Oral Health Initiatives

Dental educators who are either registered dental hygienists or registered nurses, are available to provide oral health education to school children, pre-kindergarten thru grade3 (and older, if wanted). These 30-45 minute lessons focus on the importance of good oral hygiene, proper brushing and flossing technique, snacking and sugary drinks, and safety and sealants.

RHENSOM, with our partners at the New York State Dental Association, also supports and facilitates integrating oral health assessment into pediatric primary care practices.

Dental Health: Five ways to care for your teeth

Academic content: Aligns with Common Core ELA and Literacy Curriculum, Grades K-2: Responding to Literature

 

Background: Although dental caries are largely preventable, they remain the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of teeth. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down. This is when cavities can form. Help students understand the importance of good oral hygiene, healthy snacking, and visiting the dentist, by choosing an oral health book of your choice from your school library to carry out the lesson plan below.

 

Responding to Literature:

K – With prompting and support, make connections between self, text, and the world around them (text, media, and social interaction).

Grade 1 & 2 – Make connections between self, text, and the world around them (text, media, and social interaction).

Informational Text – Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

K – With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, things, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).

Grade 1 – Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

Grade 2 – Explain how specific images contribute to and clarify a text.

 

Activities:

                1. Read oral health book.

2. Have students draw a picture about the story, write 2 or 3 sentences about what they have drawn, and add a descriptive title to their drawing. (Adaptation: For those who may not be able to write their own sentences have them dictate sentences.)

3. Create a list of new vocabulary and discuss. This will vary depending on the oral health book you've selected from your school library: e.g. toothbrush, tooth, braces, dentist, electric toothbrush, dental floss, dental tools, toothpaste, dentures, cavity, gum, crown, molar.

4. List and discuss five ways to care for your teeth: 1) Brush two minutes, two times a day; 2) Floss daily; 3) Limit snacks, and eat healthy meals; 4) Visit the dentist regularly; 5) Drink water, "0" sugary drinks. Discuss what it is like to go to the dentist. Discuss how we care for our teeth. Discuss different types of healthy foods. Discuss the importance of drinking water.

 

Assessment: Collect and review students drawing and descriptive sentences.

 

Teaching Suggestions:

Oral Health Charades: Using the Oral Health Image Cards ask a student to choose a card, but to not show it to anyone else in the class. The student must then perform an action about the picture s/ he is holding. The rest of the class will guess which oral hygiene activity is being described. Proceed to another card when the correct answer has been given. Complete all five cards, and review the five ways we care for our teeth: 1) Brush two minutes, two times a day; 2) Floss daily; 3) Limit snacks, and eat healthy meals; 4) Visit the dentist regularly; 5) Drink water, "0" sugary drinks.

 

Brushing your teeth Eating an apple Drinking water Going to the dentist

Guest Presenter

Invite your local (parent) dentist/hygienist to read the book you've chosen.

Our oral health community partners from the following Counties: Otsego, Schoharie, and Montgomery thank you for promoting the benefits of good oral health to children! Please consider providing feedback on this lesson plan by completing the attached evaluation or an online survey: In appreciation of this feedback your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards.

Dental Health: Plaque Tag

Academic content: Physical Education and Health Science - Dental Health

 

Background: Although dental caries are largely preventable, they remain the most common chronic disease of children aged 6 to 11 years and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth enamel, the hard, outer layer of teeth. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When you eat or drink foods containing sugars, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down. This is when cavities can form.

 

Purpose of Activity: This activity will help students understand that plaque is the yellow residue on teeth when they are not brushed regularly. Brushing regularly and visiting the dentist helps students have healthy teeth. Students also learn the vocabulary words plaque and dentist.

 

Prerequisites: Ability to move throughout the space without collisions. Discuss the four ways to care for your teeth: 1) Brush two minutes, two times a day; 2) Floss daily; 3) Limit snacks, and eat healthy meals; 4) Visit the dentist regularly; 5) Drink water, "0" sugary drinks (also discussed by classroom teacher).

Suggested Grade Level: K-2

Materials Needed: 3 yellow fleece balls, 2 white short sleeved shirts or doctor's coats, 2 toothbrushes

 

Physical Activity: Chasing, fleeing and dodging (various locomotor skills)

 

Description of Idea: Explain to the students that they will be playing Dental Health Tag. Three students are the plaque. The plaque students will be chasing the others with the yellow fleece balls. The yellow fleece balls cannot be thrown but must touch the person gently. If a student is touched with the fleece ball (s)he is frozen and cannot move. The frozen student calls for the dentist to help get rid of the plaque. The dentist wearing the coat and carrying the toothbrush comes to assist and gently brushes the frozen person's shoulder. The frozen person is now rid of plaque and can run. Change taggers (plaque) frequently.

 

Variations: Add other dental health elements like flossing, cavities, decay, appropriate foods to eat, etc.

 

Assessment Ideas: As children exit, ask them to state a way to care for their teeth and ask what forms on the teeth when one doesn't brush them regularly.

 

Teaching Suggestions: Getting to wear the dentist coat is a lot of fun for students, who are referred to as: "Dentist, (child's name)."

 

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities: A smaller playing area might be needed for those not able to run the whole gym.

 

Our oral health community partners from the following Counties: Otsego, Schoharie, and Montgomery, thank you for promoting the benefits of good oral health to children! 

 

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