BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years Science Clips
Teachers resources  

BBC Homepage
  BBC Schools  
Science Clips Welcome
Resources for teachers
  Web Links
  Schools Help

Contact Us

Ages 5 - 6 Ages 6 - 7 Ages 7 - 8
Ages 8 - 9 Ages 9 - 10 Ages 10 - 11

Science topics ages 7 - 8
Teeth and eating

Curriculum relevance | Online lesson plan
Offline lesson plan | Worksheet | Activity

Offline lesson plan


Know that humans have two sets of teeth: milk teeth and adult teeth

Know that adult teeth have to last as they do not re-grow

National Curriculum

England: Key Stage 2, Sc2, 2a

Wales: Key Stage 2, Life processes and living things, 2.1

Northern Ireland: Key Stage 2, Living things, Ourselves a, c

Scotland: 5-14 Guidelines, Science, The processes of life, Level C

Resources required

X-rays or diagrams of milk teeth and healthy adult teeth

Photographs of people with no teeth, receding gums, fillings, gum disease etc.

Copies of Teeth and eating worksheet printed from the Science Clips website

Teaching activities

Ask children, why do your baby (milk) teeth fall out? What makes them go wobbly? Elicit ideas that adult teeth are growing and pushing through the gums.

Draw a 'teeth timeline' on the board. Mark on points of baby, 1 year old, and 8 years old. What is happening with your teeth at each of these ages? Write up suggestions on the timeline.

Look at x-rays of milk teeth and adult teeth. What is the name of the bone that the teeth sit in or are anchored in (jawbone)? What similarities can the children spot between adult teeth and milk teeth (they grow in similar places and are a similar shape)? What differences can they spot (roots)?

Ask children, why don't we grow our adult teeth straight away? What happens to our jawbone between the ages of 1 and 7 years old? Elicit idea from children that the reason we can't grow our adult teeth straight away is because our jawbone grows as we grow, and our adult teeth are bigger than our milk teeth. What would a one year old look like if they had adult teeth?

Show children how to count their teeth and how to recognise their teeth in a diagram.

Children work through the Teeth and eating worksheet in partners, marking on the diagram of upper and lower human teeth which of their teeth are milk teeth, gaps or adult teeth, and which of their teeth have fillings.

How might you lose your adult teeth? Can you grow new adult teeth? So if you lose your adult teeth or if they 'go bad', how can you mend them (you can't, false teeth, fillings etc.)?

Stress you only get one set of adult teeth so it is really important that you know how to look after their teeth and know what is bad for them.

This message will be more powerful if you show pictures of people with no teeth, receded gums, gum disease, lots of fillings etc.

Brainstorm a list of how children think they can look after their teeth and gums, and a list of what they think is bad for their teeth.


What different shaped teeth do they have? Label on the Teeth and eating worksheet.

Suggested homework

Ask children to talk to an older relative about the history of their teeth. How can they learn from the experiences of this older relative?


Resources for teachers

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy