A Look at My Teeth

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Science, Life Science

Grade 3- 5

Objective

Students will learn about their teeth and make a record of their present teeth.

Directions

Lesson Preparation
Ask your dentist for x-rays of teeth from children and adults.
Also request teeth specimens, molds, and photographs, as well as booklets on growth and care of the teeth.
Activity
Ask students to feel their teeth with their tongues to see if all of them are exactly alike. Discuss the differences. Ask them if they have any missing teeth. If so, let them feel with their tongues to see if they can feel the new tooth pushing up through the gum. Discuss what it feels like to lose a tooth. Tell them that this is a natural part of growing up.
Give each student a mirror and the activity sheet. Show the transparency of this sheet and use it to show students how to place an X on primary teeth which are missing. Explain that they should use the toothpick along with the mirror to locate their teeth, counting from the center front to know where these are on the chart.
Let students begin to examine their teeth and record those which are missing. If any of the students have begun to grow adult teeth (e.g., central incisors), have them circle these on the permanent teeth drawing. Use the transparency of this chart to show the most frequently missing teeth for the students. Place an X on those teeth on the transparency.
Show and discuss the transparency Inside a Tooth. Show the actual teeth specimens.
Show the teeth x-rays on the overhead projector. Point out the roots of the teeth which are hidden below the gum line and go deep into the jawbone. If any primary and adult teeth are on the x-rays, point these out to the students so they realize that the teeth they now have are mostly primary (baby) teeth which will be pushed out as the adult teeth grow into place.
Closure
Have a dentist or dental assistant visit the class to tell them about how their teeth grow and demonstrate how to care for their teeth.

Resources

  • x-rays of teeth (Ask your dentist for these.)
  • toothpicks
  • examples of actual teeth
  • Here Are My Teeth activity sheet (page 5)
  • mirrors (one per student)
  • transparency of Inside a Tooth (page 6)

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