Activities for Teaching Children Oral Hygiene

Kids Health states that early dental care is important for proper hygiene. Helping your child to understand the importance of oral hygiene can make him realize why his dental care is so important and help him to take an active role in caring for his teeth. Use fun activities to make brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist appealing.

Egg Activity

Show your child a hard boiled egg, and then ask her about the purpose of the shell. Discuss how the egg shell helps to protect the rest of the egg and compare the egg shell to your teeth. Place the egg shell in a jar of vinegar and ask your child what she thinks will happen to the egg. After a couple of days, remove the egg from the jar. Have your child observe that the shell is soft and partially destroyed. Explain that the same thing can happen to teeth if they are not taken care of properly. This activity will help her to understand the importance of teeth brushing and flossing.

Painting Activity

Using yellow construction paper, cut out several large tooth shapes. Show the shapes to your child and talk about how teeth can become yellow if you do not brush them or if you eat a lot of things that can harm your teeth. Give your child white paint to use and tell him to pretend that it is toothpaste. Let him use the "toothpaste" and a paintbrush to make the teeth clean and white again.

Apple Activity

Show your child an apple and ask her to pretend that the apple is a tooth. Using a stick, poke a hole into the apple. Tell her that the hole is like a cavity, a small hole that forms in our teeth if we do not brush, floss and eat healthy food. Place the apple in a spot where it can be seen easily for a few days. After a few days, ask your child to talk about what the apple looks like and how the hole has made it brown and no longer any good. Discuss how you can keep cavities from forming by brushing after every meal and visiting the dentist regularly.

Dramatic Play

Gather all of the materials necessary to make a pretend dentist office. You will need a chair, toothbrush, mirror, and anything else that can make the scene more realistic and fun, such as a white shirt to wear as a dentist’s coat. Lie back in the chair and let your child pretend to be a dentist as he examines your mouth, pretends to brush your teeth and tells you if your teeth are healthy. Acting out this scenario may help your child to understand the importance of going to the dentist and make the actual visit more appealing.