During kindergarten, your child will learn about dental hygiene and how to take care of those growing pearly whites! As those gaps in her smile come and go, and visits from the tooth fairy become a regular occurrence, talking about tooth care couldn't be more important. Making a poster on the subject will not only be a fun way to help her to visualize what she's learning, but it will also help develop those all-important writing and fine motor skills. This project is a great way to spend the afternoon after a trip to the dentist!
What You Do:
- Brainstorm with your child all the different ways she can take care of her teeth. If she needs help thinking of some ideas, prompt her with some questions to get the wheels turning like, "How many times a day do you think you should brush your teeth?" If your child is currently not flossing her teeth, this is a good time to start a flossing habit. This is a great activity to do together.
- Be sure to talk about going to the dentist every six months, brushing for 2 minutes after each meal (or at least twice a day, morning and night) and eating healthy foods. Make sure you emphasize that there is a connection between the foods that she eats and the health of her teeth. Cavities are no fun!
- Now it's time for the poster! Help your child make a poster listing all the ways she can take care of her teeth. If your child's writing skills are already pretty strong, have her do the writing and help her spell out any difficult words. Otherwise, have your child dictate her ideas to you.
- Encourage your child to illustrate each section of the poster, such as the best types of food to eat, the foods and drinks to avoid, and anything else tooth-related. She might even want to include a drawing of her toothbrush.
- Have your child decide on a place to hang the poster - this could be somewhere like her bathroom, her bedroom, or even the playroom.
- At the end of each day, go over the steps on the poster and talk about how she took care of her teeth that day. Pretty soon, she'll be a dental hygiene expert!
If your child has not yet lost her first tooth, talk about how her teeth will soon fall out and grown-up teeth will be coming in behind them. Explain the difference between permanent teeth and baby teeth, and how she'll have her grown-up teeth for the rest of her life, making it especially important that she takes good care of them.