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KS1: Oral Hygiene

Students learn how plaque forms and why and how sugary food and drink can damage your teeth.

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Learning objectives
All students will:
  • Understand what dental plaque is and how it forms
  • Understand the consequences of tooth decay
  • Understand that limiting sugary foods and drinks can reduce tooth decay
  • Understand the importance of eating healthier snacks
Most students will:


Background Information

Dental health is extremely important; over 23% of children in England have tooth decay and it is the main reason for children aged 5 to 9 being admitted to hospital. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria within the plaque.

The good news is that tooth decay can be prevented by limiting the number of times we eat foods and drinks with added sugar, brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and regularly seeing the dentist to check the health of our teeth and gums.

This lesson plan will support you to introduce the concept of tooth decay to students and the importance of avoiding sugary foods.

Main activity:
  • Eggshell Experiment
Main Activity video
Extension activities:
  • Tooth Brushing Cards
  • Healthy Food Swaps
Curriculum links


  • Health and prevention


  • Working scientifically
  • Living things and their habitats


  • Reading and comprehension
  • Writing
Supporting Materials
Teacher sheets
KS1 Oral Hygiene Teacher Guidance
Student worksheets
SW1 Tooth Brushing Chart
SW2 Food Swap
Student handouts
SH1 Healthy Foods Fact Sheet
SH2 True or False Card