my kids’ poor teeth is my fault because I passed on my genetics, but since cavities are caused by many different aspects at play, the best I can do is visit the dentist, practice good dental health habits every day and them them to my children.
My own experience shows that it’s never too late to improve your oral health, but, like learning a foreign language, teaching oral health is best done as young as possible! Scholastic and the Advertising Council have partnered to create great lesson plans and activities that teach oral health through science, math, and poetry to establish strong oral health habits at home that I wanted to share with you today!
Teach Oral Health to Kids: Kids’ Healthy Mouths
Goal: Start teaching kids as early as possible beginning in preschool, if possible. Here are some great resources from Scholastic and Kids’ Healthy Mouths to help!
- The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends that you help or watch over your kids’ brushing until they’re 8
- Brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day can avoid cavities, dental problems, and help to have overall healthier teeth.
Toothsavers App: a free finger-swiping game, where kids learn the proper way to brush their teeth while saving a cursed kingdom from a cavity-creating sorceress.
Teeth Books for Kids
First Visit to the Dentist Books for Kids
Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth: A Maisy First Experience Book by Lucy Cousins
We love Maisy books and this is the perfect one for your toddler’s first visit to the dentist. [picture book, ages 2 and up]
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain
I really like experiential books to allay fears and The Berenstain bears do this so well. This is an entertaining story for preschoolers of a cheerful and informative visit to a dentist.
Sister Bear watches Dr. Bearson fill Brother Bear’s small cavity. Then it’s her turn in the chair to have a dangling baby tooth removed. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
Learning About Missing Teeth Books for Kids
My Tooth is About to Fall Out by Grace Maccarrone, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
An easy reader about a young girl who’s about to lose her first tooth. [easy reader, ages 4 and up]
The Magic School Bus and The Missing Tooth by Jeanette Lane, illustrated by Carolyn Bracken
Wanda finds a tooth in the back of Ms. Frizzle’s classroom. It is small and very sharp. It doesn’t look like a human tooth. Who lost it? The Friz thinks a field trip is in order to explore what teeth do and why they have different shapes. [non-fiction picture book, ages 4 and up]
Two Multicultural Tooth Fairy Picture Books!
The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Perez by
The Tooth Fairy has some competition. Meet El Ratón Pérez, the charming and adventurous mouse who collects children’s teeth in Spain and Latin America.
When both the Tooth Fairy and El Ratón Pérez arrive to claim Miguelito’s tooth, sparks fly under the Mexican-American boy’s pillow. Who will rightfully claim his tooth?
This magical tale introduces a legendary Latino character to a new audience and provides a fresh take on the familiar childhood experience of losing one’s tooth. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Tooth Mouse by
I hope these ideas and tips will help get your kids flossing and brushing their teeth the requisite two minutes a day! I know I’ll be looking for ways to stay on top of my kids’ teeth brushing habits! It’s a habit that is well worth forming!
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