Dental Health Activities or Teeth Week

February is Dental Health Month and I usually do a small  unit on keeping our teeth healthy. I had so many cavities as a kid that it is my personal mission to help other kids by teaching them how important it is to brush morning and night, and to not eat too much candy and soda pop. 

These hippos turn out cute…notice the 20 baby teeth and the “tusks”

So we have a class discussion about things that are healthy for teeth, and things you can have as a special treat once in awhile.  We start off like usual, reading a few books on the subject. Here are a few of my favorites. We also get the Weekly Reader or Scholastic News and it usually has a February Dental Health issue to read.  We put up some vocabulary words like primary teeth, molars, dental floss, cavity, 32 Adult teeth, and put the definitions in the pocket chart to learn for the week. 

Arthur’s Loose Tooth 
The Tooth FairyTells All
Make Way for Tooth Decay
The Tusk Fairy
The Lost Tooth Club
Tooth Trouble

This little tooth fairy box I made using the tutorial on Martha Stewart’s website LINK HERE
For the tooth fairy box in the picture above I just made the Martha Stewart design a lot smaller. It is easy to do. Kids can even make it, although it takes too much time. It’s a good parent project though. And the kids would love to take their teeth home in it when they fall out at school. 🙂

Class bulletin board…The kids listed facts they learned on the “tooth”

This gray Hippo  has a big mouth full of 20 baby teeth. His 4 tusks are made of marshmallows. His ears and eyes are shaped using a yellow pattern block hexagon. Kids chose their colors. I used Walmart dot stickers for the nose holes and eyeball insides. The paper color is gray.

We put a Shel Silverstein poem on “How to Make a Hippo Sandwich” on the back as well as hippopotamus jokes. That’s always fun reading jokes to each other…. I always combine art with shared reading. Shared reading can be songs or poems or jokes, that type of thing….just to practice READING together as a class!The ears on the hippo are hexagon shaped (use a yellow pattern block and trace it) and the face is pear shaped.

Check out Pinterest HERE for teeth picture 

I used an oval shape for the “snout” and they fold down a bit and attach it with glue over the top. Inside is a pink oval about 1/2 inch smaller than snout oval. Then we glue on the marshmallows inside and a picture of teeth. Check out Pinterest HERE for many pictures of primary teeth and what age they erupt in the mouth and when kids lose them. You could also glue that part of the chart (after using teeth pic) onto the back so kids know when to expect teeth falling out.

he haw the kids laughed at most of these…some they didn’t get I think !?
We glued this poem on the back of our Hippo Art…

Another of my favorite arts is watercoloring on a Tooth Fairy blackline.  We add glitter to her wand and wings,  then cut her out when she has dried. We back her with pastel butcher paper in yellow, pink, light blue and lavender. Then we write her letters asking questions.  It’s always a hit.

Tooth Fairy Watercolor art project 

We added glitter to our tooth fairy watercolor art 

These Tooth Fairies will go in our portfolios….


Brainstorm as a class what you’d like to ask the Tooth Fairy. My students have usually lost at least one tooth so they know what it’s all about. We then write letters to the fairy and go through the whole writing process, editing and rewriting on “Tooth Fairy” paper. We are going to see if she writes us back…do YOU think she will? We are leaving the letters on top of our desks for the whole weekend….we will see….

Letters to the Tooth Fairy…very nosy indeed!  hehe

Tooth Fairy Letters 
When we came in on Monday…We got fairy letters back! 

Well, after we wrote letters asking the tooth fairy questions we left them out on our desks all weekend. And guess what? She came and visited over the weekend sometime.
I think this was Em’s  fairy…very cute!
Allie did such a great job! I loved her painting!
And she left little letters in tiny envelopes to the kids. She was so sweet to answer all their questions! It was totally cute seeing the kids all excited to have a tooth fairy letter!
We graphed how many teeth we had lost, and then flossed our own teeth

Some had lost 8 teeth and some had lost NONE!

Dental Health Week 

That red thing is a big set of wind up clacking teeth, floss and a giant toothbrush.

Past years I have found individual flossers at the dollar store with like 30 in a package for a buck. Then I use 2 white pillowcases and have 2 kids put them over their heads. Then I use a rope to go between them as they stand very close together representing 2 teeth. It is funny for the kids, they all want to take a turn being a tooth. Or you can do the same thing with white styrofoam egg cartons. Using the bumpy backs as teeth the students use white yarn to go between the egg holders to”floss”.  Then I pass out individual floss to practice.  After lunch they can see what kinds of “materials” they floss from their teeth. Mmmm.  

