Oral Health Made Fun!
By Amanda Mazerall, OTR/L
Kids Place Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Kids often have a hard time tolerating tasks that deal with their teeth. Brushing teeth, going to the dentist, and removing loose teeth are just some of the challenges parents face while children grow. Fortunately, there are fun, preparatory activities to help kids feel more comfortable with what happens in their mouths!
While kids are getting used to the act of brushing on their own, they should learn about the bacteria on their teeth that need to be removed. To help them understand this concept, place a picture of teeth in a plastic slip cover and ask your child to color the teeth with green marker to represent germs. Have your child erase the green marks using a tooth brush, making sure they remove all the stains so that the smile is pearly white!
Flossing is another important, yet anxiety inducing aspect of oral hygiene. To help your child through the act and purpose of flossing, use mini marshmallows to represent teeth and green Play-doh to represent plaque. Have your child use floss or a string to remove all the Play-doh in between each marshmallow.
What better way to prepare your child for the removal of a wiggly tooth or an upcoming trip to the dentist than having your child play dentist! Use more Play-doh to create the gums. Then use mini marshmallows, white beads, or beans to represent the teeth, and tweezers as a means for removal!