February is National Dental Health Month, and it's a great time to teach kids the importance of caring for their teeth. You can introduce a unit on dental health to your kindergarten class by reading some stories about teeth and then explaining the significance of good oral hygiene in their daily lives. If possible, see if a local dentist can visit your class to talk more about taking care of teeth. Reinforce the unit with free and engaging dental health activities that will drive home the need for good dental care while also making tooth brushing fun.
Brushing Teeth Artwork
Trace and cut out a large tooth shape from gray, brown or yellow paper. Make toothpaste paint by mixing white paint with some toothpaste and glitter. Give each child a toothbrush with which to paint. Instruct children not to place these toothbrushes into their mouth. Show them the motion for proper tooth brushing technique with a paint brush and the paper tooth. Have them copy that motion and paint their construction paper teeth with the paint mixture.
Healthy Teeth Worksheet
In your unit on dental health, discuss healthy eating habits, what foods are good for your teeth and what foods, like sugary snacks, can cause cavities. To reinforce the lessons learned, give the children Healthy Teeth Worksheets, and have them trace the correct path to healthy teeth.
You will need some hardboiled eggs, dark soda, toothpaste and toothbrushes to complete this experiment. Tell children that the eggs represent teeth and the dark soda represents all the food that is eaten that can stay on teeth and form plaque. Explain what plaque is. Place the eggs in the soda and leave overnight. The next day remove the eggs from the soda and show them the discoloration. Show the children how the eggs can be cleaned using toothbrush and toothpaste. Let them brush the eggs too.
Help teach children how to floss their teeth by pairing children up, with one child using yarn as floss and the other child holding out his or her hand with the fingers spread to be the teeth. Have children practice flossing each finger by wrapping the yarn around the finger and flossing in an up and down motion. After this lesson, if possible, hand out dental floss to the children and have them try flossing their own teeth.
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