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Shining Smiles!
Lesson Plan for Grades Preschool-1

Message to the Teacher or Classroom Presenter

Shining Smiles! is a flexible oral health education program that can be used as a stand-alone lesson or to supplement your existing health curriculum. It is a valuable teaching tool for teachers, dentists, hygienists, school nurses, physicians and other health care professionals.

Shining Smiles! is divided into three modules:

The lesson objectives, key messages, and discussion topics can be presented as three separate 10-15 minutes lessons, in one half-hour session, or supplemented with extra activities and discussions to serve as an on-going lesson on dental health. This allows you to choose the method that will work best with the students. The lesson plan is loosely scripted with discussion questions, explanations and activities that you can easily adapt to your own unique style of teaching.

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How Shining Smiles! Will Help Your Students

This program, developed by the American Dental Association (ADA), will:

  • Help your young students understand the importance of their teeth.
  • Provide basic information about keeping teeth clean and healthy that is appropriate to their age and experince.
  • Introduce the dentist as a friendly doctor who helps them take care of their teeth.

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Shining Smiles! Lesson Objectives

There are three objectives for this program that can be easily reinforced throughout the school year. Students will learn that:

  1. Teeth are an important part of our body.
  2. Keeping our teeth clean helps keep them healthy.
  3. Visiting the dentist is an important part of having healthy teeth.

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Before You Start

  1. Read the lesson.
  2. Photocopy Count & Color, Visiting the Dentist and Finders Keepers activity sheets for the students.
  3. Collect the following materials: magazine photo of a smiling adult with a smiling baby; illustrations, pictures, or models of nutritious foods; several different styles and sizes of new toothbrushes; toothpaste.
  4. Have the support materials for this unit handy: How to Brush; Primary Tooth Development; Old and New Toothbrushes; Adult and Child-size Toothbrushes; Oral Care Calendar.

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Supplemental Activities

  • Make a bulletin board display from magazine pictures showing things that people do using their teeth.
  • Have the children sing along with you to the tune "Row, Row, Row Your Boat":

    Brush, brush, brush your teeth, brush them every day.
    Keep them bright, make them shine, clean the plaque away.

    Brush, brush, brush your teeth, brush them every day.
    Front, back, take off the plaque, now we smile all day.
  • Have the children draw pictures of themselves with big smiles. Display the pictures in your classroom.
  • Invite a dentist to your class. (Dental Organizations often provide a list of speakers. Visit the Dental Organizations section of, to search for a State or Local Dental Organization nearest you.)
  • For more online classroom resources, visit the ADA for Educators section of
  • Distribute Oral Care Calendar to students. Create an incentive program for students who bring in completed calendars.

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Support Materials: Charts and Diagrams

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Student Activity Sheet

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Purchase Additional Educational Materials

Additional educational materials are available for purchase by calling 800-947-4746 or by visiting the ADA Catalog.

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