It is very important to educate children on their dental health -- making sure that kids know how to brush and floss can save them a lot of problems in the future, both in terms of their dental health and overall longevity. Give your kids a memorable lesson in how to take care of their teeth with these interesting and fun activities.
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Most adults have experienced an egg brushing activity in their childhood. Simply take one boiled egg per student and place it in a bowl of tea. Show the children how white the eggs are before they go into the tea and after an hour, how they've turned brown. Then give each child a toothbrush and toothpaste (and a few paper towels) and allow them to brush the eggs clean. If you want to bring the lesson a bit closer to home, then use cola either in the tea mixture or on its own. Teaching your children good hygiene is easy with this lesson, and best of all, they can eat the eggs afterward.
For preschool children, the concept of microorganisms might prove a bit hard to grasp. When showing children bacteria, relay the information in ways the children can easily grasp. Tell them that the microbes are like little tiny bugs that live on their teeth and need to be brushed away. You can even use a little diddy to help them learn to brush their teeth and to take off the microbe bugs, set to the music of "The Wheels on the Bus":
There's a bug on my teeth, brush him off, brush him off, brush him off
There's a bug on my teeth, brush him off, all around!
Brush up up up and down down down all around, all around
Brush up up up and down down down, all around!
Importance of Fluoride
For children older than preschool, conduct a demonstration on how fluoride can protect teeth. Again, you'll need a few eggs. Take one bottle of fluoride rinse, two eggs, one small bottle of vinegar and three containers. Fill two of the containers with enough vinegar to cover the eggs. Then fill one with the fluoride solution. Soak one egg in the fluoride solution for at least five minutes. Then take the untreated egg and the soaked egg and place each into one of the vinegar containers. Have the children note which egg begins to bubble and which does not. Be sure and explain the acidity in vinegar and how it relates to the decaying effects of sugar and other foods, including sodas.
Floss is Boss
Everyone needs to floss for the best dental health possible. Show your children how effective flossing can be with the following demonstration. Take a rubber glove, a jar of peanut butter, along with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Put on the glove and with your fingers spread, have one of the children put peanut butter between them. Squeeze your fingers back together. Let the children alternatively try to use floss and a toothbrush and toothpaste to remove the peanut butter. Of course the floss will be much more effective, demonstrating clearly how floss is more effective in reaching between teeth.
Educate your children about the importance of teeth by reading them a story that involves tooth traditions from around the world. "Tooth Tales From Around The World" is a collection of cultural traditions in regards to losing a tooth and how teeth are regarded in other societies, especially in folk tales and customs. For example, many parents around the world place their children's teeth in mice nests in the hopes that a new tooth would grow in the child's mouth, as mice regularly grow new teeth. Encourage children to make up their own tooth tale and tell how they lost their own teeth and how they take care of them regularly.
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