Going to the Dentist – 3-5 Years
Supplies and Preparation
- Baby doll or stuffed animal
- Child’s paint brush
For Extending the Learning:
- “Max Goes to the Dentist” by Adria F. Klein
- “The Dentist is My Pal” song lyrics
- Paper towel, yarn, stickers, watercolor markers, crayons
- Your Child Has a Dental Visit Coming Up
- Dental Resource List (found on www.cavityfreekids.org)
Note: This activity is designed for children who have had at least one dental visit. If the child has not had his first dental visit, use the “Discuss What Happens at a Dental Checkup” activity.
Starting the Conversation
- How often do you take your child to the dentist?
- What questions do you have about taking your child to the dentist?
- It’s important to have regular dental visits. This way the dentist can examine your child’s teeth and make sure they are healthy.
- Now that your child is a little older, he can understand some of the things that might happen at a dental visit.
- Let’s play a game together that helps you and your child get comfortable (and maybe even excited!) about going to the dentist.
Parent and Child Activity
1. Role play: dental office
Use the following script to play dental office. Assign the following roles:
home visitor » dentist parent » parent doll/stuffed animal » patient
Parent: (Child’s name) Let’s play Going to the Dentist. We can pretend to take Baby Doll to the dentist.
Parent: Here is the dentist office. Mommy brought a book. Let’s read it to Baby Doll to help her wait for our turn.
Home Visitor: Hi, I am the dentist. Time to see me now! Come along Baby Doll. We will help you hop up into the chair and lay back.
Home Visitor: In my office I have lots of interesting things to look at. I have a bright light and special tools that help me check your teeth.
Home Visitor: Let’s put a bib on you so that your clothes stay clean.
Home Visitor: It’s time to look in your mouth Baby Doll. Open really big!
Home Visitor: I can see all your teeth. I am going to count them. One, two, three… You have (insert number) teeth!
Home Visitor: Good job, Baby Doll!
Parent: Didn’t Baby Doll do a good job of sitting quietly and opening wide? Now it’s time for us to go home.
2 Schedule a Dental Visit
If the parent needs to schedule a dental visit for the child, work with her to schedule it.
- If she already has a dentist, suggest she call and schedule an appointment.
- If she doesn’t have a dentist, use the resource list to find a dentist for the child.
Extending the Learning
A. Read the book “Max Goes to the Dentist”
B. Sing the song “The Dentist is My Pal”
To the tune “The Farmer in the Dell”
The dentist is my pal, the dentist is my pal,
The chair goes high, the chair goes low.
The dentist is my pal
There is a waiting room, with lots of things to do,
Books and toys for girls and boys
Are waiting there for you. Oooohhh!!
They ask me to open wide and then they look inside.
Carefully they check my teeth
And keep them shining bright. Ooohhh!
C. Make a dental bib
- Let the child decorate a paper towel using age appropriate art supplies like water colors, stickers, and markers. The parent can help the child make a hole in the paper towel and thread the yarn.
- Take a photo of the child wearing the bib. Encourage the parent to show it to the dentist when the child goes to the dentist.
Supplies needed: paper towel, yarn (for tie) and age-appropriate art supplies like stickers, markers and water colors.
- What help do you need to make and keep regular dental checkups for your child?