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It's Fun to Have Healthy Smiles!

How to get kids excited about oral health

 Kids Brushing Teeth

 

Challenge 1: 
Say No to Cavities Club 


Parents:

Teachers:

 

The Challenge:

Print enough activity flyers so that you have 12 of our specially designed calendar pages to hang in the bathroom. There’s room on each day for children to mark when brushing (once in the morning and once at night) and flossing are complete.

Download the Challenge Flyer

 

The Challenge:

Send the monthly calendar pages home on a weekly basis to have parents sign off on them, or have the children keep the monthly calendar page in their desks. It may be helpful for kids to check the boxes when school first starts while the memory of brushing and flossing from the previous night and before school is still fresh!

Download the Challenge Flyer

 Click here to download and print the Say No to Cavities Club challenge flyer:

Say no to Cavities Activity Flyer

Reward Ideas:

A year is a long time to stay engaged, so it’s important to celebrate the little milestones!

Monthly – small toys, fun toothbrush holder or water cup, a toothpaste squeezer or a small piggy bank contribution.

3 Months – a new outfit, a medium sized toy or a special meal with mom or dad. Any Reward should be accompanied by a new toothbrush, which should be replaced every three months.

6 months – a larger toy, a larger piggy bank contribution, a bedtime extension, or an experience such as a trip to the zoo. Don’t forget a new toothbrush!

One Year! – invite a few of your child’s friends for a sleepover, then give everyone new toothbrushes and fun flavored toothpaste! Or, offer to give your child’s bathroom a makeover, including new paint and bathroom accessories.

 Reward Ideas:

Monthly – small toys or a healthy treat for the class

3 months – a drawing for kids to have a meal or treat with the teacher.

6 months – a class field trip to a local dentist’s office, or a visit to the class from a dental professional.

School Year! – hold a “Say No to Cavities Champs!” party, include a photo board showing the student’s beautiful smiles.

Click here to download and print this flyer to help kids learn more about cavity prevention and good oral health habits:


Say no to Cavities educational flyer

The Benefit:

Brushing twice daily for two minutes each time helps get rid of plaque and food debris – and flossing helps reach the crevices and spaces between teeth that a toothbrush can’t. Removing plaque and food particles helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. Establishing a good daily oral health routine when your child is young is essential for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Additionally, keeping up on their regularly scheduled dental appointments at least once a year allows the dentist to make sure children’s teeth are developing properly. Regular visits can also help children become familiar with the dentist and may reduce dental anxiety.

 

 

 

Challenge 2: 
Sugar Swaps 


Parents:

Teachers:

 

The Challenge:

Nothing is sweeter than a child’s healthy smile – and eating less sugar is one way to keep it that way. Challenge children to think about their food choices at every meal and snack for a week. Ask them to replace two sugary items with two healthy items each day. It’s as easy as trading a cookie for string cheese!

Download the Challenge Flyer

Click here to download and print the Sugar Swap challenge flyer:

Sugar Swap Challenge Flyer

Reward Ideas:

At the end of the week, tally how many times the child made sugar swaps. Then reward them based on the total number of times a healthy decision was made.

14 swaps – A trip to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch, dinner at a favorite restaurant, a piggy bank contribution, a medium size toy, a special activity or celebration in class.

10 – 13 swaps - A small toy, a new book, a new lunchbox, a healthy kids’ cookbook or a small piggy bank contribution.

5 – 9 swaps – Sugar-free gum, stickers, pencils or erasers.

1 – 4 swaps – a new toothbrush and/or fun flavored toothpaste.

 Reward Ideas:

Tally the total number of swaps the whole class achieves and adjust the reward system as needed. For example, if everyone in a class of 25 makes all 14 sugar swaps, that would be 350 swaps. If the class makes 300 swaps or more, they get an extra recess at the end of the week.

Click here to download and print this flyer to help kids learn more about making healthy food choices:

Sugar Swaps educational flyer

The Benefit:

By teaching children how to make healthier decisions when it comes to sugar – even when an adult isn’t around – you’re helping them avoid cavities and achieve better overall health.

 

 

 

Challenge 3: 
Protect Your Mouth 

Mouthguard

Parents:

Teachers/Coaches:

 

The Challenge:

It’s common knowledge that wearing a mouthguard to protect teeth, gums and the jaw is essential when it comes to hard-hitting sports like football. But did you know children need to protect their sparkling smiles during any sport that carries the potential for a mouth injury? That includes soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, hockey, volleyball, gymnastics, skateboarding and any other activities that pose a risk to teeth through falls or contact with other players or equipment.

The Protect Your Mouth challenge asks children in applicable sports to pledge to wear mouthguards during every game and every practice.

Children should color a mouthguard on the sheet each time they wear one in a game or practice. Reward the children each time a multiple of five is reached, with the quality of the reward increasing with each increment.

Download the Challenge Flyer

 Click here to download and print the Protect Your Mouth challenge flyer:

Protect Your Mouth Challenge Flyer

Reward Ideas:

Mouthguard worn 5 times – A small toy, a small piggy bank donation, a trip to the park, a reusable water bottle or extra electronics/screen time.

