Both kids recently went to the dentist for their regular check-ups. Our dentist always gives them a report card showing how they scored on taking care of their teeth as well as a reminder of how they scored at their last visit. Both kids are doing well. Of course, they also get a goody bag with stickers, a small toy, a new toothbrush, and a small tube of toothpaste. They actually love going to the dentist because of the goodies they get (plus they get to watch cartoons while they are sitting in the dentist chair!).
I talked to Rachel some more about taking care of her teeth and let her make a tooth puppet. I found this tooth template in her Bob Jones Kindergarten curriculum but you could easily draw your own giant tooth. Just make sure it can be cut into two pieces.
Rachel glued the two pieces of the tooth to a paper bag to make her puppet. She glued the top part of the tooth to the bottom of the bag and the bottom part of the tooth was glued to the inside of the natural fold in the bag. Now she can put her hand inside the paper bag and
She even decided to color his tongue.
I showed her a cross section of a tooth and we talked about the different parts of a tooth. She decided to add some pulp, nerves, and blood vessels to her tooth puppet.
Since Nicholas was sitting at the table with us anyway, I reviewed the parts of a tooth with him as well and let him fill in the names on a picture of a tooth.
Last year we made a model of a mouth so that I could use it to teach Rachel how to brush her teeth. It was a simple idea I got one day while looking at a styrofoam egg carton. It was a white carton and the outside of the egg cups just starting looking like a row of teeth to me. So we got some cardboard and made a model mouth to play with. You can see more about how we made it HERE at Kids Activities Blog.
We reviewed proper brushing techniques and Nicholas even built several tools that a dentist might have out of LEGOs!
It is important to teach good dental habits at an early age but it is also important to find a few creative hands-on ways for kids to get excited about taking care of their teeth.