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Happy Teeth Program Manual - Promoting Healthy Teeth

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					                                                                            0-2 year olds



Promoting healthy teeth
Aims
   ¥ To establish an environment that supports oral health through facility policies and routines
     and parent/carer information.
   ¥ To facilitate spontaneous learning experiences involving individual babies or infants and their
     parents/carers.
It is important to note that ideas and resources for play can be adapted from the section focusing
on 2-3 year olds.
As educators of the 0-2 year age group, your role will mainly be educating parents/carers about
good oral health practices. By encouraging parents to breastfeed, use bottles appropriately and
commence toothbrushing, you will ensure a strong basis for oral health in the early years.

Strategies
You can create a healthy environment by implementing the policies and routines outlined in this
section. For example, staff can:
   ¥ ensure that the facility has a nutrition policy (see examples pages 33, 34 and 35)
   ¥ ensure that parents are aware of the facility s food requirements (see sample letters pages 13
      and 14)
   ¥ use the posters, pamphlets and newsletter items provided to inform parents about infant tooth
      decay, teething, tooth-friendly foods, how to clean baby s teeth, when to start cleaning teeth
      and dummies (see Educator fact sheets)
   ¥ set up an infant tooth decay display to provide parents with information about avoiding
      infant tooth decay and appropriate use of bottles
   ¥ let parents/carers know just how much sugar sweet drinks contain by displaying the Don t
      Rot Your Baby s Teeth poster included in this kit
   ¥ remind parents to start brushing baby s teeth once they start to come through
   ¥ remind parents that if they live in an area with fluoridated water or where the natural fluoride
      level is high, they do not need to use toothpaste for baby until 18 months of age. In areas
      without fluoridated water, parents should use a small pea-size amount of low dose fluoride
      toothpaste to brush baby teeth from six months of age
   ¥ remind parents to get baby s teeth checked by a dental professional from their first birthday
   ¥ implement practices in the facility that protect against infant tooth decay as detailed below:
         - avoid fluids and foods that are sweet and sticky. Give water when thirsty and milk
             when hungry
         - discourage cordials or fruit drinks from being sent from home
         - discourage the use of bottles as pacifiers. Letting children suck on a bottle (of anything
             other than water) constantly throughout the day, or fall asleep with a bottle or sweetened
             dummy in their mouth, can cause severe tooth decay
         - put only water or milk in baby bottles. Each time a child drinks sugar-containing fluids
             (eg. fruit juice, cordial, soft drink), the acid produced attacks the child s teeth for at
             least 20 minutes afterwards. Prolonged and frequent use means a continuous acid attack
             and the increased likelihood of decay
         - do not use sweet substances on dummies
         - introduce the use of a cup from 6 months of age
         - discourage the use of the bottle after 12 months of age.

Be sure to contact your local nutritionist or oral health service for help with designing policies and
routines to suit your facility.




                                                                                       HappyTeeth         19
     2-3 year olds



     Promoting healthy teeth in 2-3 year olds
     Aims
     To establish:
        ¥ healthy oral health behaviours
        ¥ the understanding that teeth have many purposes: eating, speaking and smiling
        ¥ the understanding that some foods are tooth-friendly, while others are not
        ¥ the understanding that dental hygiene is important
        ¥ a positive and friendly image of oral health workers.

     As an educator of the 2-3 year age group, you are aware of the need to base planning on individual
     needs and interest. At this age, a child has limited life experiences and needs to have concrete
     experiences on which to base their play.

     The information provided in this section is mainly for educators working with children individually
     or in groups of up to five or six children.

     Strategies will need to be adapted for larger groups. Remember, Happy Teeth strategies are provided
     to assist and guide staff. They are intended to be flexible and educators should feel comfortable
     modifying activities to suit various ages, group sizes and learning settings.

     Objectives
     Children will:
        ¥ be weaned off any unhealthy oral health behaviours, such as bottles
        ¥ begin taking care of their teeth with adult support
        ¥ become familiar with words such as healthy, unhealthy, tooth-friendly foods and toothpaste
        ¥ role play a dentist or dental therapist with the support of the educator
        ¥ feel happy, relaxed and confident about a visit to a dental surgery.

