Teddy Visits the Dentist
Teddy Visits the Dentist describes an appointment at the dental office for a routine checkup and cleaning. Miss Molar takes Teddy for a ride in the chair and shows him the various instruments. Teddy has his teeth counted, cleaned and checked. Miss Molar explains what he can do at home to take care of his teeth. Teddy has fun with his Dental Hygienist!
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Reviewed by Gail Sosinsky Wickman for Readers' Favorite
"Teddy Visits the Dentist" by registered dental hygienist Elizabeth Mahadeo is a short picture book aimed at young children about to experience their first dental appointment. It is the first in a series of books intended to prepare children for different procedures, such as having their teeth cleaned or getting a filling. The chronological story line follows Teddy from his arrival in the office waiting room through his experiences having his teeth counted and cleaned by the hygienist, Miss Molar, and his exam by the dentist, Dr. Dentin. The good dental hygiene habits of brushing and flossing are illustrated and explained at a level appropriate for pre-school children. Although the illustrations by Alexandra Barth have a childlike quality that is warm and inviting, they don't come across as professional.
As an introduction to a potentially scary experience, the book does a good job. The main character, Teddy, is sweet and easy for children to identify with; the hygienist and dentist are kind and nonthreatening. The details Mahadeo includes raise natural questions in a child. Teddy has twenty teeth. How many do I have? Between the terms and illustrations, the child should feel comfortable with the conversation in the dentist's office, and parents are given a vocabulary to work with as they prepare their child for the visit. The book's glossary contains additional terms that aren't used in the story. Mahadeo uses euphemistic words for some of her terms, and her choices sometimes seem inconsistent. If she can say "calculus" why does she need to say "sugar bugs"? Overall, it is a useful book and can help calm children who may be nervous.