Engage Your Kids’ Curious Minds with Educational Dental-Themed Projects
Whether you’re a parent looking for ways to get your kids interested in brushing or a teacher needing inspiration for dental health activities for kids, we’ve got you covered.
Check out these awesome dental health activities for kids, ranging from arts & crafts to science experiments!
1. The Egg Brushing Science Experiment
A few hard-boiled eggs, vinegar, and a couple of different beverages are all it takes for this educational science experiment about tooth enamel. By soaking hard-boiled eggs in different liquids, such as vinegar, dark-colored sodas, lemonade, or orange juice, kids can witness the staining and even corrosive effects on the eggshell. Mimicking tooth enamel, the eggshells can then be scrubbed with toothbrushes to see what happens.
See the full instructions for this science experiment by clicking here.
2. Make Your Own Toothpaste
Kids who are put off by the taste or texture of toothpaste will often be really excited to use a DIY toothpaste they’ve made with the help of a parent or teacher.
All you need is to mix:
- 4 tsp. Baking soda
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Flavoring (such as peppermint, orange, etc)
Some other great recipes to try include:
DIY recipes are super fun, but keep in mind that pediatric dentists recommend kids use ADA-recommended toothpaste as their staple oral care product.
3. Create Happy & Sad Tooth Collages
Using some poster board, draw a big tooth on each — one that’s happy and one that’s frowning. Supply your kids with images of various healthy and unhealthy foods, focusing on common foods they’ll encounter in their day-to-day life. Older kids may be able to cut out their own foods from magazines or supermarket ads with supervision. From there they can tape or paste each food item on the corresponding happy or sad tooth.
This activity is great for home or school and makes a great poster to display when learning about diet and oral health.
4. Sculpt an Interactive Clay Mouth Model
Using Crayola Model Magic clay and some red Play-Doh, your kids can sculpt a wonderful mouth model complete with realistic teeth. Begin by rolling out 20 small pieces of white Model Magic or a similar air-drying clay. Shape each ball into an anatomically-correct tooth as shown in the hyperlink above. They don’t need to be perfect and older kids can often have fun creating the shape themselves.
Once the teeth are dried and hardened, use soft red (or pink) Play-Doh in two arcs to replicate the upper and lower gums. From there kids can place the right type of tooth into the clay. We recommend having hand mirrors available so kids can see their own teeth while doing this project.
5. Play-Doh Plaque Removal Activity
Recycle old 2-liter plastic soda bottles by cutting off the bottoms and flipping them over to replicate a molar. Paint them with a thin layer of white plaster or a few layers of thick white paint. Add pieces of pink, brown or yellow Play-Doh or air-dry clay to the teeth and allow to dry slightly. Kids can then use toothbrushes or fake dental tools to remove these patches of plaque from the teeth. (Inspired by DIY Tooth Models & Tooth Sensory Play)
Another option is to make a runny paste of flour and water, colored to look like plaque, and splatter it onto the teeth. Allow to dry and encourage your kids to try and brush it off with a toothbrush. Use this to show how plaque is hard to remove when it’s been allowed to sit, which is why brushing twice a day for two minutes is important.
6. Dry Erase Sugar Bug Printables
This easy activity is a real hoot for kids, especially when they get to use their imagination drawing gross sugar bugs. All you need to do is print out a copy of a blank toothy smile (here’s one) and either laminate it or slip it into a clear plastic sheet protector. Use dry erase markers to draw on sugar bugs of all different colors and shapes.
Arm each kid with an inexpensive toothbrush and have them brush away all of that bacteria and plaque they know as sugar bugs. Pairing these dental health activities with a book on sugar bugs would be a great match!
7. Loose Tooth Counting Games
Race to Lose a Tooth Counting Game is a fun approach to the subject of tooth loss that also includes easy subtraction lessons. You’ll need some red and pink construction paper, dice, and small white objects to function as the teeth. Your “teeth” can be mini marshmallows, white beans, or small white craft pom-poms.
To play, each child will take turns rolling a die and removing the corresponding amount of teeth. Kids who are learning basic subtraction can also voice their play, such as, “7 teeth minus 2 equals 5 teeth left.” To make this game more educational we recommend reading a kids’ book about losing baby teeth first.
You can learn more about kids’ oral health care by calling We Make Kids Smile.
The We Make Kids Smile team is passionate about kids’ dental care, and our passion includes helping parents, caretakers, and teachers in any way we can. If you need advice on kids’ oral health and which products are safe or need recommendations on kids’ dental care books, we’ll do our best to help.
To chat with our team or to book an appointment for your own child, call our Waldorf or Prince Frederick office or fill out this online form with your questions.