Mouthguard worn 10 times – A trip to the batting cages, bowling alley or ice skating rink.

Mouthguard worn 15 times – Tickets to a minor league sport or high school game.

Mouthguard worn 20 or more times – A large sport-related gift, such as a monogrammed bag, an equipment upgrade or tickets to a game.

 Reward Ideas:

Tally the total number of times mouthguards are worn by the whole team and adjust the reward system as needed. For example, if a team of 10 achieves a collective goal of 150 mouthguard wears, they receive a healthy meal after practice.

Click here to download and print this flyer to help kids learn more about mouthguards:

Protect Your Mouth Educational Flyer

The Benefit:

A split second is all it takes for a child’s beautiful smile – and good oral health – to be forever changed by a line drive or a slip on the balance beam. Learning that it’s important to protect their pearly whites, not to mention their lips, gums and jaw, is a lesson that will last a lifetime.

 

 

 

Challenge 4: 
Think About Your Drink 


Parents:

Teachers:

 

The Challenge:

Most kids know that cookies and candy aren’t good choices for teeth, but they may not realize that even the drinks they sip can have a big impact on their smiles. Have a discussion with children about why water and plain milk are healthier choices than sugary or acidic drinks such as soda, sports drinks, juice and chocolate milk. Then, challenge them to swap one drink for a healthier choice every day for a week. It’s as easy as choosing a carton of plain milk instead of chocolate milk at lunch!

Download the Challenge Flyer

 Click here to download and print the Think About Your Drink challenge flyer:

Think About Your Drink Challenge Flyer

Reward Ideas:

At the end of the week, tally how many times children made healthy swaps. Then reward them based on the total number of times a healthy decision was made.

7 swaps – a trip to the movies, a piggy bank contribution or a medium-size toy.

5-6 swaps – a small toy, a new book, a special craft day or a small piggy bank contribution.

3-4 swaps – sugar-free gum, stickers, a reusable bottle, pencils or erasers.

1-2 swaps – a new toothbrush and fun flavored toothpaste.

Reward Ideas:

Tally the total number of swaps the whole class achieved and adjust the reward system as needed. For example, if everyone in a class of 25 makes all seven drink swaps, that’s 175 swaps. If the class makes 150 swaps or more, they could get to listen to music while they’re working or read outside on a nice day.

Click here to download and print this flyer to help kids learn more about making healthy drink choices:

Think About Your Drink Educational Flyer

The Benefit:

Knowing which beverages are the most beneficial to oral health – and being able to make those choices on their own – will help children avoid extra sugar. This will help prevent cavities and tooth decay and will result in better overall health as well.

 

 

 

Challenge 5: 
Healthy Holidays 

Healthy Holidays graphic

Parents:

Teachers:

 

The Challenge:

It’s not realistic to expect kids to avoid sweets all the time. Special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween are perfect times to let children cut loose a little when it comes to candy. But it’s important to make sure they don’t overdo it.

Download the Challenge Flyer

 Click here to download and print the Healthy Holidays challenge flyer:

Healthy Holidays Challenge Flyer

Reward Ideas:

Help children choose a few favorite pieces of candy to enjoy, then offer to trade the rest for cash! Check out our Sweets Scale to determine which candies are the most smile-friendly.

Swap 10 pieces - $1
Swap 15 pieces - $2
Swap 20 pieces - $3
Swap 25 pieces - $4
Swap 30 pieces - $5
Swap 35 pieces - $6
Swap 40 pieces - $7
Swap 45 pieces - $8
Swap 50 pieces - $10

Some schools allow children to bring in treats for classroom celebrations – if your child opts to bring a non-candy treat, such as stickers, small toys or pencils – a bonus donation to his or her piggy bank may be in order!

Reward Ideas:

If your school allows children to bring in treats for classroom celebrations – and the kids choose to go candy-free as a class, offer them a reward at the party, such as a movie, a game or craft day. 

Click here to download and print this flyer to help kids learn more about cutting back on candy, and which candies are better (and worse) for their teeth:

Healthy Holidays Educational Flyer

The Benefit:

Avoiding the avalanche of sugary treats that come with certain holidays will help keep cavities and tooth decay away. It’s also helpful for kids to know that it’s OK to enjoy sweets in moderation, especially if they know which candies are safest for teeth and how to mitigate the damage by brushing, flossing or rinsing with water afterward.

 

Additional Kids Wellness Activities & Education:

 

Tooth Fairy Activities & Quizzes

Online activities and quizzes with the tooth fairy!

 

Grin for Kids! Magazine

In this fun kids magazine you'll find a tooth tracker, coloring pages, games and more!

 

Smile Squad

Visit the Smile Squad headquarters for fun and educational online games!

Click here to learn more about children's oral health.

 

*Smile Kits are provided for Kansas-based programs/projects that include an oral health education or outreach component. Smile Kits may be requested once per calendar year by eligible organizations for projects that support Delta Dental's criteria. Donations are granted based on availability at the time of request, at the sole discretion of Delta Dental of Kansas.