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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dental Health!

There has been a lot of emphasis on Dental Health in Massachusetts. As of last January (2010) licensed child care facilities must assist children with brushing their teeth if they are under care for more than four hours or when they eat a meal. 

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Oral Health. Dental decay is the most common chronic disease among children. It inhibits learning, speech and eating - and can hinder the development and eruption of adult teeth. Dental disease can cause pain, sickness and even mortality, in extreme cases. According to the EEC, dental disease affects 25% of kindergarten children, 40% of third graders and 30% of sixth graders across the state. Sadly, nearly half of these cases are left untreated. The number of very young children who suffer from dental decay in Massachusetts is startling: 6% of one year olds, 22% of two year olds, 35% of 3 year olds and 48% of four year olds. It is the state’s intention to expand programs, like tooth brushing within child care sites, to ensure our children aren’t suffering from this treatable – and preventable – disease.

In my class along with discussing the importance of tooth brushing we also add it into a geography lesson. There is a fabulous book called, Throw Your Tooth on the Roof by Selby B Beeler which takes you around the world to discover what children do when they lose a tooth.

At the easel the children use a toothbrush to paint a tooth shape which they first stencil and cut.

Here is our tooth traditions display! 

The smaller paper describes how this activity links to the Mass Preschool Standards. I like to do this with all my projects and bulletin boards so that parents will know what we are focusing on and that everything we do has a purpose. 


In our sensory table we put water, a toothbrush, soap and some "teeth".  The teeth are simply the plastic bottoms cut off of soda bottles! The children take the toothbrush dip it in the toothpaste (soap) and brush the teeth!


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