Lesson Plans for Smart Smiles: Dental Health Resources for the Classroom
We love teachers. Their dedication for shaping the minds of our little loved ones often goes above and beyond what they are asked to do. So, we wanted to return the favor by helping ease the workload by suggesting a few dental-themed lesson plans to teach healthy habits:
Help Roger The Robot Floss His Teeth
via Delta Dental of Arkansas
Level: 1st Grade
National Health Education Standards: 1, 6, 7
Students will use their math skills to determine the daily code and help Roger the Red Robot floss his teeth.
- Roger the Red Robot story found online
- Roger the Red Robot Flossing Codes sheet (one per student) found online (link above)
- Roger the Red Robot with numbered teeth found online (link above).
- Print one in color on 11 x 17 paper
- Dental floss
- 14 thumb tacks
- Put the Roger the Red Robot printout with numbered teeth on a bulletin board and put a pushpin by each of the numbered “teeth.” Make sure the number is visible.
- Read the Roger the Red Robot story to the class.
- Discuss the importance of brushing teeth twice a day and flossing them once a day. Discuss who the professional is who helps us care for our teeth (our dentist). Discuss what happened when Roger ate junk food.
- Using the Flossing Codes sheet, each day find the code to floss Roger’s teeth.
- Have students take a 2 foot long piece of dental floss and using the secret code, put the floss over the first number, under the second number, etc., and pull the floss gently back and forth to “floss” Roger’s teeth.
Level: Grades K-4
Let students “brush the teeth” (egg carton) using the white paint and toothbrush. Once the paint is dry, it’s time to floss! Work with children to place “plaque” (moldable dough) in between each egg carton crack. Then use the floss to remove the dough from each tooth.
Happy Tooth/Sad Tooth
Level: 1st Grade
National Health Education Standards: 1, 7
Students will identify nutritious foods and drinks that can keep our teeth healthy, and foods and drinks that can hurt our teeth.
- Lead the class in reviewing the importance of teeth and explain that teeth help us chew healthy food, which keeps our bodies healthy, and helps us to learn. The choices we make in our foods and drinks can help or hurt our teeth.
- Help students brainstorm a list of foods and drinks that they think would be healthy for our teeth and why.
- Repeat with a list of foods and drinks that would be bad for our teeth and why.
- Give each student a Happy Tooth sheet and a Sad Tooth sheet.
- Instruct students to choose healthy foods and drinks to write on the Happy Tooth. They can also color a picture of the food beside the tooth.
- Instruct students to choose unhealthy foods and drinks to write on the Sad Tooth. They can also color the Sad Tooth gray or brown and draw cavities on the Sad Tooth.
Introduce this lesson by reading the class books such as “Fancy Nancy and the Too-Loose Tooth” by Jane O’Connor, “Clarabella’s Teeth” by An Vrombaut, or “The Tooth Book” by Edward Miller.
For more dental health resources, check out the National Education Association’s Children’s Dental Health Activities.
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