Distraction is a go-to tool in a parent’s utility belt. A favorite snack or a well timed “wow, look at that!” can quickly take a kid’s mind off of whatever is causing their fear, panic, or anxiety.
Books can work wonders for reducing kids’ anxiety as well, which is why it’s a good idea to have some in your clinic waiting room.
LIKE PULLING A RABBIT OUT OF A HAT
Books are like that standard magician’s trick of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. They’re a common object kids can relate to – you reach into the pages and voila!, there’s a story that can help them cope in the moment.
A dental visit requires varying levels of coping skills for a child and their parent(s). Dental anxiety is common, and the more you can do to help create positive associations with dentistry the more likely they are to overcome it.
5 GO-TO BOOKS FOR KIDS THAT CAN SEND A POSITIVE MESSAGE
Must-reads for Dental Practices for Ages 2 – 8
The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
Hey, he’s a “Dr.,” right? Well, not exactly, but most kids (and parents) are familiar with Dr. Seuss’s rhyming perspective on life.
An unsure child can relate to this introductory look at dental care. Kids will begin to relax as Dr. Seuss talks about teeth, dentistry, and visiting the dentist.
Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
Kids are probably familiar with the Little Critters book series. This lighthearted classic follows the main character, Little Critter’s, experience in the dentist’s chair.
This book’s message helps kids feel at ease with the uncertainty of a dental appointment. It’s recommended for a child’s first visit to the dentist.
Curious George Visits the Dentist by H.A. Rey
Who doesn’t love Curious George? He’s always up to something and this time it’s a trip to the dentist.
The man with yellow hat wants George’s teeth to be healthy (like all parents). After a bite into an apple, Curious George’s experience teaches kids about dental hygiene, visiting the dentist, and having courage.
Dentist Trip by Scholastic
Fans of Peppa Pig will get into this story. Peppa discovers that the dentist’s office is a colorful, fun-loving place when she tags along with George on his first dental visit.
Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller
Who said facts about teeth and dentistry had to be boring? This book is perfect for kids who are having their first appointment.
Throughout the book, teeth and dental care are given a positive vibe through engaging graphics and illustrations. Kids who have been to the dentist before but are now anxious about cleanings or treatments will be helped by this resource.
Add These Titles to Your Clinic Shelves Too
My Dentist, My Friend by P.K. Halliman
A step-by-step rhyming guide that delivers assurance that a dental visit is nothing to worry about.
How Many Teeth? by Paul Showers
This classic children’s book is about a journey through tooth development. It shows how losing baby teeth is a positive experience to make room for adult teeth.
The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller
A fun look at dental hygiene with kid-friendly illustrations to help walk kids through the importance of tooth care. It’s especially useful for helping older kids develop some dental independence.
Elmo Visits the Dentist by P.J. Shaw
Elmo takes the “big bad wolf” to a dental appointment. He sits with him while the dental assistant explains what happens at a dental visit. A good read for kids who are anxious about their first dental experience.
MAKE BOOKS PART OF YOUR CLINIC ENVIRONMENT TO REDUCE ANXIETY IN KIDS
An outstanding patient experience for kids and families begins with a kid-centric mindset and the environment that supports it – books included!
Check out these related resources for upgrading, renewing, and providing anxiety-free dental visits:
Set kids and their parents up for a lifetime of positive health outcomes. Create an environment that:
- Reduces patient anxiety and enhances their relaxation
- Primes kids and families for their appointments
- Promotes positive dental care experiences
Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office into an anxiety-free dental experience for kids.