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Oral Health Education Resources
for Teachers and Educators

 

Teachers can provide education to help students establish positive oral health habits. Access resources to help you teach your students good oral health.

Good oral health positively impacts a child's ability to learn, attend school and eat nutritious foods. As a teacher, you are in a unique position to provide education, guidance, and motivation to help your students establish positive oral health habits.

On this page, access resources and information to help you teach your students good oral health.

Oral Health Education Guides (OHEG)

The OHEG is meant as a tool to enable you to teach oral health, as it links oral health education and resources to learning blocks and strands found in the Ontario Curriculum, grades 1-8.

Kindergarten & Grade 3

An oral health education kit entitled the “Reach and Teach Kit” is available for your use. It contains interactive educational resources for teachers/educators and resources which can be photocopied and given to parents.

To borrow a Reach and Teach Kit, please call your respective Library Services/Resource Centre or Halton Region’s Oral Health program at accesshalton@halton.ca.

If you have questions or comments regarding this tool, please contact accesshalton@halton.ca.

Grade 1

Language

Oral

Share stories related to oral health. Students can respond to questions or retell the point of the story to demonstrate an understanding of the information.

  1. Boyd, Nicole (2008). Let’s Brush Our Teeth. The Rosen Publishing Group, Incorporated.
  2. Klein, A. F. (2005). Max Goes To the Dentist. Picture Window Books.
  3. Berenstain, S., & Berenstain, J. (1998). The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist. Random House.

Writing

Using a variety of strategies and resources (e.g., ask questions to identify personal experiences, and prior knowledge, or brainstorm ideas with the class) write a narrative about oral Write short texts using oral health as the theme. Ask questions to identify personal experiences and prior knowledge.

  1. Parts of the Tooth (external link)

Write short texts using oral health as the theme. Ask questions to identify personal experiences and prior knowledge.

Reading

Collection of rhymes, songs, charts and stories that link oral health information to different literary text.

  1. Langreuter, J., & Sobat, V. (1997). Little Bear Brushes His Teeth. Millbrook Press.
  2. Ricci, Christine (2005). Show me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer). Simon Spotlight.

Have students share their oral health knowledge by brainstorming about the cover, title, or topic (how do they visualize a character or scene?).

  1. Van Leeuwen, J. (2008). Amanda Pig and the Wiggly Tooth. USA: Penguin Group Inc.
  2. Lane, J. (2007). The Magic School Bus and the Missing Tooth. Cartwheel Books.
  3. Dr. Seuss (2000). The Tooth Book. Random House Children’s Books.

Encourage students to extend their understanding of the text by connecting the content of the story, song or activity to personal experiences or knowledge of oral health.

  1. Minarik, E. H. (2002). Little Bear's Loose Tooth. HarperCollins Publishers. 7. Hall, K. (2004). The Tooth Fairy. Scholastic.
  2. Adler, D. A. (1999). Young Cam Jansen and the Lost Tooth. USA: Penguin Group Inc.
  3. How I Lost My Tooth Worksheet (external link)

Math

Numeration

Humans have two sets of teeth: primary and permanent. Children with a complete set of teeth have 20 primary teeth that begin to emerge at 6 months of age, but develop well before birth. Adults with a complete set have 32 teeth.

  1. Count and Colour Activity Sheet (external link)
  2. Facts about Teeth – Learning to Count (external link)
  3. Primary Teeth – Learning to Count (external link)

Health & Physical Education

Healthy Living

Know and recognize the need to develop healthy eating habits and a relationship with oral health.

  1. What Keeps your Mouth Healthy (external link)

Help students understand how to stay safe and avoid injuries (eg. Wearing mouthguards while playing sports or wearing helmets when biking, skating).

Have students identify habits and behaviours that can have a harmful effect on the mouth and encourage students to adopt healthier alternatives and how. (e.g., Chewing on ice cubes, pencils and pens, or even hard candy can chip or crack your teeth. Teeth are for chewing food only!)

Science & Technology

Life Systems

Investigate characteristics of the mouth and explain how they function (eg. Our tongue has bumps that help us determine if food is too hot, cold, or tastes bad).

  1. Functions of the Moth – Comic Strip (external link)
  2. Parts of the Mouth (external link)

Did you know? The outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, is the hardest substance in the human body. The part of the tooth you see is called the crown. The rounded high parts of the back teeth are cusps. The hard white outer covering of the tooth is the enamel. Below the gum line, holding the tooth in the jawbone is the root of the tooth. You can’t see the roots. The inner portions of the tooth consist of the dentin, a bone like tissue, and the pulp. The pulp is like a house for the nerves and blood vessels at the center of the crown and root. Teeth have different shapes for different jobs. For example, when you eat, the upper teeth work together with the lower teeth of the same shape to bite, chew, and tear food.

