oral health activities for toddlers

Toddlers learn and train themselves in everyday activities to gain some independence. However, dental health is one area where they often require assistance. Integrating oral health habits in a toddler’s life can be challenging. Such decisions are made with proper planning. Dental health and teeth activities play a crucial role in engaging the child and teaching him good oral habits.

Even if the toddler uses a toothbrush, it takes time for him to learn the right technique and understand the importance of oral hygiene. As parents, you can help your child to take care of his oral health by involving him in various dental health activities. This article will highlight the list of activities you can teach your child to integrate oral health practice creatively.

What is the purpose of educating toddlers about dental health?

Children who develop good oral habits from a young age are more likely to continue great oral healthcare routine in their adult life as well. Development of good oral habits is the first sign of defense against many dental problems. (1)

Fewer dental problems in life contribute to the development of a positive self-image. This characteristic also encourages the child to perform well in school. As a parent, you must take proper care of your child’s oral health.

Easy dental health activities for toddlers

Brush the teeth

This activity is a great way to teach children about the difference between healthy teeth and plaque.

  • Take a yellow construction paper and cut it out in the shape of teeth. The yellow color represents plaque.
  • Handover a toothbrush and some white paint to the child. Ask them to color the paper teeth until it is entirely white.
  • Cut out large lips from red construction paper and frame the two together to create a perfect smile.

Smile collage

Cut out pictures of different smiles from magazines or newspapers and ask the child to make a collage using his creative skills.

Learn the right brushing technique

This activity is a fun way to teach the kids the correct brushing technique. (2)

  • For this, you can cut out the bottoms of large plastic soda bottles.
  • Turn the cut portion upside down to make them look like teeth.
  • Collect as many bottle bottoms as you want and join them together.
  • Spray the bottoms with shaving cream and instruct the children the proper technique of tooth brushing.

Food chart

Cut out pictures of healthy food items from magazines or newspapers and make a food chart for healthy teeth. This can be hung on the refrigerator to remind the child about the food which is fit for the teeth and body. (3)

Make your toothbrush

A fun way to engage children is to create giant-sized toothbrush. You can call this the ‘Jumbo Brush.’

To make a jumbo toothbrush you will need –

  • A 9×12 piece of white construction paper. Fold this paper into half.
  • Draw stripes on the paper and ask the children to cut those stripes. These stripes will make the bristles of the brush.
  • Take another construction paper of any color and make the handle. Stick the bristles to the handle and write down the child’s name on the handle.

Fun science

This is a fun experiment if you can manage to scrounge some white ceramic tiles. Ask the children to smear a variety of products like ketchup, peanut butter, and syrup on the tile.

Now, handover a toothbrush and toothpaste and ask them to clean the tile. This activity will teach them what food products are difficult to remove and which ones are easy.

Egg experiments

Egg experiment is a cool way to teach the children about the importance of tooth brushing.

  • Take a boiled egg with the shell still intact and place it in a glass of soda for at least a day.
  • The next day take the egg out, you can see that the egg is discolored. Teach the children that the yellow color represents plaque on the tooth surface.
  • Now, take a toothbrush and toothpaste to clean the surface of the egg. The color starts to disappear.

The kids will love this experiment and learn a lot about proper oral hygiene maintenance.

Field trip

The best way to teach kids about dental health is to take them to a dental office. Talk to your dentist well before you plan and fix a time when the doctor is readily available. The children will familiarize themselves with the environment of a dental office.

It is also a great way to relieve the anxiety and nervousness of kids towards dentists and dental procedures.

How to protect your child’s oral health?

Oral health of a child can only be improved through proper attention and guidance. The best ways to protect your child’s oral health is –

  • Teach them proper tooth brushing habits. Once in the morning and once before going to sleep.
  • Use a fluoridated toothbrush to allow enamel remineralization.
  • Cut back on sticky chocolates and sugary juices. Encourage them to eat healthy food.
  • Take them to regular dental visits to stay in check of any decay or gingival problems that may have developed.

Take away message

As a parent, you must mold the personality of your child and teach good habits. Taking care of their health and educating the children will positively impact their life.

Such decisions are made with plenty of thought and information. To make things easier for you, we have listed out the best activities that a child can enjoy and learn at the same time.

These activities are specialized to educate the child about the importance of good oral hygiene and how to maintain healthy teeth.

So what are you waiting for? Get started and plan a fun day with your child filled with exciting activities.