     Strategies
        ¥ Encourage reduced use of bottle until habit is stopped. Work closely with parents to reinforce
          this at home.
        ¥ Encourage children to try to brush their teeth at home. Children of this age do not have the
          manual dexterity to clean their teeth properly and will require parent support and assistance
          (see Fact sheet 5). Encourage them to ask a parent to help!
        ¥ Provide puppets, dolls or toys that have teeth for the children to play with. (See Additional
          resources for the teethy puppet order form).
        ¥ Provide hands-on food packages and plastic foods for play - encourage discussion about
          tooth-friendly foods.
        ¥ To increase the child s knowledge, make use of as many different books about dentists and
          healthy food choices as possible. Some of the books listed in the Additional resources section
          may not have appropriate script for this age group, but many have pictures that may be suitable
          for use with individual children.
        ¥ Use opportunities to demonstrate dental procedures at appropriate moments, such as when
          reading books or showing posters.
        ¥ Poster series to increase the child s knowledge of key concepts, eg. visiting the dentist.
        ¥ Encourage parents to start to count teeth at home.
        ¥ Celebrate new teeth. At this age, children are getting the last of their baby teeth at the back.
          Parents can tell the educator when a new tooth comes through and this can be celebrated with
          the group.




20    HappyTeeth
                                                                          2-3 year olds



Case study: Introducing tooth care to toddlers
The educator is sitting with a group of three toddlers.

The educator talks about the children s teeth and how to look after them. The children are encouraged
to open wide and show all their Stevie Strongteeth and to practise wide open smile .

The discussion finishes with the educator singing Here s a tooth in your mouth with the children.

(Tune: Here s a House With a Wall)




1. Here s a tooth in your mouth,                     2. Here s a brush for your teeth, for your teeth,
   in your mouth, in your mouth,                        for your teeth,
   (point to teeth)                                     (hold pointer finger horizontally to mouth)




3. We can brush, brush, brush                        4. Our teeth are shining bright, shining bright,
   after lunch, lunch, lunch,                           our teeth are shining bright
   (move pointer finger up and down                     (show a wide open smile)
   in front of mouth)


Resources
Fact sheet 5 — Correct tooth cleaning techniques




                                                                                      HappyTeeth         21
     3-4 year olds



     Promoting healthy teeth in 3-4 year olds
     Aims
     To establish:
        ¥ the understanding of unhealthy oral habits
        ¥ the understanding that teeth have many purposes: eating, speaking and smiling
        ¥ the understanding that some foods are tooth-friendly, while others are not
        ¥ the understanding that dental hygiene is important
        ¥ a positive and friendly image of oral health workers.

     At this age, children need concrete experiences on which to base their play and learning. The
     activities suggested in this kit have been designed to assist active learning. You may wish to organise
     a visit to a dental surgery or alternately invite a dental therapist to your facility. However, these
     activities have been designed to help educators to promote the central oral health concepts without
     such assistance.

     Be aware that some of the strategies outlined in the 4-5 year olds section will also be relevant to
     this age group. We expect that you will adapt this program depending on the abilities of the children
     in your facility.

     Remember, strategies should also be adapted to suit your setting. They are provided as guides or
     suggestions and are intended to be flexible. You should feel comfortable modifying activities to
     suit various ages, group sizes and learning settings.

     Objectives

     Children will:
        ¥ practise hygiene before and after meals
        ¥ brush their own teeth with adult supervision and assistance, using a toothbrush
        ¥ use toothbrushes in the correct manner
        ¥ become familiar with words such as healthy, unhealthy, tooth-friendly foods, plaque, gums,
          decay, circles, scrub, jiggle, bristles and fluoride
        ¥ role play a dentist or dental therapist to strengthen awareness and develop understanding
        ¥ feel happy, relaxed and confident about a visit to a dental surgery
        ¥ understand what to expect in an oral examination/procedure, and accept that examinations
          will help them to have healthy teeth and happy smiles
        ¥ reduce use of dummies or thumb sucking.




