Getting braces can be scary, especially for young children and teens. There’s a lot of social pressure to fit in during these ages and braces can make you stand out. Even adults struggle with getting orthodontic treatment! Though most people in the US receive some sort of orthodontic treatment in their lifetime, they’re rarely shown in popular media and literature. At Showtime Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we want everyone to be proud of their beautiful smiles especially with braces, so we’ve assembled a collection of books that address common issues people face when they first get braces. By exposing our patients to relatable characters with braces, we hope they can feel more comfortable with their smiles.
What I Like About Me by Allia Zobel Nolan
This picture book is about all the ways people are different and why we should celebrate those unique characteristics. It’s nice to fit in, but it’s also great to stand out, too! There are colorful illustrations on every page detailing what makes every child special and why they love those parts of themselves. One of our favorite characters loves the way her braces dazzle and gleam in the light. We love this positive message and we think it’s always relevant no matter how old you are. Younger children who may be preparing for early interceptive orthodontics will definitely enjoy this book.
The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule by Mike Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears were a beloved part of our childhood and it deserves a role in our children’s lives, too! Each story about the grizzly bear family taught important life lessons in a sweet, easy-to-understand way. When Sister Bear encounters a new girl at her school in this book, she and her friends ostracize the new student for wearing different clothes, glasses, and braces. Later on, she is reminded of the golden rule, to always treat as others as you wish to be treated. This book is a fantastic way to teach children how to treat other kindly no matter how they look. It also shows how everyone, even bears with braces, deserve compassion and respect.
Braces for Cori by Christine Flori
This is a sweet story about a young girl named Cori who is apprehensive about getting braces at first. After gets them, she realizes she likes the way they look. It’s a nice way to educate kids about the process of choosing and fitting them. Parents can use this as a tool to help younger children understand and normalize early interceptive orthodontics. It also makes going to the pediatric dentist a lot easier. Our neighbors at Kids Healthy Teeth, an office for pediatric dentistry in Katy, TX, love recommending this book to parents if their children are afraid of the dentist.
Aliens Don’t Wear Braces by Debbie Dadey & Marcia Thornton Jones
If you’re unfamiliar with the Bailey Elementary School series, it’s a popular series that follow a group of children who get caught up with a slew of quirky teachers, staff, and students that they suspect of being supernatural creatures.
In this edition, their new art teacher display odd behaviors that make her believe she’s an alien! What makes her seem human is her appearance. She looks like a regular person and she even has braces! In this book, braces aren’t seen as unusual; in fact, they’re the only thing that are normal. We like how braces are depicted as a regular, human feature that’s totally acceptable. This book gives kids a fun, light-hearted approach to what braces are.
A to Z Mysteries: Detective Camp
In this series, three children, Josh, Ruth, and Dink investigate mysteries around them. This time, they go to a detective camp where they learn about forensics and have to follow clues to figure out a real case. One of the campers is named Hunter and he has braces. Though the story doesn’t revolve around him, it’s awesome to see a character rocking their braces confidently around their peers.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Ever have a dream about losing all your teeth? Well, in Smile by Raina Telgemeier, the main character faces this nightmare in real life… kind of. She doesn’t lose all her teeth, but she badly injures her two front teeth on a Girls Scouts trip. Following the accident, she must go through intense orthodontic treatment, including braces, headgear, and retainers. Regardless of the situation, she’s able to find support and love from her friends, family, and most importantly, herself! This heartwarming coming-of-age story teaches universal lessons about appearance and self-acceptance. To the delight of our resident orthodontist, it also features important nuggets of information about the value of braces and dental care
The Babysitter’s Club: Mallory and the Trouble with Twins by Ann M. Martin
Growing up, The Babysitter’s Club was a bookshelf essential for any tween girl. It’s about a group of friends who form a babysitting business in their small town and their struggles growing up.
In this edition, Mallory Pike helps a pair of troublesome twins claim their individuality after they’ve been lumped together for so long. Afterward, she realizes she wants also wants more independence from her parents to express herself. By the end of the book (spoiler alert), she starts shopping for her own clothes, choosing her own haircuts, and even getting braces! We like how Mallory embraces all the things that make her different, including her braces.
The Zack Files: Dr. Jekyll, Orthodontist
Lots of kids are scared of the dentist or orthodontist and the main characters, Zack, is no different. However, throughout the book, we realize the orthodontist is not a terrible monster. He’s just misunderstood and has the best of intentions. This entertaining read can help change harmful misconceptions about the orthodontist that kids may have.
The Fletcher Mysteries Series by Elizabeth Levy
Gwen and Jill are amateur sleuths who investigate curious occurrences in their community. We definitely recommend this thrilling series for our young readers during Halloween in McKinney if they’re looking for a scare!
One of the defining traits of Gwen, one of the main protagonists, is her habit of tapping on her braces whenever she’s thinking about a case. Gwen’s braces might be cool, but it’s also just one of her characteristics. What’s more important than how you look is how you act and what you do. In this case, Gwen and Jill are both smart, inquisitive girls who go on lively adventures!
Including Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Taylor
Alice McKinley is your average teen girl trying to navigate her way to adulthood. Throughout the series, Alice faces common adolescent issues like family, school, hormonal changes, and more.
This book takes place in the fall of Alice’s sophomore year in high school. She’s going through a lot of changes in her life, including her brother going to college, her dad marrying a new woman, and on top of it all, getting braces! Her story perfectly captures the chaos and angst of growing up and how to deal with it.
Love and Braces by Catherine Aimes
Braces aren’t just for kids. Young adults often get braces when they can afford them on their own or after they get their wisdom teeth removed. For our more mature patients, Love and Braces is about a woman in her early twenties who finally decides to get orthodontic treatment at a later age. The story addresses the anxiety and embarrassment patients often feel when they get braces. The author, Catherine Aimes, does note that this fictional book is intended for an older audience, so the main character’s fears of the orthodontist may be exaggerated for dramatic effect. Nevertheless, we think it’s a captivating read that sheds light on the orthodontic process for patients.
Now that you’ve procured a reading list, here’s where you can get them. McKinney has a wide selection of books at the library where you can check them out and if they’re not available there, you can also stop by one of the local libraries. These are our favorites:
Roy & Helen Memorial Hall & Library
101 E Hunt St, McKinney, TX 75069
John & Judy Gay Library
6861 W Eldorado Pkwy, McKinney, TX 75070
Central Park Campus Library
2200 W University Dr, McKinney, TX 75071
Half Price Books
3190 S Central Expwy, McKinney, TX 75070
The Cup Filler
109 E Virginia St, McKinney, TX 75069
8880 State Hwy 121, Ste 100, McKinney, TX 75070
2025 N Central Expy, McKinney, TX 75070
(469) 525-4974, T
We hope our recommendations and resources are helpful for parents and patients at Showtime Smiles Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry in McKinney, TX. One of the best ways to make an orthodontic appointment less scary is by learning more about it through relatable characters and comforting stories. They’ll also help teach your kids about how to better take care of their teeth. Head over to our guide to McKinney to learn more about dental resources nearby or give us a call if you have any questions at all.