We are pleased to be a resource for educators and community groups in Wilkes County by providing access to oral health lesson plans for a variety of ages.  Please explore the list of lesson plans below to decide if one or more may be worthwhile for your class!
Most lesson plans come with a teacher's guide, hands on demonstration, and worksheets that coordinate with the lesson. 
About Toothfairy Island-Oral Health Lessons
Fun and Fantasy
The first memorable oral health experience for most children, both exciting and frightening, is the loss of their first tooth.  For children in North America, this event takes on a magical quality as the myth of the Toothfairy transforms the tooth loss into a happy fantasy.
Toothfairy Island provides the backdrop for interactive lessons that cover pre-k through early adolescence with an emphasis on the connection between oral health and total body health.  For more information on this program and links for parents and kids, please visit: www.toothfairyisland.com  
The Origins of Toothfairy Island
The curriculum of Toothfairy Island was initially developed by health professionals and educators to serve patients of The Children's Dental Center in Inglewood, California.  Due to its science based approach and age-appropriate techniques, the success of this program gained recognition and it was ultimately adopted by the National Childrens Oral Health Foundation as a primary education tool, and endorsed by the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center for use in Head Start Programs, hospitals, and other pediatric programs.  
Collaboration with the National Children's Oral Health Foundation
Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic has the privilege of being affiliated with the National Children's Oral Health Foundation.  Through grant funds, we have the opportunity to offer access of the Toothfairy Library to our community.
For more information please visit National Children's Oral Health Foundation.
Lesson Plans
Tooth Jobs

In this lesson, children learn about the different shapes of teeth and their different jobs.  Children will draw a model of the human mouth on a paper plate with different shapes for different types of teeth.  Skills developed include pattern recognition, shape recognition, counting, and drawing ability while learning about the important jobs performed by their teeth.

Safe Play Magic Bag

This lesson focuses on injury prevention, with an interactive presentation of mouthguards, bicycle helmets, and other protective gear.  Accompanying worksheets help children practice making healthy decisions.  Skills developed in this lesson are comparing similarities and differences, cause and effect, and drawing/coloring skills. 

The Gross, Disgusting, and Totally Cool Mouth Book
The Gross, Disgusting and Totally Cool Mouth Book, written by Dr. Theodore Croll is available as part of a kit (Electron Microscope) or to borrow on its own.  This larger than life book uses pictures of healthy and diseased mouths to encourage healthy behaviors.  Students see first hand the consequences of not brushing and flossing, the importance of "baby teeth," and the rewards of good oral hygiene.
Mouth Puzzle
Directed at pre-K and early elementary children, this puzzle is a visually stimulating way to teach about the parts of the mouth (e.g. lips, teeth, and tongue).
Early Childhood Caries (Baby Bottle Tooth Decay)

A good choice for organizations that present to parents and children, this kit is a great way to educate about healthy behaviors.  With high impact visuals of baby and permanent teeth, kids and parents will gain a new appreciation for the role of forming positive habits and of primary teeth. 

Electron Microscope
If your class is learning about bacteria or microscopy, this is a great lesson to bring some practical application to the pure science.  Students view electron microscope pictures of bacteria and learn where these germs were found!  This lesson comes with Dr. Croll's The Gross, Disgusting and Totally Cool Mouth Book, which shows the visible effects that these bacteria can have in a person's body.
In this lesson, seeing is believing!
Magic Bag

A lesson about the power of a toothbrusht that also strengthens pattern recognition skills.  A great choice for early elementary children.

Sugar Amounts

A lesson about the food we eat!  Children find out how much sugar is in common foods and whether this is "a litte" or "a lot."  This lesson is ideal for students learning about counting, comparative values, or the math of conversions.  With the epidemic of childhood obesity and increasing numbers of children developing insulin resistance, this is a timely topic to benefit oral and overall health!

Tooth Friendly Snacks

It's no surprise that oral health and total body health go together, and this lesson helps students learn about healthy eating habits to prevent cavities.  A magnetic board  helps students visualize which types of snacks will stick to tooth surfaces and cause decay.