Social Studies

Heritage & Citizenship

Ask students to identify significant events in their lives related to their teeth (eg. Their first trip to the dentist).

  1. Ricci, Christine (2005). Show me Your Smile! A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer). Simon Spotlight.
  2. Berenstain, S., & Berenstain, J. (1998). The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist. Random House.
  3. Adler, D. A. (1999). Young Cam Jansen and the Lost Tooth. USA: Penguin Group Inc.
  4. Significant Event – Visiting the Dentist (external link)

Art

Music

Healthy, Happy Teeth

Brush your teeth and floss them too,
For healthy, happy teeth.
Drink and eat foods good for you,
For healthy, happy teeth!
With a brush, brush here,
And a floss, floss there,
Here a brush, there a floss,
Day and night a brush and floss!
See your dentist every year,
For healthy, happy teeth!

Brushing My Teeth Poem

Up like the flowers, down like the rain,
Back and forth like a choo-choo train.

Get more songs (external link)

Grade 2

Language

Reading

Encourage students to read using different types of literary texts (stories, folk tales) from diverse cultures.

  1. Berenstain, S., & Berenstain, J. (1998). The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist. Random House.
  2. Dr. Seuss (September 2000). The Tooth Book. Random House Children’s Books.
  3. Van Leeuwen, J. (April2008). Amanda Pig and the Wiggly Tooth. USA: Penguin Group Inc.
  4. Beeler, Selby B. (2001). Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World. Sandpiper. None edition, 2001
  5. Keller, Laurie (2000). Open Wide: Tooth School Insider . Henry Holt & Company.

Media

Below are links to media texts. Allow students to identify the purpose and intended audience. Ask them to identify which toothpaste and toothbrush designs are for children and adults.

  1. Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center (external link)
  2. Colgate Products and Research (external link)

Health & Physical Education

Healthy Living

Students can use the following information to describe ways to maintain good oral health and prevent problems.

  1. Tooth Sealants (external PDF) (See pages 49–52)
  2. Mouth Care and Cavity Prevention (external PDF) (See pages 25–40)
  3. Nutrition

Active Living

Use the links below to have students identify ways they can protect their teeth and mouths from safety risks during physical activity.

Science & Technology

Life Systems

There are differences between humans and animals. Use the information below to help students observe and compare the physical characteristics of teeth, tongues, and mouths.

  1. Animal’s Teeth (See pages 60-61) (external PDF)
  2. Did you know? - Trivia (external link)

Earth and Space

Use the Estimating Tooth-Brushing time (external PDF) (page 7 & 11) to discover the answers to the following questions:

  • How much water do you use when you brush your teeth?
  • How much time might a person spend brushing his or her teeth in one year?
  • How much time might that person spend brushing his or her teeth in one decade?
  • How much time could that person spend brushing their teeth in half a century?
  • If you were to leave your tap running every time you brushed your teeth, how much water would you use in one year, one decade, and one century?
  • How can you be more responsible for your water use?

Social Studies

Features of Community

Help students discover how communities around the world have similar or different food.

  1. Hodges, S., Warren, J., & Bittinger, G. (December 1994). Multicultural Snacks. Totline Publications.
  2. Healthier Choices for Multicultural Cuisines (external link)

Art

Oral Health Rhyme About Brushing Your Teeth

I know how to brush my teeth
I brush on top and underneath
Up like a rocket
Down like a plane
Back and forth like a choo-choo train.

Additional rhymes and songs about teeth (external link)

Grade 4

Language

Reading

Help students discover oral health beliefs in other cultures and learn in a visual, informative, and fun way.

  1. Beeler, Selby B. (2001). Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World. Sandpiper. None edition, 2001
  2. Targ Brill, Marlene. (March 1998). Tooth Tales from Around the World. Charlesbridge Publishing; First Edition.
  3. Keller, Laurie (2000). Open Wide: Tooth School Insider. Henry Holt & Company. (external link)

Math

Data

Collect data by conducting a survey (eg. The number of teeth each student has lost, number of permanent teeth, or estimate tooth brushing time). Estimate tooth brushing time over different durations (eg. One year, one decade).

  1. Online Teaching Resource (external PDF) (See page 7–13)

Health & Physical Education

Healthy Living

Students research and identify key nutrients provided by foods and beverages and describe their importance for oral health. (e.g., calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth, what food or beverages can it be found in?).

  1. Schuh, Mari. Snacks for Healthy Teeth.
    Pebble Plus Age Level: 08-12.
    ISBN: 9781429617857
  2. Healthy Bodies – Bones and Teeth (external link)

Students can identify which substances are found in tobacco and smoke products and describe how these substances affect oral health.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions about Tobacco
  2. Facts About Smoking and Tobacco – What's in Cigarettes? (external link)
  3. Smoking Tobacco - Canadian Dental Association - Side Effects, Risk Factors, How to Quit (external link)

Students can find information about the harmful effects of smoking and develop a personal plan of action to make good decisions about smoking.

