Dental Health for Preschoolers



February is National Children's Dental Health Month! Here you will find dental health songs, arts and crafts, and activity theme ideas for preschoolers!

Book List

Albert's Toothache - Williams
Arthur's Tooth - Marc Brown
Crocus - R. Duvoisin
Dr. DeSoto - W. Steig
Franklin and The Tooth Fairy - Bourgeois
Just Going To The Dentist - Mercer Mayer
Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth - Lucy Bates
Pulling My Leg - J. Carson
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist - Berenstain
The Bully Brothers Trick the Tooth Fairy - M. Thaler
The Mango Tooth - C. Pomerantz
Tooth Fairy - A. Wood


Songs & Fingerplays

Are Your Teeth Clean and White? - Sung to "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"

Are your teeth clean and white?
Do you brush them every night?
Do you brush them in the morning?
Do you brush them at night?
Do you brush them side to side?
Are your teeth clean and white?

Do you floss them good.
To remove the bits of food?
Do you floss them every day?
Like you know you should?
Do you take good care of
The teeth that are there?
Do you floss them good?

~Submitted by Terrea



Arts & Crafts

Toothbrush Painting

During this week you could have them paint using toothbrushes. The kids seem to really enjoy this.

~Submitted by Susan N.

Red Smiles

Cut out red smiles & have the children sponge paint 10 upper teeth & 10 lower teeth. Cut sponges in little squares & attach to a clothespin. It is a nice one-to-one correspondence activity. (Bring in that math when you can! >smile<)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Dental Health Month

Make yellow construction paper teeth. Use white paint as toothpaste (Scent with mint extract for even more fun!) with toothbrushes to brush the teeth clean!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Collages

Magazine pictures of smiles: Let the children cut mouth pictures out of magazines and make a collage. (Not the whole face, just the mouths).

~Submitted by Terrea

Happy and Sad Teeth Poster

Draw a line down the center of a piece of posterboard. Draw a picture of a happy face tooth on the top left half and draw a picture of a sad face tooth on the top right half. Talk to the children about which foods help teeth and which ones hurt them. Look through old magazines together. Tear or cut out pictures of food and put them in a pile. Look at one picture at a time and decide together if it probably has a high or low sugar content. Glue pictures of food with high sugar content under the sad tooth drawing and glue pictures of food with low suger content under the happy tooth drawing.

Fold a small paper plate in half. This will be a mouth the kids can open and close with their hand like a puppet. Using mirrors, have the children inspect their teeth and glue in mini-marshmallows where they have teeth. Glue on a red tongue to the lower half. These are especially sweet when someone has lost a tooth and leaves an empty space.

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Yellow construction paper teeth, white paint ("toothpaste" - I scented mine with mint extract) and toothbrushes. Have chidren brush the yellow teeth with the white paint. I framed the completed 'smiles' with red construction paper lips!

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Group Collage

Magazine pictures of smiles. (Not whole faces, just mouths - any kind - human or animal!)

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

* For an art activity relating to the dentist, cut out a tooth shape from a piece of paper and do string painting using dental floss.
* Or cut a tooth shape out of yellow paper and painted them using white paint and toothbrushes.
* Cut out red smiles and have them sponge paint 10 upper teeth and 10 lower teeth. Cut sponges in little squares and attach to a clothespin.
* Cut out a tooth shape and cover with various white materials...i.e.rice, cotton balls, white puff cereal, etc.
* Cut a toothbrush shape for the children. Paint the handle with a toothbrush and use yarn for the bristles.
* On a paper plate write,"I eat healthy foods for my teeth" and have the children glue pictures of food from magazines.

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Also, take a styrofoam plate and cut out a mouth shape. Then take a ballpoint pen and draw teeth on the styrofoam. Have the kids paint the "teeth" with yellow tempra paint. Let dry. The next day mix up a baking soda toothpaste (baking soda, water and salt - sorry don't have measurements) and have the children "brush" their teeth.

~Submitted by Colleen

Make a healthy mouth using red paper for the lips, and white paper for the teeth shapes. Children can practice "brushing" these mouths using paper brushes. They can "feed the mouth healthy foods by gluing on pictures of healthy foods.

~Submitted by Terrea

Toothbrush Painting

Use a toothrush to make scrap marks on paper or use nail to splatter paint.

~Submitted by Terrea

Bean Teeth

Materials:

*Red construction paper
*Navy Beans
*Glue
*Black felt marker

Preparation:
Draw lips shapes on red construction paper with a black felt marker. Draw a horizontal line across the middle of each shape. Cut lips shapes out if children are not yet ready for scissors. Have children spread glue on the lines in the middle of their lip shapes. Then let them press navy beans on the glue to represent teeth. This activity can be used to reinforce the names of body parts (lip and teeth) and as an art project during Dental Week.

