Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for helping  students learn about dental hygiene and preparing for a visit to the dentist. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Going to the Dentist topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About Going to the Dentist

Checkup on the Checkup
Talk with children about what happens at a checkup. Have a student volunteer describe what happens in detail, and use photographs from a book or website to supplement the discussion. What is the dentist’s office like? Who did they meet with? What happened during the appointment? What tools were used? You may want students to write diary entries or draw comics about the information shared or about what happened during their last dental experience.

Tooth Decay

Remind your students that sugary snacks, sodas, and juices can cause teeth to decay, or break down and form cavities. Proper brushing and flossing can help protect teeth. But, what happens if you do not brush your teeth? As an experiment, pass around a piece of seashell, a small piece of chicken bone, or an egg and have students observe. They may want to take pictures, draw sketches, or take notes of their observations. Then place the item in a cup of juice or soda. Check on the sample over time. How did it change? Try the activity again using other liquids, such as soda, lemonade, grape juice, or water. Which substance damaged the sample the most? The least? How do substances affect people’s teeth?

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Going to the Dentist

Strong Teeth

Help your child grow healthy, strong teeth and bones by teaching the importance of calcium. Do research on the Internet or at the library to learn about high-calcium foods. Many cookbooks list how much calcium is in certain fruits, nuts, and vegetables. What you discover might surprise you! Create a list of calcium-rich foods you and your child would like to eat or explore. Then, try to eat something from the list every day.

Tour of the Dentist’s Office

When it’s time for your child’s next checkup, ask for a quick tour of the office. Most assistants would be happy to take a child through the examination room and explain what different tools and machines do. If your child is taking x-rays, ask the dental assistant, hygienist, or dentist to take a few extra minutes and explore the x-rays together with your child. The images are fun to look at! Some offices may even email or print out a copy of the x-rays, which can be a fun ‘souvenir’ from the checkup. Encourage your child to ask questions and be an active participant in his or her own dental health.