As kindergartners are about to learn, their set of teeth is a valuable and sparkling treasure that can provide a lifetime of happiness and success. Research indicates a link between oral health and overall well-being, emphasizing the importance of teaching children proper dental hygiene. Children can build a strong foundation for a healthy future by practicing healthy habits early on.
This evidence-based SEL lesson teaches kindergartners the importance of oral hygiene and helps children develop a positive attitude toward dental care. The lesson centers around an engaging story about Brian Brush-Well, a kid from the Goodbody family. Through Brian's story, students learn the value of a consistent oral care routine to prevent cavities and other chronic diseases that can affect their quality of life.
Brian is a kid who often neglects his teeth after meals and indulges in sugary snacks. At night, tooth bugs come out of the shadow to feast on his teeth's soft plaque and hard enamel. During his visit to the dentist the next day, he discovers the cavities and decaying spots in his teeth, which serve as his wake-up call to make positive changes in his habits.
"Oral health is the window to overall health; any issues or infections originating from the oral cavity can have far-reaching effects on the body, mind, and social engagement."
After that day, Brian Brush-Well becomes the kid who knows how to care for his precious pearly whites. He brushes them each morning after breakfast and every night before bedtime. Keeping his teeth clean, bright, and healthy makes him feel good about himself.
Oral health is the window to overall health; any issues or infections originating from the oral cavity can have far-reaching effects on the body, mind, and social engagement. To help kindergarten students better understand this, the teacher facilitates a class discussion centered around the lesson that Brian’s story imparts. Students then share their thoughts and reflections on how they can care for their teeth and why it is a must.
As an ending activity, students create a "Dental Puppet" using a paper bag. This activity helps reinforce the idea that good dental care is a positive action for improving physical health and self-concept.
Overall, proper dental hygiene benefits physical health. It reduces the risks of oral infections and diseases affecting the entire body. It also promotes mental well-being and positive self-concept as it improves the quality of life. Taking pride in oral health also boosts confidence to engage in social interactions and positive relationship-building.
With this understanding and by embracing the lessons learned from Brian Brush-Well, kindergartners learn the value of dental hygiene. They recognize that caring for their teeth is not just a chore but an investment in their overall health and happiness. Armed with knowledge, they become ambassadors of good dental hygiene, inspiring others to follow suit.