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Teeth to Treasure!
Lesson Plan: Grades 4 through 6 (Ages 9–12)

© 2005 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Educators and dental professionals are permitted to reproduce and use this activity sheet solely in printed form. Any other use, duplication or distribution of this activity sheet by any other party requires the prior written approval of the American Dental Association.

Message to the Teacher or Classroom Presenter

Teeth to Treasure! is a flexible oral health education program which can be used as a standalone lesson or to supplement an existing health curriculum. It is also a valuable teaching tool for dentists, hygienists, school nurses, physicians and other health care professionals.

Teeth to Treasure! is divided into two modules:

The lesson objectives, key messages, and discussion topics can be presented in as little as half an hour, or can be supplemented with extra activities and discussions to serve as a full unit on dental care. 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 Teeth to Treasure! Will Help Your Students

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

  • Provide information on good oral health and tooth protection appropriate to students' age and lifestyle.
  • Instill in students a sense of competence and responsibility for keeping their teeth clean and healthy.
  • Reinforce their dentists' instructions on properly caring for their teeth.

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Teeth to Treasure! Lesson Objectives

The three lesson objectives are easy to remember and reinforce:

  1. Taking good care of our teeth is something that each of us can do.
  2. Adult (permanent) teeth are meant to last the rest of your life.
  3. Special activities and conditions require extra "tooth attention."

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Before You Start

  • Read over the lesson plan and choose any of the supplemental activities you wish to incorporate.
  • Photocopy the Teeth to Treasure! Word Search and/or Teeth to Treasure! Word Search Challenge activity sheets for the students.
  • Collect the following materials for demonstrations: calculator; 4 Tums® antacid tablets; vinegar; 4 small paper cups; water; plastic wrap; transparent tape; dental floss.
  • Have the support materials for this unit handy: How to Brush; How to Floss; Permanent Tooth Development; Old and New Toothbrushes; Mouthguard; Sealant Application.

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Supplemental Activities

  • Bring a store-bought mouthguard to class and talk about how it helps protect teeth. (You may be able to get one from your school’s physical education department.) Also, remind students that their dentist can make a mouthguard that is custom-fitted to their mouth.
  • Have students work in pairs or small groups and make up recipes or snacks that are nutritious.
  • Have students develop a "Dental Health Quiz" which awards points for good oral health habits.
  • 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

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Support Materials: Charts and Diagrams

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Student Activity Sheets

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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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