Fieldtrip to the Dentist

Posted by Nancy Callan on 2 February 2013 | 0 Comments

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In adult immigrant ESL classes, within a health unit, many teachers touch on the subject of dental care. I highly recommend a visit to an actual dentist’s office, if you can arrange it. My dentist Dr. Marcy Schwartzman was kind enough to allow a visit to her dental clinic for my intermediate ESL students, many of whom had never been to a dentist in their lives.

The dental staff divided my students into small groups and they rotated between three stations, one involving a visit with the hygienist and one with my dentist.

In the hygienist’s office, students learned the correct way to brush and how to floss. Flossing was new to many of them. Others told us that they knew about dental floss but had been told by dentists in their home country not to use it, as it tended to cause gums to bleed. I think the hygienist enjoyed the opportunity to correct misinformation.

At the dentist’s station, my students were able to see their own teeth on a TV screen with the help of Dr. Schwartzman’s pen light camera. Many of the students had never had their teeth cleaned and so tended to have many years’ accumulation of coffee and tea stains. Most found out their teeth were nevertheless cavity-free, which was a great relief to the students!

I’m under no illusion that a dental field trip will stem the tide of dental tourism, but it did open many of my students’ eyes to a whole area of health care that they had never had exposure to.

I’ve included here a couple pages of question cards about teeth, which you are welcome to download, cut up and use in your own classroom with an intermediate unit on dental care. The question cards review vocabulary such as: braces, cavity, crown, dental floss, dentures, filling, gums, hygienist, molar, wisdom teeth and more. Question cards can be put into a bag and pulled out randomly by teams or used in a variety of other review games.

Click on the image below to view large on your computer and download if desired. 


Here's a link to another site with a downloadable, photocopiable worksheet on a visit to a dentist: click here

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