With a dentist appointment sneaking up on us and a feeling that this time my daughter could have her first cavity, I grabbed ”Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist” at the library. We have read a number of Berenstain Bear books on every subject under the sun, so I knew what to expect in this book…I trust Stan & Jan Berenstain to enlighten, without frightening young children. For children with autism, knowing what will happen at places beforehand seems to calm them down so they are not as nervous. I always try to get books and movies about new places and new situations (such as a cavity being filled) before we go do it. It really calms my daughter’s fears.
Mama Berenstain Bear and Brother and Sister are mainly in this book with Papa making an appearance only to wave bye from the doorway as they head off to the dentist, and we see him at the end of the book, just waking up. (Baby Sister has not been born yet, I would assume.) The very first page has a little saying about bears taking great care of their teeth by brushing and visiting the dentist. This story starts at bedtime; the picture shows Sister and Brother in a dark room in their bunkbed. Sister is wiggling her loose tooth. Her brother being so wise reminds her of the Tooth Fairy…and to make sure and tell their mother when she stuck the tooth under her pillow.
The next day Brother Bear has a dentist appointment; he tells Sister Bear that the dentist could yank it out. His mother says that the dentist is very gentle. At the dentist’s office, Sister Bear is told about all of the instruments and watches Brother Bear get a cavity filled. The dentist gently takes her tooth out, not with pliers, but only with a piece of gauze and his fingers. Now, it was her turn to hop down as good as new. Sister Bear wants a sucker, but Brother Bear says she gets a balloon as suckers are not good for your teeth. The next morning Sister finds a dime where she had left her tooth and runs to tell her parents.
Brother Bear is the one explaining to Sister Bear everything about her loose tooth and going to the dentist. Mother hardly says much at all about it. All through the pictures we see Sister Bear wiggling the tooth, trying to get it out before going to the dentist. The pictures show the loose tooth looking to be at a strange angle and looks to be larger than her other teeth…actually sticking out of her mouth. She also is talking funny… “thmartie” she says instead of smartie, making this book seems more realistic to children or anyone ever to have a loose tooth. The Berenstain Bears look the same as other books; in this book Mother and Sister Bear are both in polka dots. Mother has on a blue and white polka-dotted dress with matching cap while Sister has on a pink and white polka-dotted shirt with pink jumper, and of course, none of the Bears are wearing shoes.
The smaller snapshot pictures show different aspects of going to the dentist and a very calm, not scared Brother Bear, water being sprayed on his tooth, air being blown on his tooth, the putty concoction being prepared for the filling, and then the putty concoction going into the tooth to fill the cavity. Sister Bear is afraid at the dentist’s office, but is amazed (and very happy) to have the loose tooth pop out without any pain nor discomfort (from what we see in the book). A few sentences to one long paragraph per page, this book would be good for any aged child who is visiting the dentist for the first time. It is recommended that children go for their first exam at one-year-old (if no problems before then). My daughter was really quiet during this book, usually she is not; she was intensely interested in what would happen at the dentist. She has only had cleanings and exams, nothing else.
“Children should visit a dentist for the first time within six months of the eruption of the first primary tooth, and no later than age 12-months-old. The goals of the visit are to assess risk for tooth decay, provide anticipatory guidance, respond to questions parents may have about oral health and development, initiate prevention practices, and schedule the next visit. During a child’s early visits to the dentist, the dentist and dental hygienist can also assess tooth and jaw development and check for problems. By taking their child to the dentist early, parents learn how to care for their child’s teeth. Children, in turn, learn the importance of good oral health care and view visiting the dentist as a positive experience.”
My daughter has been going to the dentist since she was 12-months-old for cleanings and check-ups and is not afraid of the dentist, but having a filling would be different and possibly scary for her. That is the reason I chose this book called ”Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist”! Luckily, no cavities for her at this dentist visit or any other so far!
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