February is practically synonymous with Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s Candy. Unfortunately, that candy can cause problems for children’s teeth, many of which go untreated. In fact, one in six children have at least one untreated cavity and one in five children have not visited a dentist in the last year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fortunately, February is Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month and promoting it will be easy and fun with these free resources and with information from Health and Wellness Resource Center.
- Quick and Easy: printable coloring pages and other activities for children and teens.
- Featured Resources: books for children and their caregivers and links to reliable online information
- Book Club: ideas for your Tween Book Club
- Tie In: ideas for library programs that will get children and teens brushing
- Community Resources: local agencies to contact
- Publicity Resources: free resources to help you publicize Children’s Dental Health Awareness Month at your library through social networking sites or traditional printed materials
- Fun Stuff: links to fun activities for children
Quick and Easy
- At the Dentist
- Brushing My Teeth
- The Dentist Will Check Your Teeth for Cavities
- Finders Keepers – “color the things that will make your teeth healthy” – from the American Dental Association (ADA)
- Four Fine Friends
- Milk Matters with Buddy Brush – coloring book from the National Institutes of Health
- My Smile Kids – toothbrush
- My Smile Kids – dental floss
- Something’s Missing – insert the missing vowels from dental words – from the ADA
- Visiting the Dentist from the ADA
- Draw a Picture of Yourself with a Big Smile!
- Count and Color – from the ADA
- Connect the Dots – from the Canadian Dental Association
- Be a Dentist! Make Healthy Smiles! – fill in the blank worksheet from the ADA
- Dental Word Search – from the ADA
- World’s Wackiest Dental Office – find the mistakes
- Maze: Help me get to my tooth, so that I can keep it healthy and clean.
- Finish the Picture Activity in English and Spanish
- Unscramble the Dental Words
- Teeth to Treasure! Word Search – from the ADA
- Teeth to Treasure! Word Search Challenge – from the ADA
- Watch Your Mouth! Crossword Puzzle – from the ADA
- How the Body Works – The Tooth – label the parts of the tooth from KidsHealth
- Permanent Tooth Development – which teeth have you lost? which ones will you lose next? from the ADA
Children’s Dental Health – Picture Books about Dentists and Teeth
Reliable Online Information:
- Academy of General Dentistry – Oral Health Resources
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry – Parent Education Brochures and Quick Tips for Busy Parents
- American Dental Association – Oral Health Topics
- American Dental Hygenists’ Association – Oral Health Information
- Canadian Dental Association – Your Oral Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics – FASTATS – Oral and Dental Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Oral Health Resources
- Medline Plus – Dental Health
- National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research – Dental Health
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Women’s Health – Oral Health Fact Sheet
Smile by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic/Graphix, February 2010). Autobiography/Comic Book, Ages 9 to 13.
From the publisher: “Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.”
- About the Author
- Author’s Facebook
- Webcomics by the Author
- Author’s Blog
- Click to Look Inside!
- Video Trailer for the Book
- Author Interview
- New York Times Book Review
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (New York: Knopf, 1964). Chapter Book, Ages 9 to 12.
Not only does this beloved book feature chocolate, but also dentists (Willy Wonka’s estranged father). Use the book to discuss the good side and bad side of candy and to discuss dentists and flossing.
- Author Website
- Author Profile and Educator’s Guide to the World of Roald Dahl
- Click to Look Inside!
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie Trailer
Crafts and Other Fun Program Ideas
- Fun, Hands On Science Experiments: Acid Attack, The Power of Fluoride, and Floss Is Boss
- Magazine Smiles Collage: Use those stacks of magazines from last year. Kids simply cut out smiles and glue them on cardstock or cardboard to create their own collage
- Smile for the Collage: Let your teens or tweens take pictures of smiles, and then help them crop and and manipulate them into a collage.
- A Sweet Tooth for You! Make a fun toothbrush Valentine’s Day card.
Healthy Teeth Story Time Fun
- Silverlicous by Victoria Kann – “When Pinkalicious loses her sweet tooth, she turns to the Tooth Fairy for Help.” Read the book and then make an easy tooth fairy envelope.
- A Trip to the Dentist by Penny Smith – “Sarah, Josh and Rabbit are off to the dentist! Find out how they keep their teeth clean and bright!” Read the book aloud and then let the kids read the book online.
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- Find a Dentist
- Find Your Local (Component) Organization
- Find Your State (Constituent) Organization
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research – Local Dental Schools
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration – Find a federally funded, low or no cost health center near you.