Teaching dental health to the primary grades

Dental Health Activities and Lesson Ideas

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.  Help your students brush up on oral hygiene with these art projects and lessons.

Explain to students that they have 20 teeth called primary teeth or baby teeth.  At age 6, these teeth will begin to fall out one by one. They fall out because the secondary teeth (adult teeth) need space to grow.  When they are adults, they will have 32 teeth.

Have students cut out a mouth shape and draw a tongue.

dental health activities for primary students

Then have each student count out 20 mini marshmallows to represent teeth and glue 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom.

dental health activities for primary students

Laminate a copy of a tooth pattern (download a free tooth pattern here). Give students toothbrushes and allow them to practice brushing by brushing the laminated tooth with shaving cream.

dental health activities and lessons for the primary grades

You can also allow students to practice flossing teeth using egg cartons and a piece of string or yarn.  They can then practice brushing the teeth using shaving cream.

To demonstrate the importance of brushing teeth daily, hard boil several eggs. Show the students the eggs and compare the white color to their teeth. Place several eggs in Coke or a dark-colored soft drink overnight. Show the students the discolored eggs and explain that teeth will discolor and eventually get cavities if not brushed daily. Clean the dark-colored eggs with toothpaste to show students the importance of brushing.

Copy a tooth pattern onto brown or yellow construction paper. Allow the students to paint a discolored tooth with a toothbrush dipped in white paint. See if they can make the tooth clean and white again.

dental health activities and lessons for the primary grades

Copy a tooth pattern onto white and brown construction paper. Give students a white and a brown tooth. Let them search through magazines for pictures of healthy foods (foods that are good for your teeth) and glue them on the white tooth. Have them search for sugary foods or foods that are bad for your teeth and glue them on the brown tooth. Display the teeth on a bulletin board.

OR

This activity can be done using the free Pic Kids app or Pic Collage.  I like the Pic Kids app because it keeps all internet searches kid-safe.  Take a picture or download the brown tooth and the white tooth below.  Insert the brown tooth into Pic Kids and enlarge it to fit the screen.  Have students find pictures of foods that are bad for their teeth and place them on the discolored tooth. You can have food pictures already on your camera roll for them to search through or you can have them do a web search.  Do the same process with the white tooth and have students find and add pictures of healthy foods.  Here are examples of 2 that we made:

toothbrowntoothwhite

Book List


How Many Teeth? by Paul Showers


Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie McGuire


Little Bear Brushes His Teeth by Jutta Langreuter


I Know Why I Brush My Teeth by Kate Rowan and Katherine McEwen


The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss


The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller


Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller


The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain


Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer


Sugarbug Doug : All about Cavities, Plaque, and Teeth) by Dr. Ben Magleby

You may also like:

Integrate common core standards into your dental health curriculum with these fun printables from my February Kindergarten Common Core Practice Pages.

February kindergarten math and literacy common core pages

Dental Health Activities & Books for the Primary Grades

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