Teaching Heart's Dental Health Unit / Theme
For Pre K, first, second, and third grades!!!
You have to brush your teeth to have a pretty smile and a healthy body. 
It is important to teach your students the importance of dental hygiene. 
Here are some things I have done and some ideas I have heard about.

Updated Feb. 2009

Watch Out!  Acid Attack

Why do I have to brush my teeth is a common question asked by kids.  And of course we explain the reason why over and over again.  Next time show your students why they have to brushing is so important.    1.)  Show students a hard boiled egg. 2.)  Ask them, "Why do you think there is a shell around the egg." 3.)  Let the students respond.  Make sure they come to the conclusion that the hard shell protects the egg. 4.)  Now give them you best smile and say, "See my teeth?  Just like the egg my teeth are protected.  Enamel protects my teeth the same way the  shell protects what is inside the egg." 5.)  Pour two cups of vinegar into a large jar. 6.)  Have a student place the egg in the jar. 7.)  Replace the lid on the jar and place the jar in  a safe place for student observation. 8.)  Ask the students to predict what they think will happen to the egg. 9.)  Write the students response on a large piece of paper that will be hung in your room. 10.) When 2 days have passed, slowly and gently remove the egg from the jar.   11.) Allow each student to look at the egg and compare their predictions with the results.   Conclusion: Tell the class that the vinegar caused the shell of the egg to break down and become soft, the same way that tooth enamel is damaged by acid and bacteria in the mouth.  Brushing every day is the only way to keep this from happening. Hand out a large tooth for the children to write a sentence and draw a picture to illustrate why teeth brushing is important.   See ya, I am off to brush my teeth.

Mouth Model Three Dimensional Dentures  

A neat way to teach students about the placement of their teeth is to have them make a model.  They will really enjoy this activity.   You need for each student; 2, 2"x5" strips of card stock 12 navy beans 8 lima beans   1.) After reviewing the different kinds of teeth, have the students make a the model. 2.)  Have the students color the strips pink. 3.)  Now she glues the lima beans (molars) and the navy beans (incisors and canine teeth) along the bottom of each strip in the following order.                         two lima beans - six navy beans - two lima beans 4.)  When the glue has dried have the students label the teeth as follows;                         2 molars - 1 canine - 2 incisors - 1 canine - 2 molars 5.)  Have the students then punch a hole above the molars at the end of both strips.  Holding the strips so the teeth touch. 6.)  Thread a length a yarn through the holes on one side of the mouth model and tie the top jar to the lower jaw; repeat this on the other side. 7.)  Now you have two sets of teeth.   NOTE:  Make sure you try this once before showing the class how to do it!

I Know My Mouth

  This activity will help your students understand the placement and uses of their teeth.   You need to Label four sheet of construction paper incisors. Two sheets canines Four sheets molars   1.) After you have discussed some facts about teeth, randomly distribute the sheets of labeled paper to ten students. 2.) Tell the students they must work as a team to organize themselves into the correct order.  The students at the desk will be their judges.             second molar - first molar - canine - lateral - central - central - lateral - canine - first molar - second molar. 3.)  Now that they are in order ask them to name and describe the purpose of their tooth. 4.)  Collect the cards and have ten new students do the same.

    Teeth Terms  

You will need to; Make a large tooth pattern Make a tooth chart to hang in the room with the followings teeth terms   Root - The part that hold the tooth to the bone. Pulp - The innermost layer of the tooth. Nerves - They enter the tooth through the pulp. Enamel - A hard substance the covers the tooth and lies over the dentin. Dentin - A yellow substance, harder than bone, that makes up most of the tooth. Crown - The part of the tooth that you can see. Cementum - Lies over the dentin of the tooth's root.   1.) Hand out a tooth pattern to each student. 2.) Have the students glue their pattern to construction paper. 3.)  Next, have them draw, color, and label each part of the tooth. 4.) For an added touch have the students glue pieces of floss in the pulp cavity to represent nerves.  5.)  Have everyone draw a pink gum line.   IDEA:  Mount these on the bulletin board with the title "TEETHY TERMS



An apple

A stick


  1. Show the children the apple. Tell them to pretend that it is a tooth.

  2. Poke a hole into the apple. Explain to the children that holes, or cavities, can form in our teeth when we don&rsquot brush, floss, eat healthy foods, and visit the dentist regularly. The hole you just put in the apple is the cavity.

  3. Set the "tooth" in the science center. Have the children record what happens during the week by writing down or drawing observations.

  4. At the end of the week, discuss the class&rsquo findings. Ask questions like would you want your tooth to look like this? How are some ways we can keep from getting cavities? When you get a cavity, what should you do?



Yarn for every two children

Dental floss for each child


  1. Explain to children that flossing teeth is just as important as brushing them because floss gets all of the things brushing misses.

  2. Have each pair of students face each other. One student is the "teeth" and the other child is the flosser. Have the teeth person hold his/her hand spread open and up. Show the flosser how to twist the yarn around each finger for a good grip. The flosser then takes the yarn and flosses between the fingers in an up and down motion scraping the sides between the fingers. When they are done, have them switch jobs.

