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Dental Health Unit

Unit Overview:

In this unit students will learn about teeth, dental health, and proper dental hygiene.

Students will learn about dental health and teeth by participating in a variety of learning activities and experiments that will incorporate reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.


Tooth Poem

A tooth fell out, and left a space
So big my tongue could touch my face.
And every time I smile I show
A space where something used to grow.
I miss my tooth as you can guess
But then, I have to brush one less

-Author Unknown


Unit Lessons:

Day 1: Introduction to Dental Health
- Discuss what your child knows about teeth and dental health.
- If you have one, read a book about brushing teeth/dental health.
- Weekly Reader: "Keep That Super Smile."

Day 2: Proper Brushing
- Discuss how to properly brush your teeth: Explain it should take two minutes.
- Get a stopwatch/timer and have your child brush his or her teeth for 2 minutes to demonstrate how long it should take.
- Talk about eating foods that give you cavities and stain your teeth.
- Egg Experiment:
(4 white eggs: put 3 eggs in a Coke product over night and put 1 in regular water as the control).
Explain that the outside shell of the egg is similar to the enamel of a tooth.
Discuss predictions for what may happen when you look at the eggs again tomorrow.
- Watch the Crawford The Cat Brushes His Teeth video.
- Discuss the video and color the Crawford The Cat Coloring Page.

Day 3: Stained Teeth & Proper Brushingfloss
- Discuss what you learned from yesterday.
- Check in on the egg experiment and discuss results. Compare the soda eggs to the control.
- Brush the soda eggs (with regular water, with baking soda, and with toothpaste) and see the results. Discuss what is the best and why. Also discuss how we can never get the tooth/egg quite as white as it was yesterday. Use the HealthyTeeth.org website to help lead the discussion.
- Visit the Colgate website to learn about teeth and dental hygiene.
- Set a goal to brush twice a day and floss once per day. You can set up a brushing chart to help.

Day 4: Parts Of The Tooth & Visiting The Dentist
- Review good brushing techniques and discuss visiting the dentist.
- If you have one, read a book about going to the dentist.
- Tell your children that you want to show them why it is important to make good tooth choices. We need to take care of our teeth daily and visit the dentist to remove the buildup of plaque. To do this, tell them that we are going to do another experiment to show what happens to your teeth when you don't brush, leaving sugar and acids on your teeth (put an egg in a cup of vinegar overnight). Predict what might happen to the egg.
- Start a discussion about different types of teeth and discuss the jobs for each type of tooth. Use the HealthyTeeth.org site to help lead the discussion. Show your child the tooth diagram and discuss the parts of a tooth and the parts of the teeth that frequently get missed when brushing.

Day 5: Poem & Review
- Read the Tooth Poem (under the Unit Overview section of this page). Discuss.
- Check in on the vinegar egg experiment. Discuss the results and apply it to real teeth.
- Explore the HealthyTeeth.org site.

Additional Resources:

Great Dental Health Children's Books:

Tooth Trouble by Jane Clark and Cecilia Johanasson

Why Do I Brush My Teeth by Angela Royston

You Think It's Easy Being The Tooth Fairy? by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt

The Night Before The Tooth Fairy by Natasha Wing

My Tooth Is About To Fall Out by Grace Maccarone

Nice Try, Tooth Fairy by Mary W. Olson

Just Going To The Dentist by Mercer Mayer


Dental Health Websites:

Crawford the Cat

Colgate Kids