Tooth Puzzle

Pre-K students will appreciate this interactive lesson about the relationship between teeth and gums.  Who doesn't love a puzzle!

Magic Mystery Box
Who knew science could be so fun!  In this dynamic and highly interactive lesson, children learn about germ transmisibility with a hot-potato type game.
About the Lessons
Who presents the lessons?
The materials in the library are available for check out by community organizations, teachers, daycare workers and many others.  The lessons are scripted and come with the necessary props for easy presentation.
If you would prefer that a Wilkes Public Health Dental Clinic Employee provide the lesson at your school, church or other group meeting, please discuss this with our Community Outreach Director, Dawn Jolly, RDH.
Are the lessons easy to use?

Toothfairy Island kits are often called a "Teacher in a Box."  The lessons scripts are meant to be approachable for many different groups.  They are written at a 6th grade reading level and are available in English or Spanish.  In addition, kits include props and visual aids to help you engage the students.

How can I incorporate these lessons into my curriculum?
All the lessons are based on true science and may incorporate concepts or skills that your class is already working on.  Many of the kits have an arts and crafts component.  We encourage you to read the lesson descriptions to find one that is right for you.  Below is a list of basic concepts and skills developed and expected in Kindergarten.  Even though Toothfairy lessons focus on oral and overall health, most utilize these same skills.
Basic Concepts
  • Colors
  • Shapes
  • Measurement (small, large, short, long, etc.)
  • Opposites (big and small, slow and fast, hard and soft, etc.)
  • Grouping objects that relate to each other (lock with key, umbrella with rain, bird with nest, etc.)
Reading and Writing Skills: following instructions, copying and drawing straight or curved lines and circles, writing the alphabet in capital and lowercase letters.
Mathematics: counting from one to ten, order of numbers (e.g. item #3 comes after item #2), etc.
Science: plants and their development, weather, seasons of the year, the five senses, how to take care of the body, magnetic force, etc. 
Avoid Dental Emergencies
Avoiding Dental Emergencies

If you have ever suffered through a dental emergency, you likely are eager to avoid repeating the experience.  True, some situations cannot be anticipated, but there are steps that you can take to steer clear of sudden dental pain and infection. Below are a few of our suggestions to help keep patients smiling.


1) Seek Regular Preventive Care: Your dentist will recommend a dental cleaning, periodic evaluation, and x-rays on an interval that is customized to your dental risk. For some people with low risk, this may mean going more than 6 months between cleanings.  For others, it could mean we recommend treatment of your teeth and gums every 3-4 months to prevent complications from periodontitis (a disease of the bones and gums surrounding your teeth.)  It is important to remember that your dentist can detect problems sooner than you may feel them: dental cavities are not typically painful in their early stages, and by the time a patient can feel a tooth "loosening" due to gum disease there may not be much we can do to prevent the tooth loss.


2) Pay Attention to the Early Warning Signs From Your Mouth: Over the years, I have heard numerous patients who arrive to our office in pain report that their symptoms began "last year" or "3 months ago." Many things may keep patients from seeing the dentist (anxiety, financial concerns, busy schedules, hope that the problem will just "go away"), but delaying treatment will only cost you more pain and suffering. Dental pain that is ignored can result in spreading infection, that may be life threatening.


3) Make Healthy Choices Each Day For Your Dental Health: The best way to avoid dental emergencies is to do your "homework."  Brush with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice each day, and floss before bed!  Avoid sipping on soda (even diet!) or sweet tea, which can contribute to cavities. Wear a mouthguard for sports or other activities when your mouth may be hit. See your medical doctor regularly to take care of your overall health, especially conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.  Believe it or not, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are related to your oral health! Also, if your blood sugar or blood pressure are not in a healthy range, it may result in a delay to emergency dental treatment. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes typically take longer to heal after dental extractions and are at greater risk for pain and infection after treatment. Working with your doctor (and following dietary recommendations) to keep your health in check will help make your dental treatment less complicated.


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