~Submitted by Terrea



Theme Ideas

Dental Health Month

Fold a small paper plate in half. This will be a mouth the kids can open and close with their hand like a puppet. Using mirrors, have the children inspect their teeth & glue in mini-marshmallows where they have teeth. Glue on a red tongue cut from construction paper, to the lower half. These are especially sweet when someone has lost a tooth & leaves an empty space.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Dental Activity

Sensory: Cut the bottoms off of large plastic soda bottles & turn them upside down--they look like teeth! Secure a ten together--I used a hole punch to make holes and used twist ties hold them together. Spray them with shaving cream & give the kids toothbrushes to brush the teeth clean. We did this during our dental week this week & my dck's loved it! I would suggest doing it in your sensory table or in a large shallow tub on the floor to contain the mess! ;)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Making Toothpaste

Materials:

*4 tsp. baking soda
*1 tsp. salt
*1 tsp. flavoring (vanilla, almond or peppermint extract) Add enough water to make a foamy paste. *Put in containers.
*toothbrush
*Floss
*air tight containers

~Submitted by Terrea

Group Time/Math

Graph favorite toothpaste flavors - mint, bubble gum or fruit?

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Dramatic Play

Dentist office (call your dentist for donations!) Discuss and explain what a visit to the dentist office is like. Talk to the kids about the entire process, from sitting in the office reception chairs in the waiting room to the dental exam and teeth cleaning. The National Children's Dental Health Week was established to give attention to the importance of good dental hygiene in children.

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Cut a few large tooth shapes from white construction paper. Glue tooth on poster board. Laminate the teeth. let the kids use dry-erase makers to make stains. have them use old toothbrushes to brush clean.

Sensory

Cut the bottoms off of lg plastic soda bottles and turn them upside down - they look like teeth! I secured a dozen or so together. Spray them with shaving creme and give the kids toothbrushes to brush the teeth clean.

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Have children make their own toothpaste. Provide each child with a spoon and a plastic bag. Place bowls of baking soda, salt and water in the middle of the table. Assist the children in placing 4 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of water in individual plastic bags. Add a drop of food flavoring extract, such as peppermint, mint or orange. The children can mix their own toothpaste.

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare



Science

Staining Teeth

Need: 2 Eggs & Dark Cola

To demonstrate how easily teeth can stain, place one egg in a jar of water & one egg in a jar of cola. The following day, remove the eggs & compare. Talk about how different they look & why. Then use a toothbrush & toothpaste to brush away the stain from the cola-tinted egg. If possbile, give each child a turn (you may need to color more than one egg).

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Hard boil an egg ahead of time. Bring in some dark soda. Place the egg in the soda for a day. Then the next day talk about why we should keep our teeth clean and how to keep them clean. Then we take the egg out. It is discolored, yellow, looks like plaque. Take a tooth brush with a little tooth paste, (thats how to fit in how much they should use), and brush it off. It REALLY comes off. give each child a turn.

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Scrounge some small white ceramic tiles (from construction sites, tile stores, parents who are remodeling etc). Provide children with a variety of food products to smear on the tiles such as: jelly, ketchup, syrup, peanut butter etc, have children brush the teeth with toothbrushes and real toothpaste. Which tiles are stained?

~Submitted by Cheryl of Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare



In The Kitchen

Apple Smiles

Supplies:

* Apples
* Miniature Marshmallows
* Peanut Butter

Cut apple into wedges. Take two wedges and spread peanut butter on one side. Stick mini marshmallows on the peanut butter on one of the apple wedges. Put the other apple wedge, on top (peanut butter sticking to the marshmallows!(apples are lips and marshmallows are teeth!)

~Submitted by Carol

I just recently saw a snack idea. Take an apple and core it and slice it - do not peel though. Give each child 2 slices. Have them spread a layer of peanut butter on one (white) side of each apple slice. Then give them some miniature marshmallows and have them put them on one side in the peanut butter. Then put the other apple slice on top. When you are done you will have a mouth full of teeth. The red of the apple skin are the lips and the marshmallows are the teeth. Hope i made that clear. They are so cute.

~Submitted by Colleen



Links!

Brush & Floss - A Teaching Heart
Teeth Theme - A to Z Teacher's Stuff
Dental Activity Theme - Childfun
Preschool Dental Health Theme - Everything Preschool
Dental Health Coloring Pages - First School




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