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Oral Health Buzz

4 Fun Dental Activities for Children

Tania K. Cowling

Enjoyable dental activities for children can teach kids about oral care. Since children learn through play, stimulate interest with these fun projects.

Stringing Teeth

Children will have 20 baby (primary) teeth and then 32 as an adult. Make a tooth drawing on cardboard (2X2 inches) and use this for a template. Invite the children to trace around this template making 20 teeth using colored construction paper and cut out the shapes. Thread a child's plastic, large eye needle with dental floss or tape the floss to a toothpick. Show the kids how to push the needle through the paper tooth and slide the shape along the floss. String the teeth into a necklace. Secure the ends with a knot. Pieces of a plastic straw can be used as spacers if you wish. Ask the children if they know why we use dental floss on our teeth.

Eat This, Not That! Game

Cut out pictures of food from magazines. Ask the children to find healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and milk. Then look for unhealthy foods, such as candy and soda. Put all these pictures into a large pile. Take two small brown bags and draw a "happy tooth" on one bag and a "sad tooth" on the other. Together, sort out the pictures and place them in the correct bag. Talk about how to improve your diet for healthy teeth.

Happy Tooth Wand

Engage your children in making this cute "happy tooth" wand. Cut a tooth shape from white poster board and attach it to a craft stick with glue or tape. Have your kids create an artistic tooth by gluing on facial features, such as wiggly eyes, a pom-pom nose and yarn or rickrack for a smiling, "happy tooth" mouth. The kids can wave their wand while singing this song or invent a new song of their own. Sing to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It":

If you have happy teeth, wave your wand. If you have happy teeth, wave your wand. Brush them, floss them, leave them clean. Keep the bad decay away. So your happy teeth will smile every day!"

Then discuss why this tooth is happy. You'll be surprised at their answers!

Waiting for the Tooth Fairy

You child may enjoy making a new personalized tooth fairy carrier each and every time he loses a tooth. Give your youngster a white paper envelope to decorate with crayons. Suggest drawing a picture of the Tooth Fairy on the cover and hand write this special note just for her:

Dear Tooth Fairy, I just lost my wiggly, jiggily loose tooth and put it here for you. So whisk it away during the night and please leave a small token for me instead. Love, ______.

Place the lost tooth inside and tuck this under his pillow at night.

Dental activities for children are an excellent way to bond while they learn. Learn more about caring for teeth in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

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