22    HappyTeeth
                                                                             3-4 year olds



Promoting healthy teeth (continued)
Strategies
Physical
  Gross motor
  ¥ Jump over tooth-friendly foods and jump on foods that are not tooth-friendly.
  Fine motor
  ¥ Use lots of action songs and rhymes that incorporate finger movement.
  ¥ Have pieces of paper in the shape of a smile and other pieces in the shape of teeth available
    in the art area for free expression.
  ¥ Have dough available in pink (lips) and white (teeth) so children can make their own smile.
  ¥ Paste magazine pictures of healthy food and drinks onto paper plates so that they resemble
    meals. Ensure that there are appropriate pictures in the magazines before giving them to the
    children to use.
  ¥ Make dental attire (eg. coat, mask, gloves) available for dress-ups (masks should not be shared
    and cotton gloves may be used to avoid latex allergies). For safety, ensure that all dental attire
    used by this age group has velcro or large clips as fasteners rather than sharp items such as
    safety pins. (See Dentist coat pattern in the Educator resources section.)
  ¥ Help children learn how to wash their hands and brush their teeth using the wash-eat-brush
    concept.

Cognitive
Including language, critical thinking, communicating, cultural awareness and understanding, sense
of self.
   ¥ Ensure learning experiences are supported by various forms of visual stimuli within the
     immediate environment.
   ¥ Use puzzles to reinforce information and concepts (see list in Additional resources section).
   ¥ Use stories to reinforce the development of concepts such as daily brushing, hand washing,
     healthy foods, functions of the mouth and teeth and the role of a dentist or dental therapist
     (see Additional resources section).
   ¥ Repeat enjoyable songs to aid understanding and reinforce concepts.
   ¥ Use familiar food items to reinforce the idea that just because it tastes nice doesn t mean it
     is healthy. Take care not to reinforce the notion that good food tastes bad.
   ¥ Use simple ways to sort tooth-friendly foods from those that are not tooth-friendly.
   ¥ Use cooking activities to support healthy food concepts (see recipes in the Newsletter items
     section).
   ¥ Sit on a low chair and get children to come up to you one at a time to open wide . This action
     reinforces the dental examination process and makes children more comfortable. Sing the song
     Open Wide, Let s Check Inside, It s Teeth Time, It s Teeth Time.

Social/emotional
Including sense of self, cultural awareness and understanding, social living and learning, environmental
understanding.
   ¥ Allow for hands-on experiences with different types of tooth-friendly food, including some
     unfriendly food.
   ¥ Allow for role playing opportunities.
   ¥ Identify agreed times for thumb sucking/dummy use to reduce habit.




                                                                                        HappyTeeth         23
     3-4 Year Olds



     Case study: correct tooth brushing
     The educator begins the session with the rhyme:

                     We are all stretching

                     1. We are all stretching, stretch, stretch, stretching,
                               (use arms to stretch out showing freshly awoken)
                        We are all stretching,
                        This fine day.


                     2. We are all washing, wash, wash, washing,
                               (wash face with hands)
                        We are all washing,
                        This fine day.


                     3. We are all eating, eat, eat, eating,
                               (right hand scooping out from left hand
                               and taking it up to the mouth)
                        We are all eating,
                        This fine day.


                     4. We are all brushing, brush, brush, brushing,
                               (use pointer finger in a tooth brushing
                               action on front of mouth or teeth)
                        We are all brushing,
                        This fine day.


                     5. We are all ready, waiting and ready
                                     (sitting with hands in lap, and legs crossed)
                        We are all ready,
                        This fine day.


     The above activity can be followed by the pop-up book Brush Your Teeth Please by Leslie McGuire.
     The main emphasis of this book is to show how the bear, chimpanzee, hippopotamus, lion, shark
     and children brush their teeth.

     After reading the story, the educator discusses the following:
        ¥ animals need to keep their teeth clean - as do humans
        ¥ we clean our teeth so that they are bright, white and healthy
        ¥ we brush our teeth at least two times a day.




24    HappyTeeth
                                                                           3-4 year olds



Case study (continued)
This leads into the use of the Smile poster series including:
   ¥ a healthy set of teeth in a child s mouth
   ¥ an unhealthy set of teeth in a child s mouth.

The educator is able to use these to support the idea that the unhealthy teeth are caused by the
build up of plaque. The germs in plaque make acids which eat away at the teeth and make holes,
called decay.