  1. Tobacco, Cancer, and Second Hand Smoke (external link)
  2. Smoking and Oral Cancer (external link)

Have students self-monitor personal food selections using the Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide. Students can develop a simple healthy-eating goal to promote good oral health.

  1. Hodges, S., Warren, J., & Bittinger, G. (December 1994). Multicultural Snacks. Totline Publications.
  2. Canada's Food Guide - Sample One-Day Menu for David, a 10-year old boy (external link)
  3. Canada's Food Guide - Tips for Vegetables and Fruits (external link)

Students identify potential dangers and risks during activities such as cycling or sports. Students can consider ways to keep their mouths and teeth protected, to assess risks, and make safe decisions.

  1. Athletic Mouthguards – It’s your Health (external link)

Science & Technology

Earth and Space

The properties of rocks and minerals determine how people can use them. Assess the possible oral health usages of elements made from rocks and minerals.

  1. Calcium - General information (external link)
  2. Calcium - Storage (external link)
  3. Fluoride - Background (external link)
  4. Fluoride in the Drinking Water

Art

Visual Arts

Students can use design elements to communicate ideas, messages, and understanding of different oral health messaging.

  1. Mouthguards protect more than your mouth (external PDF)
  2. Teeth & Nutrition (external link)
  3. Food & Your Teeth (external link)

Grade 5

Language

Reading

  1. Keller, Laurte. (2000). Open Wide: Tooth School Inside (external link). Henry Holt & Company

Poetry/Song

Encourage student participation reading or singing the following song.

The Toothbrush Song

(To the tune of "Row,Row, Row Your Boat")
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Brush them everyday.
We put toothpaste on our brush
To help stop tooth decay.
Floss, floss, floss your teeth.
Floss them every day!
Using the string to clean between
Keeps the plaque away!
Clean, clean, clean your teeth.
Clean them every day!
Your teeth will sparkle for years to come
In the most beautiful way!
Brush, brush, brush your teeth.
Brush them every day!
Happy, healthy teeth you'll have
If it's done this way.

Additional rhymes and songs (external link)

Health and Physical Education

Active Living

Identify what behaviours and precautions can be taken by each person to demonstrate responsibility for their own safety during activities, including safety considerations related to equipment.

  1. It’s Your Mouth (external link)

Healthy Living

Help students understand nutrition labelling and empower them to make better informed and healthier food choices. Simulate the amount of sugar in a beverage using actual sugar to enable students to visualize sugar content in their beverages.

  1. Ready to Use Presentation on Nutrition Labelling (external link)
  2. Sugar Shocker Education Kit (external link)
  3. Sugary Drink Sense for Teens (external link)

Use the link below to discuss in the event of a dental emergency:

  1. What to do in a dental emergency? (external link)

Science and Technology

Conservation of Energy and Resources

  1. Lakehead University - Conserving our Water Resources Fact Sheet (external link)
  2. Experiment: Before starting the experiment, have children guess how much water it takes the average person to brush their teeth. Read the statistics below regarding water usage while brushing teeth and simulate the amount of water in a container or number of containers representing 30 litres. Students can also do an experiment at home to see just how much water they are using to brush their teeth: put a plug in the sink drain and brush teeth for 2 minutes. The student can observe how much water has accumulated during that time.
    • 2 gallons of water used per minute when brushing equals 4 gallons for 2 minutes of brushing, therefore equalling 8 gallons per person bushings 2 times per day
    • 1 gallon = 4 litres approximately
    • Therefore 30 litres of water would be used for one person brushing for 2 minutes/2 times a day

Social Studies

Canada and World Connections

Students can compare the oral health statistics of children around the world. Discuss reasons why Canadian children have a relatively high rate of dental decay.

World Health Organization (WHO) - Oral Health

  • Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities.
  • Dental cavities can be prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity.
  • Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.
  • Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth.
  • Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups.
  • Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.

Math

Number Sense and Numeration

Compare sugar content on beverage container labels. Create a fraction circle to show the differing amounts of sugar content for each beverage. Using the Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide, compare this information with the the recommended daily sugar intake.

  • Energy: 275kJ
  • Protein: 3.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.7g
  • of which sugars: 4.7g
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • of which saturates: 2.3g
  • mono-unsaturates: 1.0g
  • polyunsaturates: 0.1g
  • Fibre: 0.0g
  • Sodium: trace
  • Salt equivalent: trace

Grade 6-8

Language

Writing (Grades 7 & 8)

Students can use the resources to write an article (eg. To a local newspaper) to inform the public about financial assistance for dental treatment and how to access them.

