As always, summer has flown by, and it’s back to school time again. As your kids gear up to learn about reading, writing and arithmetic, it’s a great time to add an oral health “lesson plan”! Here are a few activities for young children.
Oral health is pretty fascinating – especially if you spin it the right way! For example, you can tell your child that teeth are like tiny superheroes: small but incredibly mighty. Incisors can exert 30 to 50 pounds of pressure, and molars can bear down with more than 200 pounds of force.1
To demonstrate flossing techniques, grab a large Duplo-style building block from the toy box and put modeling clay between the pegs. The clay simulates plaque and food stuck between teeth.2 Next, have kids use floss or yarn to remove the clay, showing them proper techniques for flossing.3 Here are a few tips to provide:
- Get between each set of teeth.
- Curve floss into a “C” shape against one “tooth” and slide it up and down, making sure to clean the space between the “gum” and the “tooth.”
- Now do the same to the other “tooth” in the space.
- Move to the next set of “teeth” and do it all over again.
- Don’t forget the back sides!
Have your child use a small mirror and a flashlight to check out the inside of his or her mouth, and then lead a mini anatomy lesson. Be sure to point out the gums, the tongue and all of the different types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars and molars. After the anatomy lesson, switch to art – grab crayons, markers or even clay and have your child make a mouth self-portrait.