In the continuing series “It came from the stacks”, I present to you three books from the Dental Library that are just fun. They don’t have any great historical significance and certainly don’t have scientific value to a student of dentistry, but who can resist a tale of the “tooth gremlin”?
How a Tooth Moves, tells the story of “the orthodontist’s friend, the Tooth Gremlin”. Published in 1973, this picture book tells the story of a naked little gremlin who moves teeth during orthodontic treatment. He explains to children how the periodontal ligament is stretched on one side of the tooth and squeezed on the other causing the tooth to move and then bone is built up and the tooth stays in the new place. The book ends with the Tooth Gremlin reminding the reader that their headgear and elastics help move teeth too so “you do your part and I’ll do mine!” Curiously, a quick WorldCat query found that only two libraries have copies of this book: University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and LSUHSC-NO.
Another fun children’s book in the Dental Library is Hurray! I went to the Dentist Today by Mark Smoller, DDS. This picture book starts with this rhyme:
“HURRAY! I went to the dentist today
It was more fun than the games that I play.
We went to the dentist, my mother and me.
There were new things to do.
There were new things to see.”
It might not win any awards for poetry, but it does manage to describe several of the pieces of equipment a child will encounter in a dental office in rhyme.
The last of our historical picture books for children is Our Tooth Story; a tale of twenty teeth by Ethel and Leonard Kessler. This 1972 book tells of Mrs. Wood’s kindergarten class who start to lose their teeth. Prompted by this, they read a story, “Our Tooth Story” which describes the students’ dentists’ offices and how to take care of their teeth.
While these books are all older and probably not the books you’d give to a child anymore, they are an interesting look back at pediatric dentists attempt to alleviate children’s fear of visiting the dentist and dental procedures. If you’d like to come take a look at these books or some of our other children’s books, please contact us or stop in to see us.