Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February is Dental Health Month

February is almost over, but its not to late to talk with your kids about keeping their teeth healthy & having a lil' fun at the same time!

"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

All the Dental Information You Need to Know:

Brushing and Flossing Demo:

Healthy Teeth- Hands-On Science Activities:

Brief Description: These experiments illustrate the importance of brushing teeth.

Materials Needed:
Note: The following materials represent those required to complete all the experiments below. See each experiment for individual requirements.
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • soft drink, such as cola or root beer
  • dried chicken bones
  • vinegar
  • water and sugar solutions
  • water and salt solutions
  • fluoride (from a local dentist, or a dental supply store or pharmacy)
Lesson Plan

This lesson offers a handful of experiments designed to demonstrate the potential effects of sweets and other foods on healthy teeth. Students might work in small groups to perform the experiments.

Experiment 1
For this simple experiment for primary grade students, fill one container with water and another with a brown soft drink -- cola or root beer, for example. Place a hard-boiled egg into each container. (You might give each student an egg to place in the soft-drink container.) Leave the eggs in the soft drink overnight. Pour out the liquid the next day and examine the eggs. Have students compare the eggs left in the soda to the egg left in the water. How are the eggs different? Why? Students should be able to draw the conclusion that it is important to brush each night to keep their teeth clean and white.

Experiment 2
Before doing this experiment, collect chicken bones and set them aside to dry for a few days. (You might ask students a week in advance to collect chicken bones at home and bring them into school.) Provide each student or small group of students with 2 or more bones. Have student(s) place one of the bones in a plastic cup; then pour vinegar in the cup to cover the bone. Leave the other bone exposed to the air. Let the bones sit for several days, and then have students compare the two bones. What has happened? Why? (The bones soaked in vinegar will be noticeably softer. Vinegar is an acid. It has eaten away some of the bones' calcium.) Students should conclude from this activity that brushing and flossing teeth removes harmful food particles from teeth. Food left between teeth eventually turns to a kind of acid that can decay teeth.

Experiment 3
If you are able to collect extracted teeth from a local dentist, you can adapt Experiment 2 in the following way: Have students brush nail polish onto half of a tooth and let it dry. Put the teeth in a variety of solutions -- including water, water with sugar, a soft drink, water with salt, and vinegar -- to see what effects those solutions have on the teeth. Compare the effects and draw conclusions about tooth care.

Lost Tooth Pillow:

Make Toothbrush Bracelets:
This craft is for older kids, but it is super fun and cute.

A Special Place to Keep a Tooth:

Tooth Fairy Box

Tooth Puppet:

Toothy Puppet Craft

A Healthy Dental Craft & Snack:

Make a Smile Collage:

Brief Description-
A collage of smiles is sure to spread happiness.
  • mural paper
  • magazines, newspapers, and other sources of advertisements/images of smiling people
  • glue, tape, or staples

Lesson Plan-
Before the Lesson...
Draw on a large sheet of mural paper an outline of a big smile. Include lips and teeth on the outline. Students might paint the lips red or cut red construction paper to conform to the outline of the lips.
Then have students collect from magazines, newspapers, and other sources pictures of smiling people. Cut out those pictures and glue, paste, or staple them to the lips of the smile mural to create a smile collage.

Online Games:

Book List:

Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -A Visit to the DentistA Visit to the Dentist (Little Bill)
by Eleanor Fremont, Andy Mastrocinque (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids - Brush Your Teeth PleaseBrush Your Teeth Please
by Leslie McGuire, Jean Pidgeon (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -Dear Tooth FairyDear Tooth Fairy
by Alan Durant, Vanessa Cabban (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids - How Many Teeth?How Many Teeth? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)
by Paul Showers, True Kelley (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -Little Rabbit's Loose ToothLittle Rabbit's Loose Tooth
by Lucy Bate
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids - Open Wide - Tooth School InsideOpen Wide : Tooth School Inside
by Laurie Keller
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -The Night Before the Tooth FairyThe Night Before the Tooth Fairy (Reading Railroad Books)
by Natasha Wing, Barbara Johansen Newman (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -The Story of the Tooth FairyThe Story of the Tooth Fairy
by Tom Paxton, Robert Sauber
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -Throw Your Tooth on the RoofThrow Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World
by Selby Beeler, G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)
Fun Dental Health Books for Kids -What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth?What Do the Fairies Do With All Those Teeth?
by Michel Luppens, Phillipe Beha (Illustrator)

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