The question is raised as to whether the child is a boy or girl and the educator suggests it doesn t
matter because most children who are 3-4 years of age have the same number of teeth and have
them in the same place. She also encourages the children to watch how she cleans the handpuppet’s
teeth with the toothbrush - 10 tiny circles or jiggling on the front, teeth together, on the left side
and again on the right side, scrubbing on the top of the teeth and then jiggling on the inside all
the way around (see Fact sheet 5).

The educator uses a song Round in Circles (see Songs, rhymes and activities section) to reinforce
this concept and then finishes the session with a dismissal rhyme about cleaning teeth.

                                                         Q: How much
Dismissal rhyme
                                                       toothpaste do you
   Mai-ling cleans her teeth,
                                                           put on the
   She cleans them twice a day,                             brush?
   She claps her hands and turns around,
   As she goes out to play.

   Mario cleans his teeth,
   He cleans them twice a day,                                      A: About half
   He jumps along and gives a smile,                                the size of a
   As he goes out to play.                                              pea!


Discussion triggers                                                           Q: What do you do
   ¥ Who has their own toothbrush at home?                                     when you finish
   ¥ Who helps you clean your teeth at home?                                    brushing your
   ¥ How often do you clean your teeth at home?                                     teeth?
   ¥ When do you clean your teeth?
   ¥ What happens when you clean your teeth?


Resources                                                                  don t rinse!
   ¥ Happy Teeth poster set - Smile series    ¥ Teethy puppet
   ¥ Toothbrush                               ¥ Songs and rhymes CD
   ¥ Toothbrushing sticker
   ¥ Fact sheet 5 - Correct tooth cleaning techniques




                                                                                      HappyTeeth         25
     4-5 year olds



     Promoting healthy teeth in 4-5 year olds
     Aims
     To establish:
        ¥ the understanding that teeth have many purposes: eating, speaking and smiling
        ¥ the understanding that some foods are tooth-friendly, while others are not
        ¥ the understanding that dental hygiene is important
        ¥ the understanding of unhealthy oral habits
        ¥ a positive and friendly image of oral health workers.

     Children in this age group bring with them prior knowledge and experience on which to base further
     understanding.

     However, many children may not have a strong basis on which to build the concepts of:
       ¥ the functions of teeth
       ¥ importance of a healthy diet in relation to the development of healthy teeth
       ¥ correct oral hygiene
       ¥ the positive image of the oral health worker.

     So, the strategies outlined will need to be adapted to suit your setting and children s individual
     needs. They are provided as guides or suggestions and are intended to be flexible and educators
     should feel comfortable modifying activities to suit various ages, group sizes and learning settings.

     Objectives
     Children will:
        ¥ use a toothbrush correctly, with adult supervision
        ¥ be familiar with words such as: healthy, unhealthy, tooth-friendly foods, plaque, gums, decay,
          circles, scrub, jiggle, bristles, fluoride, x-ray and probe
        ¥ role play oral health workers to strengthen awareness and understanding of their role
        ¥ feel happy, relaxed and confident about a visit to a dental surgery
        ¥ understand that regular oral health will help them to have healthy teeth and happy smiles.

     Strategies
     Below are suggestions for various areas of learning relating to teeth function, correct dental hygiene,
     tooth-friendly foods and the role of the oral health worker. You will find it useful to use the Happy
     Teeth poster sets in the kit to illustrate these concepts.

     Information provided is divided into developmental areas, with the understanding that learning is
     an integrated process.

     Working non-thematically
     You can use this information to help stimulate children s thinking and to give you ideas to reinforce
     the concept of oral health. It is important to take advantage of learning opportunities, for example,
     if toothbrushing has been introduced in the facility, or when children show an interest in either
     their own teeth or animal teeth.




26    HappyTeeth
                                                                              4-5 year olds



Working thematically
This information can be used in the following areas:
   ¥ people in the community
   ¥ people who help us
   ¥ Dental Health Month (August)
   ¥ tooth-friendly versus unfriendly foods
   ¥ and many more — the list is endless.

Physical
  Gross motor
  ¥ Play a game with prepared pictures of tooth-friendly food and tooth-unfriendly food. Try
    stepping over the tooth-friendly food and jumping on the tooth-unfriendly food and/or throwing
    bean bags onto tooth-friendly food and over the tooth-unfriendly food.
  ¥ During outdoor play, children can make their bodies into an imaginary dental chair, taking it
    up and down, doing forms of sit-ups, pressing the levers and making the chair go up and
    down.
  ¥ Dress up in dental attire (see Educator resources section for the dental coat pattern).

