February is Dental Health Month but as we know, a healthy mouth and teeth are important all of the time. Teachers can help children think about healthy teeth while learning. If you are teaching children letters, use words like brush, tooth, dentist, etc and have children find specific letters in these words. Then talk about what they mean.
Help children learn math vocabulary when you discuss brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Many children may not realize the word twice means two.
You can increase verbal skills and help children feel comfortable about the dentist by setting up a dental office in your classroom. Of course we don’t want to spread germs so use stuffed animals as the dental patients. Provide children with toothbrushes to show the animal patients how to brush their teeth. Have them softly sing a song that is well-loved in your classroom that lasts about 2 to 3 minutes, the time a child should spend on brushing. By pretending to brush the animal patient’s teeth for that amount of time, children will have a better idea about the time needed to properly brush. This helps them learn how long they should brush their own teeth. The bonus? More fine motor practice!
|You can add a white coat and mask, too for more center fun AND learning!|
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Send this picture home to help children explain to families what they have learned about dental health.
NAEYC – 2.C.03; 2.D.01; 2.F.07Head Start – IA, B, & D; VIII A & B.