We had a dental hygienist visit scheduled for last week so we did a bit of playing with teeth before she arrived.
I found this toy (I think it is for PlayDoh) of a mouth with holes for teeth. It came with a few dental tools too.
The children really enjoyed filling the holes and closing the mouth to make teeth.
Some of the children have already visited a dentist which was evident when watching them use the tools.
When the hygienist arrived there were lots of families waiting to chat with her.
She set up her equipment at a table right beside where we had our dental play situated. She easily introduced herself to each child and had them feeling comfortable before asking them to move to her table.
She used a stuffed toy with big teeth and encouraged the children to look in it’s mouth and then brush their teeth. Then she asked to do the same in the child’s mouth. It was a smooth transition from the toy to the child. Also letting the child hold something in their hand I believe offered them some security.
The hygienist spent part of her time with the parent. Answering their questions, giving advice and helping them feel comfortable. She worked a long morning and saw everyone that wanted a visit.
She made quite the impact on at least one child. That night a parent sent me the above photo explaining that her child was busy all afternoon checking the mouths of every doll and stuffed animal in their home. Maybe he has a future in dentistry.