   Fine motor
   ¥ Operate any available puppets.
   ¥ Practise the finger/hand actions that help build the correct toothbrushing and handwashing
     skills.
   ¥ Clean teeth at least once a day within the facility.
   ¥ Roll out dough to make smiles. Use small white shells for teeth.
   ¥ Cut pictures from magazines that show healthy teeth to be put on a large poster of a smiling
     mouth.
   ¥ Draw their own germs or strong-tooth characters.
   ¥ Paste white teeth-shaped pieces of paper onto the gums of the smiling mouths of various
     creatures that have teeth — including humans, crocodiles, rabbits, etc. (see the Songs, rhymes
     and activities section for more information).
   ¥ Cut tooth-friendly food pictures and/or unfriendly foods from magazines to put onto a large
     poster displaying a big tick and/or a big cross .
   ¥ Cut up food that could be used on a tooth-friendly healthy food platter.

Cognitive
Including language, sense of self, cultural awareness and understanding, thinking, communication.
As well as the obvious cognitive/intellectual development that results from the above activities
through use of language, sorting, classifying, memorising of rhymes, developing an awareness of
facial features of animals etc., the activities on the following page are aimed at specifically developing
the cognitive abilities of the child.




                                                                                          HappyTeeth         27
     4-5 year olds



      ¥ Provide puzzles that will stimulate a child s thinking about dental health (see the list of suggested
        puzzles in the Additional resources section).

      ¥ Place positive multicultural and multi-ability images around the room that support central oral
        health concepts, eg. daily tooth brushing, tooth-friendly foods, functions of the mouth, role
        of oral health workers (see the Additional resources section and the Happy Teeth poster set).

      ¥ Create simple mazes that will allow children to use pre-writing and pre-reading skills. Some
        ideas for mazes include:
           - filling a shopping trolley with tooth-friendly food to help the child have a healthy smile
              (see maze 1)
           - getting toothpaste to the toothbrush (see maze 2 and 3)
           - getting the dentist or dental therapist ready (attire and equipment) to give the child their
              check-up (see maze 4).

      ¥ Create a domino game that allows a child to match up pictures that support core oral health
        concepts such as:
          - smiling mouth showing teeth
          - various dental instruments on separate cards
          - various pictures of healthy foods on separate cards
          - tooth-unfriendly foods with an x through them on separate cards
          - dentist or dental therapist at work.

      ¥ Use the Dental visit poster series to create a story about visiting the dentist.

      ¥ Work with children to create a Big Book on various topics:
         - tooth-friendly foods
         - what the dentist or dental therapist does
         - our visit to the dental surgery
         - when I grow up, I will be..................
             and I will.......................
         - happy teeth, healthy teeth, what do you see?

      ¥ Select books from the Additional resources section
        or photos from the Happy Teeth Poster Sets, to
        promote daily toothbrushing, tooth-friendly foods,
        functions of the mouth and teeth, role of the oral
        health worker, as well as other concepts
        appropriate to oral health, for example, going
        shopping for tooth-friendly foods.

      ¥ Use finger plays and rhymes at the beginning or
        end of the language session to support your
        planned story (see Songs, rhymes and activities
        section).




28   HappyTeeth
                                                                           4-5 year olds



   ¥ Use the Happy Teeth poster set to reinforce children s understanding of oral health concepts.
     Dramatic play could include:
        - counting teeth (using teethy puppets or other available dolls/toys)
        - matching the correct sized toothbrush with the mouth for which it is suited
        - pretending to fill out a record chart for the patient .
   ¥ Sing songs that are associated with dental hygiene concepts (see Songs, rhymes and activities
     section).
   ¥ Allow the children to use puppets to create their own stories about teeth. Children can also
     make their own puppets to symbolise teeth so that they can play out their ideas at home.
   ¥ Provide boxes and pre-cut teeth , eyes , and nose and suggest that children might like to
     make some animals that have big white teeth - sharks, crocodiles, bears, dinosaurs etc.
   ¥ Cut out the teeth on a pre-drawn crocodile s mouth.
   ¥ Create a shopping game by selling plastic fruit and giving children pretend money.
   ¥ Prepare a pictorial recipe that shows foods that can be used as part of a healthy food platter
     or in a tooth-friendly (healthy) food recipe (see recipes in the Newsletter items section).
   ¥ Create a visit to the dentist game using the Happy Teeth poster set - Dental Visit series.

