Educational Resources

Oral Health Education Program Teachers Guide For Pre-K

For children ages 3-4


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  • Welcome

    #welcome (This anchor is only visible on author, please do not remove)

    Dear Early Head Start Educator:

    Welcome to the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® oral health education program for preschool classrooms. This classroom kit is designed to support health literacy, engage families, and contribute to school readiness for Head Start children and families.

    Take your class on an oral health journey with the friendly dentist Dr. Rabbit and his pal, Brushy Brushalotamus. The smiles you share will last a lifetime. You can also visit for games, posters, and even more activities.

    Thank you for spreading the message of good oral care in your classroom.


    Marsha Butler, Signature

    Marsha Butler, DDS
    BSBF Global Oral Health Initiative
    Colgate-Palmolive Company


    Thank You to Our Advisor

    Alice M. Horowitz, PhD
    School of Public Health
    University of Maryland, USA

    Francisco Ramos-Gomez, D.D.S, M.S., M.P.H.
    Director of UCLA Center for Children’s Oral Health
    UCLA School of Dentistry

    Dr. Rabbit
  • Head Start Outcomes

    Inside this Kit

    Be A Brushalotamus activity guide

    Be A Brushalotamus activity guide

    Make Smiles Last a Lifetime booklet

    Make Smiles Last a Lifetime booklet

    How to Have a Bright Smile Poster

    How to Have a Bright Smile Poster

    Head Start Outcomes

    The activities in this guide have been developed in accordance with the skill areas and child outcomes contained within the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework. Each activity is designed to take approximately 15-20 minutes.

    Activity 1: Brush Like Brushy

    Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development Health, Safety, and Nutrition Goal P-PMP 4. Child demonstrates personal hygiene and self-care skills.

    Activity 2: Ride the Fluoride Slide

    Scientific Reasoning Scientific Inquiry Goal P-SCI 1. Child observes and describes observable phenomena (objects, materials, organisms, and events).

    Activity 3: Get to Healthy Snack Lane

    Perceptual, Motor, and Physical Development Health, Safety, and Nutrition Goal P-PMP 5. Child develops knowledge and skills that help promote nutritious food choices and eating habits.

    Activity 4: Visit Dr. Rabbit

    Literacy Comprehension and Text Structure Goal P-LIT 4. Child demonstrates an understanding of narrative structure through storytelling/re-telling.

  • Activity 1

    Brush like Brushy


    1. Show the How to Have A Bright Smile poster to your class.

    2. Tell students that Brushy, a Brushalotamus who likes to brush a lot, wants to show them how to brush their teeth.

    3. Following the instructions on the poster, teach children how to brush their teeth.

    4. Ask your class:

    “When should you brush your teeth at home?”
    Answer: After breakfast and before bed.

    “For how long should you brush your teeth?”
    Answer: Two minutes each time.

    “What kind of toothpaste should you use?”
    Answer: Fluoride toothpaste.

    “Why should you brush with fluoride toothpaste?”
    Answer: Fluoride prevents cavities.


    You’ll Need.


    How to Have a Bright Smile Poster

    How to Have a Bright Smile Poster

    Download poster


    Brushy Says

    Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially after breakfast and before bed

    Brushy ilustration
  • Activity 2

    Ride the Fluoride Slide

    Ride the Fluoride Slide



    1. Explain to your class that you’re going to show them what sugar can do to their teeth.

    2. Divide the yeast into the glass containers. Tell your class that the containers are like mouths and the yeast is like plaque, a germy substance that lives in our mouths.

    3. Add the sugar to the container marked “Sugar.” Explain that when we eat sugary foods and drinks, the germs in plaque eat the sugary foods too...and something happens.

    4. Add warm water to both containers. As you wait for a reaction (8 to 10 minutes), ask students what they think will happen when the plaque eats the sugar.

    5. When the reaction begins, ask students to describe what they see.

    6. Explain that plaque attacks like this may happen for up to 30 minutes after eating sugary foods. But, brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste makes our teeth stronger and protects them from sugar and plaque attacks.



    You’ll Need.


    clear glass
    • 2 clear glass containers, one marked “Sugar”

    • 1 tablespoon (packet) of sugar

    • 1 7g (14 oz.) yeast packet

    • 1 cup of warm water

  • Activity 3

    girls and brushy

    Get to Healthy Snack Lane



    1. Play I Spy Healthy Snacks using classroom foods. For example, say “I spy a round, red fruit.” The first child to say “Apple” gets to describe it. Let children take turns.

    2. Ask students to name healthy snacks they like to eat. Explain that the whole class is going to taste some yummy, healthy snacks.

    3. Let students taste the first snack. Ask them to share what they like about it using words such as green, crunchy, delicious.

    4. Taste two to three snacks a day with your class for several days. Remind students that eating healthy snacks is one way to keep their teeth healthy



    You’ll Need.


    snacks healthy

    Head Start-approved healthy snacks


    Brushy Says

    Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially after breakfast and before bed

    Brushy says illustration

    Let children make grocery lists by drawing pictures of their favorite healthy snacks. Send the drawings home with other key information for families.

  • Activity 4

    Visit Dr. Rabbit

    Visit Dr. Rabbit


    1. It’s time to put on your bunny ears! Play Dr. Rabbit as you act out Brushy’s dental visit.

    2. Choose a stuffed animal to play Brushy. Let children play Brushy’s mom and the dental hygienist.

    3. As a class, role play Brushy’s visit to Dr. Rabbit’s office: arriving, waiting in the waiting room, learning how to brush teeth, getting an exam, and making Brushy’s next appointment.

    4. Ask children how they would feel if they were Brushy.

    5. Let your class ask Dr. Rabbit (you) questions about dental visits and oral care


    You’ll Need.


    stuffed animal

    Stuffed animal
    Optional: hand mirror, gloves, mask, goggles, bunny ears


    Brushy Says

    Eat healthy snacks instead of sugary or sticky foods

    Brushy says illustration

    Have children make posters about why they love caring for their teeth. Use them as placemats during circle brushing.