Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dental Health for Preschoolers Part 1

Dental Health Week in May? "Wasn't National Children's Dental Health Month back in February? At least in the the United States?" you may ask. Well, it was but somehow, when I planned this school year, I planned this week to be all about community helpers/workers and somehow, I hadn't thought about how many possibilities there would be for just, say...the dentist. When I sat down to plan the unit a few weeks ago, I realized that one week to talk about ALL community helpers would be impossible. I then decided to pick one and spend a week on that one. The other helpers would have to...sadly wait for another week to come by. Why was the dentist picked first? I don't know. I think it's because when I started planning the unit, I started jotting down ideas for that helper first and that's why I realized I wouldn't be able to cover anyone else. On another note...it might also be because at some point I did think about working in dentistry. :)

Theraputty Exercise Dental Teeth
Fine Motor: Extracting rotten teeth from Theraputty

Rotten smile anyone? Could barely help it. The idea here was to include Theraputty this week again (a great hand and finger strengthener and always a favorite of Adrian's). I put the two gums together only for the picture. (Theraputty sticks together quickly so for Adrian's sake, the gums were placed separately on the tray.) Adrian was provided with a bowl and a lid for  this task. After the rotten teeth (black beans) were extacted using his fingers, they were to be put in the bowl. Once this first step was completed for both gums, the rotten teeth were replaced by beautiful pearly whites to be found on the lid (Cannellini beans)! 

Extracting Tooth Theraputty
Adrian extracting teeth carefully

Toothbrushing Sequence Cards
Toothbrushing Cards Sequence

Sequencing is something that's always given Adrian a bit of trouble, even when only 4 pictures were presented. I thought we'd try to sequence something he knows well: toothbrushing. This sequence had many more cards but these were all steps he knew well. He simply had to think it through and carefully. It worked well and he felt quite accomplished this time. These cards were found at Williams Syndrome Family of Hope. They have other sequence cards for routines you may like as well such as hand washing, shoe tying, etc.

Toothbrushing Sequence
Overview of the Toothbrushing Sequence Cards

Child Brushing Teeth
Practical Life: Brushing Teeth

What's better than putting the toothbrushing sequence in practice? And to my surprise, I did not even get a "But mama, I already brushed my teeth this morning!" Instead, Adrian was actually excited to brush his teeth (not that he ever complains about it honestly). I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that he brushed them in the powder room instead of the upstairs bathroom?

Flossing Tray Practice
Practical Life: Flossing practice

After seeing this great floss practice on the Preschool Experiment, I knew I'd want Adrian to try it too. So we did. I just wish we had a red/pink MegaBlok to represent the gums better. :) Well, whatever the color though, the practice was great. The concept still stood and fine motor-wise, it was a nice exercise. Adrian (and the entire family actually) is quite fond of "Plackers" instead of the regular floss string so I had to show Adrian how to twist the floss (wool string) around his fingers to get the food (play dough) out from in between the teeth (Mega blok).

Practice Flossing
Adrian removing "food debris" with the "floss"

Cavities Magnifying Counting
Counting Cavities with a Magnifying Glass

It has been a while since we last used our magnifying glass and I remember how Adrian loved using it so I thought it'd be nice to include it this week seeing how dentists use tools to look for cavities. I drew mine with a marker on cards I already had so they were quite obvious unfortunately but Adrian still liked using the magnifying glass. To add to the challenge, I suggested Adrian write the number of cavities on the tooth once he figured out how many there was. He was quite happy about that part even though he was a bit careless in the writing process.

Magnifying Cavities 
"Hmm. This person did not brush enough", Adrian said.

Writing Number Cavities
Writing the number of cavities found on the front of the card;
small control of error number found on the back of the cards

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  1. Oh my goodness! I LOVE IT ALL! I'm so tempted to do this next week or the week after instead of the nervous system etc. Thank you so much for sharing. What great lessons!

    1. It was an ok week for us. Adrian liked it but was not too excited about it and neither was I honestly. I think it's because I didn't feel very creative about this dental unit and he would rather study...say...trains?. It was still a nice topic and I'll have another post on the topic sometime this week! :) You must do the nervous system though. I may rely on you for my unit next year! :)

  2. You come up with the most amazing things!!
    You inspire me with my child!!


    1. I'm most happy to hear that Heidi! I truly think we are our children's best teacher. Children want to learn and you are most welcome to pick some activities I've posted here and use them with your own child. :)

  3. I love all the creative activities in this unit!

    1. Thank you so much! Hope you'll get to enjoy them with the children in your life as well! :)

  4. I LOVE each activity here! We are big fans of theraputty, too. Thanks for joining us at Share It Saturday!
    Colleen at Sugar Aunts

    1. Thank you for hosting Share it Saturday! Glad you like the dental activities! Isn't Theraputty fun?

  5. Great activities!
    Just letting you know I've featured these on The Sunday Showcase this week: http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2013/06/01/the-sunday-showcase-summer-school.html

    1. Thank you so much Rebecca! I'm glad we all get to share our ideas each and every week with all of you. It's a great resource.

  6. I have added this to my school's Dental Health Pinterest. Thank you. It is really great!

    1. Thank you. I try to cover everything I can think of and have the time to! :) Thanks for stopping by!