angry child

Help! My Child Hates Going to the Dentist

            Don’t worry; we here in the dental profession have thick skin. We’re used to it if your child comes in crying or even yelling, afraid of the instruments we use, treatments we apply, and most of all, those dreaded words, “Open wide!” But that’s not a pleasant experience for you, or your child. We want them to know that dental health is a normal and important part of life. Going to the dentist is just something that has to be done—even if we might not always like it. If you’ve been looking for resources to show your little one that maybe going to the dentist and taking care of their teeth aren’t so bad after all, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we have a wealth of resources to offer you.

  • Books to read to your child about visiting the dentist
  • Oral health activities for kids
  • Ways to make kids’ oral hygiene fun

Teaching your child about the dentist early on can help prevent fears and anxieties about appointments later on. This way, you’ll help them build a strong foundation of good oral health. 

Dental Health Books to Read to Your Child

Stories shape the imagination of children. They help to teach them what’s good and bad, what’s normal and what to love. As a parent, why not read them something that will help them see that good oral health is a normal and necessary part of life? If they see a character they relate to in a story going to the dentist, they might just realize that the dentist isn’t so scary, after all. You can use children’s classics featuring familiar characters in this way to encourage your child’s oral health, develop a love of reading from an early age, and bond over some of your own favorite childhood authors.

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss has been delighting children (and children at heart) for nearly a century. In The Tooth Book, Suess uses his signature rhyming and storytelling to educate children on all things teeth-related. But beyond charming rhymes and pictures, this book explains how teeth grow and what your child can do to take care of them.

Child's dentist book

The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain

In The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, the whole family takes a trip to the dentist where they receive cleanings, are inspected for cavities, learn about the different dental tools, and are even visited by the Tooth Fairy! Along the way, they (and delighted readers) will learn the importance of good oral health and how to maintain it themselves. 

Child's dentist book

Franklin and the Tooth Fairy by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark

Franklin and the Tooth Fairy may not have a lot to do with oral hygiene, but it does have a lot to teach about honesty, growing up, and being different. Join Franklin as he discovers that turtles don’t have teeth and that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t always leave money.

Child's dentist book

Arthur Tricks The Tooth Fairy by Marc Brown

In Arthur Tricks the Tooth Fairy, young Arthur loses a tooth and is visited by the Tooth Fairy, which causes his sister, D.W., to become jealous. After many unsuccessful attempts to get the Tooth Fairy to come, Arthur pretends to be the Tooth Fairy to make her feel better. Another great feature of this book is that it comes with stickers to help teach your child word recognition.

Child's dentist book

Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit To The Dentist by Christine Ricci

            Dora’s next adventure takes her to…the dentist’s office! Your child can learn with Dora how a checkup goes and watch as Dora is rewarded for being such a good patient with a special treat. Reading Show Me Your Smile! will help kids see that there’s nothing to be afraid of at the dentist’s office—it can be a fun adventure for them, too.

Child's dentist book

Oral Health Activities for Kids

While you want to help your children understand why healthy oral habits are important, sitting down and lecturing them on gingivitis probably isn’t the most effective strategy. To teach your kids about good oral hygiene, why not turn to resources kids are known to love—Sesame Street? With Sesame Street in Communities, parents have a wide range of tools to teach their kids good habits for just about anything, including oral health.


Sesame Street has great printables available for parents looking to encourage oral hygiene. Printables are images you can print out and make into a coloring book for your child. Not only will these fun activities teach your kids important habits and facts about oral health, but they’ll keep them busy too! It’s really a win-win. We’re big fans of the:

  • Healthy Teeth Coloring Book
  • Send a Smile messages
  • Super Teeth Certificate 
  • Let’s Pretend activity

TheHealthy Teeth coloring book is four pages of your child’s favorite Sesame Street characters engaging in good oral health. You could even toss the Healthy Teeth coloring book in your bag on the way to the dentist—it would be the perfect way to keep them occupied while you wait for their appointment. Send a Smile messages are “thank yous” for your child to color and give the team that helps take care of their teeth. The wonderful thing about these is that they reinforce the importance of dental health, while teaching manners and appreciation at the same time! 

Giving your child a Super Teeth Certificate after their checkup will help them think of the dentist as something that’s fun and rewarding, instead of something they need to fear. You can even include a new toothbrush or tube of toothpaste to encourage them to keep up the good work! With the Let’s Pretend activity, you can roleplay visiting the dentist with your son or daughter. Then, they won’t feel so anxious—they’ll know exactly what to expect. 


After being on the air for half a century, Sesame Street knows a little something about making educational videos that kids love. With these videos, your child can learn good oral hygiene from their favorite friendly monsters. These short videos are perfect for keeping their attention while providing a foundation for a lifetime of happy smiles.

The videos above are just a few examples of the extensive library of videos about oral health and much, much more that Sesame Street offers. Check them out to both entertain and educate your kids!

Ways to Make Kids Oral Hygiene Fun

Kids and brushing teeth? It might seem like a battle waiting to happen. But there’s an ever-expanding pool of resources out there to make brushing and flossing something that’s exciting and fun for kids, rather than something to dread. For instance, Oral-B and Crest have created lines of products just for kids. These oral health basics are designed to get and hold their attention, making brushing their teeth into something they look forward to every morning and night. If you scan the Oral-B shelf, you should be able to get them a toothbrush with their favorite Disney princess or superhero on it, and that should make the bedtime battle a little easier. If you have a kid who’s resistant to mint, try out the Kid’s Crest line of toothpaste! It’s full of fun, kid-friendly toothpaste flavors. They’re also alcohol-free, so they won’t hurt your child’s mouth when using them! 

You can also motivate your child through a good, old-fashioned sticker chart. Let them know they’ll get a sticker when they brush and floss, and if they do it every day for a week, or two weeks, or however long, they’ll be a special treat in store. To help kids know how long to brush for, you can purchase toothbrushing timers that go off after two minutes or toothbrushes that buzz or blink when it’s time to stop. There are also podcasts out there, such as BRUSHY, which are designed to keep kids entertained for the two minutes they brush their teeth.

Wrapping it up

We understand—visiting the dentist can be scary for kids (and sometimes for adults, too). A love for good oral hygiene early on will start your child off on the right foot and show them that the dentist isn’t so scary after all. To teach them that love, you can read classic books with them like Dr. Seuss, Franklin, and Arthur. Do fun activities like coloring and watching videos of their favorite Sesame Street characters. To top it off, get your child a toothbrush and toothpaste with their favorite cartoon characters and in flavors that they’ll love! If you have further questions or would like to schedule your next appointment, please reach out to us today.

About Our Team

Our team of dental experts has well over 30 years of combined experience in the field of dentistry. To learn more about them, please visit our team page or stop by the clinic and say hello!