Social/emotional
Including social living and learning, sense of self, cultural understanding and awareness.
   ¥ Allow children time to play in the dramatic play area with dental attire. This will reinforce
     emerging positive attitudes towards dentists and dental therapists and also encourage children
     to talk about any fears.
   ¥ Create a picture of yourself - use a mirror to help children to see their facial features. Place
     particular emphasis on the teeth and the smile. Provide materials that will help the child to
     create this picture.
   ¥ Work with individual children who use a dummy or suck their fingers/thumb. Set goals for
     reducing this habit with the children and their parents/carers. Identify an appropriate reward
     for achieving this goal.




                                                                                     HappyTeeth         29
     4-5 year olds



     Case study: Tooth-friendly foods
     The educator of a group of 25 four to five year olds sets up the dramatic play area as a Healthy
     tooth food shop . The area is established with an assortment of food, in particular fruit. The children
     choose and buy food to make fruit kebabs for morning tea.

     Discussion focuses around the kinds of food that can be used for kebabs — strawberries, bananas,
     rockmelon and watermelon, etc. The educator takes this opportunity to explore and reinforce the
     idea that taste is not a good way to tell if food is healthy or tooth-friendly.

     This discussion forms the basis of the following language experience, that takes place at a later
     point in the day.

     With the use of a felt board, the educator creates a person made from tooth-friendly foods (similar
     to the Aiken Drum concept). Each part of the person (ie. trunk, limbs, head, facial features) is made
     from a different food item and added to the board, piece by piece, to form the person.

     A discussion takes place concerning children s food choices and food that tastes nice to some people
     may not taste nice to others. Children are asked to give indicators of tooth-friendliness. The general
     consensus, with direction from the educator, is that food that doesn t stick to the teeth or isn t very
     sweet, is most likely to be tooth-friendly. The educator requests feedback from the children regarding
     ideas about tooth unfriendly foods - these are identified as predominantly sweets (see Fact Sheet
     10 - Glossary of terms). The educator also identifies that while some foods are not high in sugar,
     they may be high in fat and are therefore not healthy choices.

     The session ends with children making their own tooth-friendly food person at the collage table
     during free play session.

     Discussion triggers
        ¥ Which fruits are your favourites?
        ¥ Which fruits smell the best?
        ¥ How do you like eating fruit?
        ¥ What vegetables are the best to eat?
        ¥ What makes vegetables and fruit good to eat?
        ¥ What sort of bread do you like to eat?
        ¥ Where do you buy healthy food?

     Resources
        ¥ Fact sheet 7 — Healthy foods and fluids
        ¥ Fact sheet 8 — Sugars
        ¥ Fact sheet 10 — Glossary of terms.




30    HappyTeeth
                                                                          4-5 year olds



Case study: Child and dentist
The educator begins the session with a finger play - Here are the Dentist s Glasses (see Songs,
rhymes and activities section).

The children are settled and the educator explains that a set of photographs will be used to explain
what happens when children go to see the dentist (see Happy Teeth poster set - Dental visit series).

The children are asked if they have been to a dental surgery before (in this group of 24 children,
two children had).

The educator continues the discussion, highlighting the dental attire, the need for a germ-free
environment, and the role of the dentist or dental therapist and assistant.

The session ends with children finding interesting things to note in the photographs.

Discussion triggers
   ¥ Who has been to the dentist?
   ¥ What did you see at the dentist?
   ¥ What did the dentist wear?
   ¥ What did you have to do at the dentist?
   ¥ Did you need to put some special things on?
   ¥ How did the room smell?
   ¥ What did the dentist do when you were in the chair?
   ¥ How did it feel?
   ¥ Who stayed with you when you went to the dentist?

Resources
   ¥ Happy Teeth poster set — Dental visit series
   ¥ Fact sheet 10 — Glossary of terms
   ¥ CD of songs and rhymes




                                                                                     HappyTeeth        31

				
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Description: Happy Teeth Program Manual - Promoting Healthy Teeth