Everyone say Cheese!

National Smile Month is coming up. It runs from the 20th May until 20th June and is your way to introduce the importance of keeping your mouth healthy to children. Teeth are an important part of every mouth, they help you to smile, talk and eat. And, a mouth that’s full of rotting, aching teeth is not nice for anyone, let alone a child. So, teaching the children in your care about the importance of keeping their teeth strong and healthy is a good deed indeed!

Keeping Teeth Healthy

This may seem obvious but the health of a child’s teeth is largely determined by what they eat. That not only means what their teeth are exposed to on a daily basis from eating food, but how much nutrition they receive from their diet to build strong teeth in the first place. Clearly, calcium is important in building strong teeth so kids need to eat plenty of calcium rich foods. And this does not mean only dairy! Thankfully, there are loads of other calcium rich foods to choose from.

So, What are the Alternatives?

Some of the best food groups to eat are dark, leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and cabbage. You could also introduce calcium rich seeds and nuts, such as sesame, sunflower, almonds and hazelnuts into breakfast cereals. There are also a number of milk alternatives such as hemp, rice, almond and soy as well as soy yoghurts, tofu and tempeh. And, if you really want to be adventurous, the Holy Grail of calcium-rich foods is seaweed.

Fun Learning About Teeth

For an art project why not get the kids to make themselves a really big smile? It’s simple and fun and we have everything else you’ll need to make some super smiles.

What you’ll need:

large lolly sticks

glue

people paper

heavy-weight card

coloured

skin tone crayons

Ferby colouring pencils

decoration such as :

glitter

acrylic jewels

glitter dots

multi-coloured pipe cleaners

tinsel pipe-cleaners

scissors

examples of smiles:

http://www.youworkforthem.com/img/eps/E2057/E2057_02.jpg

http://image.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/525955/525955,1270797714,30/stock-vector-cartoon-vector-gray-scale-illustration-mouth-50524072.jpg

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=smiling+cartoon+mouths&view=detail&id=104C7765614F9E7902024D8B99C93D6C5D50BDC8&first=61&FORM=IDFRIR

What to do

start by giving each child the choice of card or foam to make their smiles

now, with a marker or pencil, get the children to trace out the shape of the smile they want and, once done, cut it out

now they can decorate their smiles with people coloured paper or crayons for a realistic look or they can go wild and use brightly coloured glitter and jewels to make fun smiles

once decorated and dry simply get the children to glue the smile to a lolly stick

now they can wow each other with their great smiles

It’d be great fun to take a photo of the class all holding up their smiles. And, not only can this be put in their scrap books, but you could send it along to the National Smile Week gallery.

If you need further information about this event The University of Manchester Website has some great learning resources to work from and the National Smile Month website has plenty of activities for your children to take part in.

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