Books With Teeth—Really

I've been reading Les Miserables (which, sorry, I can't stop talking about until I stop reading it, which is due to be approximately never). One of the excellent things about it is the real focus on teeth—you hear about everyone's teeth when you get their character described. Poor Fantine has those pearly "cutters," the old grandfather has every one of his teeth! Then there's some other guy who has "not a tooth in his head." Clearly, there were a lot fewer teeth back then.

And it made me think of  the kids books with teeth. There's Dr. DeSoto. There's Little Red Riding Hood. What else? It's funny, I read Fanny, which is a novel about Trollope's mother, and one of the historical details had her running over to the mantel whenever company came over to stick her false teeth into wax in her mouth.

It also made me think: the dentist (and orthodontist) are such a standard horror for kids, you would think they would feature more in books. I wonder why they don't? There's Freaky Friday (so good!) where her mother gets her braces off, but it's small. Help, where are all the teeth-related books? 

10 thoughts on “Books With Teeth—Really

  1. There is The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
    and Roald Dahl’s poem The Dentist and the Crocodile. That’s all I can think of.


  2. I couldn’t help myself and just bought the English translation of this book! What fun.
    Diamond, there is also Doctor Desoto by William Steig.


  3. here’s another one–Bill and Pete by Tomie de Paola. Not about teeth exactly, but Bill is a Nile Crocodile and Pete the bird is his toothbrush. There are two sequels. I love these books!


  4. There’s this great nonfiction kids’ book called Throw Your Tooth On the Roof, about traditions all over the world for dealing with baby teeth when they fall out. The tooth fairy is very culturally-specific, it turns out. I used to read it in the school library, paired with.. Oh, help, some fiction picture book about teeth, what on earth was it??


  5. Laurie Keller has a book (along with her excellent “Arnie the Donut”) called “Open Wide: Tooth School Inside” which my daughter was obsessed with for about 6 months.


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