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Laura Keller, Author and Illustrator

Open Wide: Tooth School Inside

May 2000
Ages 4-8 and tight-knuckled Adults


Welcome to Tooth School. Dr. Flossman is taking role: Omar Incisor? Here. Penelope Premolar? Here. Wendy Molar Wisdom Tooth? Here… “Oh goody gumdrops-all 32 of you are here!" Exclaims Dr. Flossman. All of these clean and bright students are sitting at their desks that are arranged to match the shape of the mouth.

They stand and recite their pledge: “I pledge allegiance to this mouth and to the dentist who takes care of us. And to the gums on which we stand, strong and healthy, with toothbrushes and toothpaste for all.”

Principal Fillingston makes the daily announcements: “Buses going home today might be a little late because of some bridge work being done. A tube of cherry-flavored toothpaste was turned in to the Lost and Found yesterday-the cap is missing. And finally, there will be a dance after the big football game on Friday night between our own Tooth School Chompers and the Plaqueville Germs. GO CHOMPERS-we’re rooting for you! Have a great day, teeth.”

The school day begins with lessons on what teeth are made of, a student report on primary teeth, a special visit from the Tooth Fairy, a section on impact of tooth decay after the reluctant teeth refuse to brush , common reactions to cavities [shock, panic, depression, self-pity, fear, anger, blame, denial, acceptance], an important reminder about dentists [a good dentist cleans and polishes…a bad dentist skips work to golf and sends his construction worker brother to fill in for the day], a conversation with the wisdom teeth who are sent on to higher learning and some important teeth in history.

There is SO much wit and humor in this book that it may take several readings to uncover just the tip of wit. No house or dentist’s office should be without this treasure!



Ages 4-8


The first geography book every child should have!