5 Resources for Teaching Kids About Their Teeth
Help your kids build a solid relationship with their teeth.
Good dental health is essential at every stage of life. It’s particularly important for kids to build good habits in caring for their teeth while they are young.
You might be shocked to know that a study carried out in 2016 showed that 28.6% of children aged three years and over had never been to the dentist. Regular visits to the dentist help promote dental hygiene for kids and support their learning about dental health.
We’ve collected a great selection of dental health worksheets and other tips and tricks to help teach kids about dental care. Read on to discover our top 5 resources to help teach your kids about their teeth, whatever stage of education they’ve reached.
1. Dental Health Worksheets for Teaching Kids About Their Teeth
For kindergarten and elementary school-aged kids, there are a lot of free resources available to teach kids about their teeth. Let’s take a look at a few of the best free dental health worksheets out there.
There are some great resources on the American Dental Association website to teach younger kids all about their teeth. Children should learn about the two sets of teeth, when they each come in, and their main functions. This knowledge about how teeth work and why they’re important will underpin future learning about oral hygiene.
It’s never too early to start to teach kids teeth health. Even the youngest kids can do coloring worksheets, and practicing other skills, such as counting, can also accompany this learning.
2. Oral Hygiene
Learning about toothbrushing is one of the main focuses of dental health worksheets for kids. There are plenty of worksheets online focused on the importance of brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed. Many of these worksheets include charts to complete at home so you can support your children’s learning at school.
Kids also need to learn about flossing. Cleaning in between teeth is just as important as cleaning the actual teeth themselves. There are lots of colored printables available to support this teaching. Like any learning, it’s more effective if it’s fun!
Another great resource to teach the family in a fun way is books. There are a lot of lovely stories available for a variety of ages where various characters learn about brushing their teeth and making trips to the dentist. These stories help children learn about these lifelong habits to maintain healthy teeth.
As kids get older, they need to learn about the risk of cavities and how to avoid them. There are lots of great cartoons and worksheets available to teach children about this subject, including what foods to avoid consuming excessively and how regular brushing can protect against cavities. Younger kids might also enjoy stories about their favorite cartoon characters going to the dentist.
As a parent, you also need to know the signs to look out for that could indicate that your child has a cavity. But no matter how vigilant you are at home, regular dental visits are also essential for your kids’ dental health.
3. Resources for Older Kids
As kids grow up, they may be less interested in coloring in worksheets. For older kids, they might want to find out more about dental visits. This could include learning about the roles of different members of staff at the dentist’s office or the various equipment that might be used during an appointment.
Science experiments can also be great dental health activities for older kids. There are lots of exciting experiment ideas middle school-aged kids will love that will help them learn about plaque and the effects of different food and drinks on their teeth.
You could even use playdough to make models of teeth and gums. While playdough is usually an activity for preschoolers, you can make it appropriate for older kids by using it as a tool to teach about the different types of teeth and their function and location.
4. Leaning About Braces and How to Care for Them
As kids progress through middle school, they will reach the age where braces may need to be considered. It’s important you continue to visit your pediatric dentist throughout this time, as they have the expertise to advise on orthodontic issues.
If your child has an abnormal bite, it’s important to get this fixed — and not just for cosmetic reasons. An abnormal bite can cause various oral health problems, including gum disease, tooth loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear and tear to tooth enamel. It can also lead to problems with the jaw and issues with speech and chewing.
But in terms of caring for their braces, your child isn’t a toddler anymore and will need to take some responsibility for themselves. It’s likely to take some patience, but this can be a great learning opportunity that will support other life skills too.
5. Self-Care Habits for High School
Once your kids reach high school age, it’s unlikely you’ll be supervising their toothbrushing. But there are plenty of things they still need to learn. Kids who are very sporty will need to consider using a mouth guard to protect their teeth from damage.
Older kids may also face peer pressure to make unhealthy lifestyle choices, so this is a good time to remind them about nutrition and also the dangers of smoking, including its impact on dental health. Finally, oral hygiene and fresh breath may become a more important consideration for teenagers as they start dating!
Dental Health for Kids of All Ages
As kids get older, the dental health issues they need to learn about will change. For younger kids, dental health worksheets can be a great learning tool. We’ve also looked at useful resources for older kids in this article. But no matter what age or stage of life you are, regular dental visits are an essential part of maintaining dental health. Don’t hesitate to get in touch now to schedule your child’s next appointment!