  3. Hand out floss to each child. Have them practice flossing their teeth. See if anything is on the floss.



4-5 Mouth patterns: using posterboard or half of a file folder, create a pattern of a mouth that should look like a large half circle)

Pink construction paper

White construction paper




  1. Tell children that everyone&rsquos mouth looks a little different. Today, they will create their own mouthful of teeth.

  2. Show children how to trace the mouth pattern onto the pink paper and cut out; tear small white pieces of paper in shape of teeth; glue the teeth onto the edges of the mouth.

  3. Allow class to do this. Have them work in 4-5 groups (depending on the number of patterns). Some can tear out teeth while others trace the mouth pattern.

For a Bulletin Board Idea:

Take a close-up of each students mouth(smile). Have each student cut out their mouth from the picture and glue it onto a cutout of a tooth. Have them write a sentence under their smile and on the tooth that describes something they do to keep their teeth healthy. (I brush my teeth after every meal. I drink milk. I use mouthwash. I eat a healthy diet...) After these are completed staple them to a Bulletin Board entitle; look who is smiling!!! Can people guess the smile they see?

Click here to learn more!

Fact Sentence Strips (Available on CD#3) - Have your students read the strips and copy them in a journal.

When I introduce a unit, I always start with a book and then show vocab cards. We discuss each card and then the card becomes part of our word wall. Each unit requires lots of writing and it helps if you have words your students will use in their writing (AVAILABLE ON CD #3)

Have your students write about the tooth fairy and what they think she does with all of thosese teeth. Also, have them describe her and draw a picture of her. Here is a sheet I use to complete this activity. The students enjoy this and I love to read the sheets (AVAILABLE ON CD#3)


My favorite Poems, Songs, and Fingerplays

Got My Toothpaste

Got my toothpaste, got my brush,

I won't hurry, I won't rush.

Making sure my teeth are clean,

Front and back and in between.

When I brush for quite a while,

I will have a happy smile!

Brush Your Teeth

Brush your teeth,

Brush you teeth,

Give your teeth a treat.

Brush up and down and all around,

To keep them clean and neat!

Brush them once,

Brush them twice,

Brush three times a day.

Brush up and down and all around,

Keep cavities away!

Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy

by  Patty McCaslin

Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy

When will you come?

I've finally jiggled

My tooth from my gum.

I'll put it 'neath my pillow

When it is night,

I'll be under the covers, tucked in just right,

One last kiss and hug, then off goes the light.

I Have a Loose Tooth

A wiggly, jiggly  loose tooth

I have a loose tooth

A-hanging by a thread

So I pulled my loose tooth

My wiggly, jiggly loose tooth

Put it 'neath my pillow

and then I went to bed

The fairy took my loose tooth

My wiggly, jiggly loose tooth

and now I have a nickel

and a hole inside my head

Brush Your Teeth

(sung to "Row, Row, Row your Boat")

Brush, brush, brush your teeth, at least two times a day.

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, fighting tooth decay.

Floss, floss, floss your teeth, every single day.

Gently, gently, gently, gently, whisking Plaque away.

Rinse, rinse, rinse y our teeth, every singly day.

Swishing, swishing, swishing, swishing, fighting tooth decay.

Fun Craft Links and Ideas

Make this Smiling Craft

Try making your own Toothbrush!

Make a collage using pictures of mouths cut out of magazines

Try your hand at Toothbrush Painting!

Make a toothy puppet

Andrew's Loose Tooth

The popular storyteller and author of "Love You Forever" shares another funny family tale. Not even the Tooth Fairy can help pull Andrew's loose tooth. But his friend Louis comes up with a special tooth-removing remedy that requires plenty of pepper and a great big sneeze!

Brushing Well (Frost, Helen, Dental Health.)
A simple description of how to brush your teeth, from putting the toothpaste on the brush to swishing water in your mouth and spitting at the end.

Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth/Bate

Draw a pillow case on paper and make 2 copies for each student. After reading, have your students suggest different uses for Little Rabbit's tooth. Then ask students some possible gifts besides money that a tooth fairy could leave. Instruct the student to cut the two pillow cases out. Have them decorate one copy and on the other copy, have him draw the picture of the present he or she wishes to get from the tooth fairy. Align the first pillow over the present and staple along the left edge. When you lift the pillow you will see the gift

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist/Berenstain

To expand on the above story, involve the class in a memory game. Have the children recall some of the tools used in the story; then have them add to the list by stating items they have seen at the dentist office. Now play "I going to the Desntist and I will see..." Everyone sits in a circle, one student begins by saying the above sentence and adding a dental item to the end of it. For example, "I am going to the Dentist and I will see a dril." The next student says the same sentence and adds another tool. Continue till everyone has added an item to the list.

Franklin and the Tooth Fairy/Bourgeois

Your students may have not known (before reading this story) that turtles do not have teeth. What about other animals??? Ask that question and have groups of students choose an animal to research. They should find out; how many teeth their animal has ~ the size of the teeth ~ what the teeth are used for. Have each student write a brief distcription about the animals teeth and then share their findings with the class.

Free To Print

Free Video
Dr. Rabbit and The Legend of Tooth Kingdom
Online Story
Visit the Dentist
Colgate Games For Kids Match a Tooth Game


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