We read the Dental Health Weekly Readers and Scholastic News all week
Some years we have a dentist in our class and they come in or send someone to teach brushing. Sometimes I just have to use my clackety clacking teeth model and a giant toothbrush. Some years Crest has sent me fun sticker charts and individual stickers and sometimes individual toothbrushes and tiny tubes of toothpaste. They haven’t done it the last 2 years. Maybe it got too expensive. So sometimes I look at the dollar store for toothbrushes to go home with a chart I make up and some stickers to go home encouraging  weeks of perfect brushing for a fun certificate.

If kids want they can add to my Lost Tooth stories when they lose a tooth in class.
A carousel is a strategy where each student visits a learning activity for a short visit (8 to 10 minutes) doing the activity on a “Theme Day”. Ring a bell after 10 minutes and kids move to the next station in a round robin fashion. Kids love it. Then a few of them can be left out all week for centers.

  1.  Roll a Tooth -Take turns rolling a die and fill up the 32 teeth in the mouth with mini marshmallows. , 
  2.  Tick Tack Toe with teeth counters. Play with a partner.
  3. Graphing. Talk about your graph with the teacher using ONLY math words (greater than, equal, least etc.).Then Graph your favorite toothpaste or teeth lost. 
  4. Flossing -practice flossing on the egg cartons with yarn. Then floss your own. Brush the model teeth.
  5. Check out the 3 types of stains on the hard boiled eggs… coke, grape juice, brush off with toothpaste 
  6. Math – Add up 3 numbers on the 3 cards. Write an equation.   Use the giant smile as a counter vehicle if you need it to do the adding. We used paper folded 4 times into 16 square

A math game, make equations using 3 number cards…use the teeth for counters
Adding up 2 to 3 addends from cards chosen and put the equation on a 16 slot grid. 
Use the giant smile for counting up the teeth in your equation. 
Above is the math game….put the counters on the teeth as you go…then count it up…

I made the counters from 1 piece of 99 cent foam…it was easy!

Another game…See how many of each number you roll…by graphing it!

For Center 3 You can use little erasers from Oriental Trading to graph.   They are only 3.99 for 24 and that would last for years for game counters or graphing counters. See them HERE.This year I ran out of money so I just went to Michaels and got some white foam for 99 cents and simply drew teeth shapes one night while watching TV. I might also try dry lima beans with little faces on them next time. 🙂 The fun part was when they had a pretty good sized graph I’d wander over to that center and ask… “Now tell me about your graph using math words like, equal, greater than, less than, least, most, how many more, how many less.” They are getting pretty good at describing the class graph. We try to change it every week.

I think my one sheet of foam made like 60 little teeth counters/graphers…

Here is a finished graph by Trace and J. and they descibed it to me perfectly.

 I always have my GRAPHING pocket chart up so it would be a fun to graph their favorite toothpaste flavor and see which one is the class pick. In the past I have cut out the front of boxes of toothpaste with their colorful labels to put in the pocket chart. But this year we have graphed how many teeth we each have lost. 

A “Just for Fun” center…Tooth Tic Tac Toe

The girls really got into the game….

Center 2 – The fun Tick Tack Toe game  can be found HERE at  It was made by Beverly Hernandez. It’s very cute. I changed the counters to some cute tooth stickers I had in 4 colors that I liked better. I backed them with cardstock and had the game and counters laminated.

Tooth Tic Tac Toe  HERE 

Center 1 – It’s a math game where you roll a dice and count out the marshmallows to place on 32 round circles in a mouth.  I found it at A to Z Teacher Stuff in a fun unit called “Let’s Talk Teeth”.  The link is HERE and Susan Payne is the author. There are lots of fun poems and chants also on this cute unit website. There is a cute poem entitled “The Tooth Fairy Came Last Night” I am attaching to the backs of our tooth fairy art projects. It will be fun for the kids to read and fill in the blanks with coin money.

These eggs pretty yucky when you pull them out of the coke & juice!

Center 5 –  Looking at the experimental hard boiled eggs we put into Coke, Grape Juice and one in plain water. If you do this a day in advance like we did,  it is a fun center for kids to see how food “stains” our teeth and for them  to try to “brush” away the stains.  You could also use some permanent marker on white bathroom tiles. I also have my red, plastic, clacking teeth they can practice brushing with my giant toothbrush. That is always fun.  

The kids are trying to brush the stains off with toothpaste…it was hard…they said.

Scrub a dub that stained egg and pretend it’s your teeth! 

Each Center has several books on teeth for fast finishers to read while they wait for me to ring the bell. This is always a fun week in school.   

We skip listening post this week and just have teeth books there instead…

  I sent them each home a monthly brushing calendar, some toothpaste, and one of those little pink pills you chew up to see where you forgot to brush. And hopefully they will all earn their certificate for filling out their month-long brushing chart!  Parents, you’ll have to get right on that.  🙂 Love,  Mrs. Moss

Dental Health Activity Pages we do….Song is to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star…..

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