February is National Children’s Dental Health Month! The annual, month-long initiative is meant to promote the benefits of good oral health in children. In honor of the occasion, our Naperville pediatric dentistry practice is sharing eight fun dental health crafts for preschoolers. By diving into oral health in a creative, hands-on way, it will get little ones excited about caring for their smile.
8 Fun Dental Health Crafts for Preschoolers:
Egg Carton Teeth
Creating egg carton teeth to brush and floss is one of the best dental health crafts for preschoolers, because it’s educational and helps hone their fine motor skills. Teach Preschool has the full tutorial. You cut up egg cartons and flip them upside down so that they look like extra large teeth. Give kids a toothbrush, some toothpaste and a length of dental floss. Before your child gets started, chat with them about how to brush and floss their teeth, including how to hold the toothbrush and dental floss, how much toothpaste to use, and why brushing and flossing are so important.
Once you’ve walked your child through the ins and outs of oral hygiene, let them floss the egg carton teeth, and squeeze out the toothpaste onto their toothbrush and brush away. To up the excitement, you can even paint some food onto the teeth to brush off.
Giant Yogurt Tub Teeth
Play-Based Parenting has a similar tutorial to the one above for DIY teeth using yogurt containers, but these teeth are taken to the next level complete with plaque and faux food. To recreate this dental craft for preschoolers, clean out yogurt containers, turn them upside down and glue them to a surface to serve as giant teeth.
Paint on food and plaque with water-based paint and cut some food and yucky stuff out of paper, or use real food, and glue that to the teeth as well. Let it dry and then have your kiddo use a toothbrush and toothpaste (and proper technique, of course) to get the fake pearly whites squeaky clean.
There are a ton of toothbrush painting craft ideas for kids on Pinterest, but we thought we’d include an oral health version. Break out some heavy paper, a few different colors of paints and an old toothbrush. Kids can then practice their tooth brushing strokes on the paper, brushing up and down in one color, in a circular pattern in another and back and forth in yet another. Talk to kids about the importance of brushing every surface of each tooth and how the different strokes might work for different parts of the teeth (i.e., up and down on the back of the front teeth or a back and forth motion on the chewing surfaces).
This is another of the easy dental crafts for preschoolers or even toddlers that’s super fun but will also teach kids about oral hygiene. As you’re setting up the craft, talk about flossing, including how it’s a key way to remove plaque from in between the teeth in order to prevent cavities and keep gums healthy. Preschool Play & Learn has a tutorial that uses an empty ice cube tray. Turn the tray over and stick chunks of playdough in between the ice cube humps. Give your kiddo a pipe cleaner to use to floss between the humps, just as they would their own teeth, to remove the playdough plaque.
Sparkling Clean Tooth Craft
Pocket of Preschool has a bunch of dental craft ideas geared towards the toddler and preschool set, including a tutorial for special toothbrush art. Print out the free tooth printable. Then, mix shaving cream and white glue together to make a mixture similar to puffy paint. Have kids use a toothbrush to paint the puffy paint “toothpaste” onto the tooth. They can finish up with a sprinkling of glitter on top to make the tooth “sparkling clean.
The Best Foods for Strong Teeth Collage
Artsy Mama created a fun dental craft for kids to educate little ones about the importance of healthy foods for strong teeth. Her tutorial for a dental health collage involves drawing two teeth on a piece of poster board and cutting out pictures of common foods and drinks from a grocery store circular. She had her kiddo glue the foods that are good for teeth on one tooth and the foods that are not so great and better to enjoy in moderation on the other tooth.
Healthy Teeth Craft and Writing Assignment
Lesson Plan Diva put together a dental health craft and writing assignment that’s available to download for a small fee. While most of the craft ideas on this list are for preschoolers this is an excellent dental craft for kids in elementary school. Children cut out the tooth template and color in the toothbrush and toothpaste. The tooth has space for them to write down all of the things they can do to keep their teeth healthy. Have your child share their smile-friendly habits with you when they’re done, and see if there are any more oral health practices that can be added to the list.
Tooth Fairy Finger Puppet
Wrap up National Children’s Dental Health Month by celebrating Tooth Fairy Day on February 28 with a Tooth Fairy craft. Lalymom has instructions for a simple but cute Tooth Fairy finger puppet. Fill your kids in on who the Tooth Fairy is and when they can expect a visit and then get down to crafting. Kids will cut wings out of foam and decorate them with the supplies of their choosing. They’ll then punch holes in the foam and thread a sparkly pipe cleaner through the holes that they’ll use to attach the puppet to their finger. Draw the Tooth Fairy’s face on their index finger and let her fly around collecting teeth. If you want to really get into the spirit, follow the additional instructions for creating the Tooth Fairy’s Tooth Castle out of an empty cereal box.
We hope these fun dental crafts for preschoolers to celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month give you ideas for keeping your kids entertained, while teaching them about oral health. If you’d also like to ring on the occasion with a visit to the best pediatric dentist in Naperville, schedule an appointment at Innovative Pediatric Dentistry today!