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 through grade 3 (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.
Lesson Plans for Teachers to Include in Classroom
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.
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.
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) Eat an apple for snacking, and eat healthy meals; 4) Have teeth evaluated at least once a year; 5) Drink water, aim for "0" sugary drinks.
Dental Health: Plaque Tag