Children are naturally curious. Nurture their curiosity by teaching them about a topic that matters: dental hygiene. The following is a brief, creative list of Fun Dental Activities to do with Your Kids that we recommend at Henson Family Dental.
1. Incorporate your child’s favorite character!
Have your child draw a picture of a favorite character from a movie, show, or book. Instruct your child to draw an extra-large toothy grin on his or her character. The bigger, the better! After the drawing is complete and the character is baring her teeth, have your child take a toothbrush loaded with a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste. Then, it’s time to practice proper technique! Demonstrate on the drawing how to brush in small circles, and like his or her drawing, your child will be all grins at this hilarious, yet educational learning opportunity!
2. Is your child a visual learner?
Here is a way for your child to envision proper flossing technique on a large scale. Take some white clay or play doh, and have your child roll small pieces into a set of “teeth.” Place these “teeth” in a line, forming a small arch (representing a bottom row of teeth). Next, take a string of dental floss, and demonstrate proper flossing technique. Your child will be eager to try this hands-on activity! For extra fun, and to make the project more realistic, add tiny bits of colorful clay between the handmade teeth to represent small pieces of food. Have your child try to catch the pieces of “food” with her floss. Before you know it, your child will be flossing his or her real set of pearly whites without even being asked.
3. Hold a literature hour!
A simple yet effective way to teach kids about dental hygiene is to visit your local library for a handful of books. Though the children’s books about dental hygiene are usually fictional stories narrated by kid-favorites such as Elmo, Arthur, and Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter, these books have real lessons. Read a few of these before bedtime, and naturally a discussion will spark on the topic of dental hygiene. Your child may even ask questions you would not have thought to answer, had it not been for these picture books igniting conversation.
4. Take a page out of the science fair textbook
Try this project that, with the help of eggshells, demonstrates firsthand the way in which different beverages affect your teeth. You may have done this one in school—and for good reason! The egg stain project is fun and educational. Here is how it works: Hollow out four eggs, so that you are left with just the hard, fragile shells. Then, place the shells in four different cups. Fill one cup with dark cola, another with milk, one with coffee, and the last one with water. Explain to your child that the eggshells represent teeth, and then have them make predictions about whether or not certain beverages will lead to discoloration or other effects on the “teeth.” Be sure to check daily for at least a week, so that you and your child can document the changes.