This dental health lesson plan for first grade will have your students begging to brush their teeth when they see firsthand how easily many of the liquids they drink can stain their teeth.
Small, plastic cups
Water, milk, grape juice and cola
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Science journals (or blank paper), pencils and crayons
Use this lesson as part of a dental health unit. Your students should know good dental habits like brushing and flossing and they should be familiar with the parts of a tooth like the enamel, gums and pulp.
Tell the class that you are going to do an experiment to show how certain drinks affect their teeth and why brushing is so important. Show the class the eggs and explain that the white shells of the eggs are similar to the enamel on their teeth. Show the students the four drinks that you will be using - water, milk, cola and grape juice. Pour some of each into a small cup and then place one egg in each cup.
Ask the students to predict which of the liquids are harmful to the teeth and to write their predictions in their science journals or onto a blank piece of paper if you don’t keep science journals. They can also predict what they think will happen to the eggs after being left in the liquids.
Next have the students draw the experiment in their journals under their predictions. They can draw the eggs in the cups and label each cup with the liquid it holds. Leave the eggs in the liquids for at least a few hours. You can also leave them overnight and finish the experiment the following day.
After a few hours remove the eggs from the liquids and show them to the class. Talk about about what happened and which eggs were stained. Ask if they have any ideas of how they can remove the stains from the eggs. What do they think will happen if they brush the eggs using toothpaste and toothbrushes?
Place a small amount of toothpaste on a toothbrush and let students take turns brushing the eggs. Discuss what happened.
In their journals, have them write and draw what happened to the eggs after soaking in the liquids and after being brushed. Then have them write about what they learned from the experiment.
Look at their journals. Did they draw and label the experiment correctly? Did their conclusions make sense? Hopefully they wrote that sugary drinks like grape juice and cola will stain their teeth and that brushing helps remove stains from teeth or something similar.
To show how acids from the sugars and starches in the foods we eat can weaken the tooth enamel, soak an egg in vinegar overnight and then observe how the shell gets soft.
Your first graders will love learning about taking care of their teeth with this fun lesson plan on dental health!
This post is part of the series: First Grade Dental Health Lesson Plans
These dental health lesson plans and activities are great for a first grade dental health unit. You’ll find fun ideas for teaching students about their teeth and ways to integrate dental health across the curriculum.