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“Open Wide – Brush Inside” is a hands-on dental hygiene lesson


P.E. & Health  


K, 1, 2, 3  

Title – Open Wide: Brush Inside
By – Jenna Gourlay
Primary Subject – Health / Physical Education
Grade Level – K-3


    Dental hygiene is extremely important in younger grades. It is important to teach students the importance from an early age and help them to develop healthy tooth brushing habits.

Prior Knowledge of Students:

    Students should already know how to brush their teeth and practice it at home.

National Standard:

      Standard 7.2.1. Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.

    Standard 7.2.2. Demonstrate behaviors that avoid or reduce health risks.

New Jersey Standard:

    Standard 2.1.A-2 Describe and demonstrate self-care practices that support wellness, such as brushing and flossing teeth, washing hands, and wearing appropriate attire for weather or sports.

Performance Objectives:

  1. Cognitive:
      At the end of the lesson on tooth hygiene, students should recognize the health benefits of keeping their mouth clean by brushing and flossing. Students will be evaluated by a worksheet that will be collected and assessed by the teacher.
  2. Affective:
      At the end of the lesson on tooth hygiene, students will rate their opinion of the activities done during the class period by using a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to represent their feelings towards each activity.
  3. Social:
      At the end of the lesson on tooth hygiene, students should be on task 80% of the time at any given minute interval. The teacher will evaluate the on task behavior by observing for two one-minute interval.


  1. Lesson Plan
  2. Laptop (to show video)
  3. Stained egg (soaked overnight in a cola softdrink) and clean egg
  4. Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss and picture of plaque
  5. Paint and wet wipe (for flossing demonstration)
  6. String (to practice flossing)
  7. Personal flossers (one per student)
  8. Handouts to complete


  1. Hook/Introduction – 7 minutes
    1. Colgate Buddies Video
    2. Introduction Questions
      1. How many brush your teeth everyday?
      2. Brush twice a day?
      3. Why do we brush our teeth?
      4. What happens if we don’t?
  2. Content – 30 minutes
    1. Visual Items – 10 minutes
      1. Toothpaste – we need toothpaste to help clean our teeth. It is like soap for our mouth. It is not enough to just use water.
      2. Toothbrush
        1. Show proper way to hold it
        2. Show how to brush to make sure you get all over, even your tongue
        3. Show how much toothpaste you need on the toothbrush
        4. Show how long to brush – 3 minutes – the length of your favorite song or the length of commercials in between your favorite TV show
      3. Show picture of plaque –
        1. Explain that plaque is sticky stuff that harms your teeth
        2. It sticks to your teeth and makes them unhealthy
        3. If you don’t brush plaque builds up
        4. It can cause cavities that hurt
        5. Cavities are holes in your teeth from sweets and not brushing properly
    2. Demonstrations/Activities – 20 minutes
      1. Egg Demonstration
        1. Use the clean egg
          1. How is this egg similar to your teeth (white, has a hard covering)
          2. Show the egg that had been placed in soda all night
          3. What does this mean if soda turned the egg that color?
          4. It is similar to how not taking care of your teeth can ruin them
        2. Tooth decay- tooth decay can cause cavities
          1. The egg turned the brown color just like your teeth do when they begin to decay
          2. Decay is when you teeth get weaker because of germs and the sticky layer of plaque
      2. Flossing Demonstration
        1. Teacher covers hand with paint
        2. Teacher keeps fingers tightly together
        3. Each finger represents a tooth
        4. Teacher cleans hand with a wet wipe while fingers are still closed together
        5. After teacher separates fingers
        6. This shows that even when you brush you can’t get in between your teeth
        7. This is why flossing is important
      3. Flossing Activity
        1. Floss is a special string that helps clean in between your teeth
        2. It gets rid of food, germs, and plaque that brushing alone cannot get rid of
        3. Students will work in partners to practice flossing
        4. One partner will put their fingers together like the teacher did during the demonstration
        5. Student flossing will practice going side to side and up and down to get used to the motion
        6. Students will then switch and the other student will practice
      4. Eez-Thru Flossers
        1. Students will be given an Eez-Thru Flosser to practice flossing
        2. **Safety concerns: students will be told to keep the flosser to themselves, not to let go of it when they put it in their mouth, not press down to hard, and go slowly
        3. Teacher will watch to make sure students are doing it correctly
        4. Immediately through out when finished
      5. Brushing Song (to the tune of Row Your Boat) Brush, brush, brush your teeth, at least two times a day.
        Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, fighting tooth decay.
        Floss, floss, floss your teeth, every single day.
        Gently, gently, gently, gently, whisking Plaque away.
        Rinse, rinse, rinse your teeth, every singly day.
        Swishing, swishing, swishing, swishing, fighting tooth decay.
      6. Coloring – 5 min
        1. If time is left over, students can write a sentence about what they learned
        2. Then they can draw a picture to go with the fact

Teaching Strategy:

  1. Lecture/Demonstration – students will be engaged throughout the lesson and will never just sit and listen
  2. Hands-On – students will get a chance to actually practice what is being taught

Assessment – 1 minute

  1. Cognitive – students will be assessed by the drawings at the end and their responses to the closure questions asked at the end
  2. Affective – students will signal their reactions to the activities at the end of the class period
  3. Social – Teacher evaluation of on task time.


    Students will close their eyes and signal a thumbs up for true and thumbs down for false

    • Brushing your teeth is all you need to do to keep you mouth clean?
    • Plaque is the sticky stuff on your teeth?
    • You need to brush your teeth one time a day?
    • You need to brush your teeth for 3 minutes?
    • The only way to get cavities is from eating bad food?

Follow-up Activities:

  1. Students are instructed to go home and ask parents to provide floss if they don’t have any already
  2. Students are to tell their parents what they learned about the importance of flossing


  1. Comprehensive School Health Education
    By Linda Meeks, Philip Heit and Randy Page  
  3. Video Clip –

E-Mail Jenna Gourlay !

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