  1. Financial Assistance for All Ages
  2. Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) (external link)
  3. Financial Assistance HSO (external link)
  4. Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry - Financial Assistance Information (external link)

Media (Grades 7 & 8)

How does popular media define a healthy smile/teeth? What message does this convey to people who's smile does not match the media's definition?

  1. What is the real colour of natural and healthy teeth? (external link)

Media (Grade 8)

Create a video/magazine ad informing people about healthy eating or financial assistance available for dental treatment. How can understanding what foods are healthy for oral health assist them?

Health and Physical Education

Active Living (Grade 6)

Students can research information about what they can do if a tooth is knocked out.

  1. Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Healthy Living (Grade 6-8)

Grade 6

Students can use the information below to research substance use and describe how the use of these can affect oral health.

  1. Cannabis users generally have poorer oral health than non-users, with an increased risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease and oral cancer. Prolonged cannabis use can cause dry mouth which is a significant risk factor for oral health problems.
  2. Kids Health and Smoking (Grades 6-8) (external PDF)
  3. Ontario Dental Association-Smoking (external link)
  4. Oral Health for Teens – British Columbia Dental Association (external link)
Grade 7
  1. Oral health professionals can help people connect with professionals who can provide assistance with mental health concerns, substance abuse, and addiction.
  2. Oral health professionals can develop specific treatment plans to help people who have an addiction protect their teeth and gums.
  3. Users must talk to their oral health providers about their drug use as drugs can react with the anaesthetics commonly used in oral health treatment.
Grade 8

Discuss the oral health and financial problems resulting from substance abuse. (e.g., problems in the mouth may result from substance abuse. A person may be unable to resolve the issue because monetary resources are used to purchase substances for an addiction. Or a person may decide against dental treatment so as to purchase drugs.)

The picture and links below contain information about the process of tooth decay, healthy foods for your mouth and teeth, and how to make healthier food choices. Students can:

  • Consult Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide to determine how people can make healthy food choices on a limited budget. Using the information found, create a sample menu for a limited budget. (Gr. 6)
  • Discuss how to choose foods that do not cause tooth decay and can be purchased on a limited budget. (Gr. 7)
  • Compare labels from popular food items and decide which items are “oral health friendly”. (Gr. 6 & 8)
  1. Food Label Lesson Plans (external link)
  2. Healthy Eating Lesson Plan (external link)
  3. Food and Your Teeth (external link)
  4. Oral Health (external link)
  5. Nutrition for Children (external link)
  6. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide (external link)
  7. Healthy Snacks (external link)
  8. Experiment (external link)

Sources for information about healthy eating and related behaviours. (Gr.8)

  1. General Health Information
  2. Nutrition
  3. Oral Health Checklist (external link)
Personal Safety and Injury Prevention

Students can research information to help identify when a mouthguard should be worn and explain how a mouthguard protects the mouth. (Grades 6 & 8)

  1. How to Use and Care for Your Mouthguard (external link)
  2. Dental Safety (external link)
  3. How Mouthguards Protect the Mouth (external link)
  4. Guard Your Mouth and Protect Your Smile (external link)
  5. Sports Mouthguards: Putting More Bite into Injury Prevention (external link)

What are the possible health risks with oral piercing? (Gr. 8)

  1. Tongue Piercing and Broken Teeth (external PDF)

Additional linkages for Halton District School Board

Discuss what some types of infections affect the mouth? How do they affect the mouth?

Science and Technology

Grade 7

Research what is the environmental impact of disposing of amalgam fillings and what can be done to lessen the impact on the environment?

Geography

Grade 7

Fluoride is a natural mineral that makes teeth stronger and more resistant to tooth decay. It prevents bacteria from producing acids that cause tooth decay. Use the links below to find out which countries are rich with natural sources of fluoride.

  1. Natural fluorides
  2. Map of areas in the world with fluoride rich soil (external link)

Art

Drama (Grade 7)

Role play the effects of not being hired for a job because of the appearance of poor oral health due to not having enough money to maintain a healthy mouth.

Dance

Use dance to communicate the effects poverty has on poor oral health such as not being able to have regular dental cleanings, buy the necessary tools for daily oral care, or healthy food. (e.g., at the grocery store checkout, you have put back items because you cannot afford them. Oral care items and healthy food are the first items to go back.) How can this be solved?

Math

Numeration (Grade 8)

Use the links below to help students discover the sugar content in popular drinks. Compare the proportions found in each drink.

  1. Sugar Shocker Education Kit (external link)
  2. Canada’s Food Guide: Beverages (external link)
  • Energy: 275kJ
  • Protein: 3.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.7g
  • of which sugars: 4.7g
  • Fat: 3.6g
  • of which saturates: 2.3g
  • mono-unsaturates: 1.0g
  • polyunsaturates: 0.1g
  • Fibre: 0.0g
  • Sodium: trace
  • Salt equivalent: trace

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