3 Resources About the TOTALLY GROSS History of Teeth

George Washington's dentures (Granger)

We had so much fun putting together the October 2017 paired text package about dentistry through the ages. We came across tons of great (and gross) information—and not everything made it into the article. So we've collected a few of our favorite resources here for your students to read and watch after they read the Scope article "The History of Teeth." Afterwards, your students can also choose from one of the activities below. 


Three fascinating resources to keep your students’ learning going:

Guiding Question: How has dental care changed over time?

1. This Smithsonian article tells the story of Painless Parker, an infamous dental con artist from the early 1900s.

2. In this video created by the museum at Mount Vernon, a curator analyzes a pair of George Washington’s dentures.

3. This article from Discover Magazine is all about a pair of ancient cavity-ridden teeth. They date back to about 13,000 years before modern dentistry and anesthesia.


Four engaging activities to choose from:

For Struggling Readers
Describe one way that dental care has improved over time and one challenge that we still face today. Use evidence from both texts to support your answer.

For Advanced Readers
Use details from “The History of Teeth” or “Where Are All the Dentists?” to support the following claim: We have come very far in our treatment of dental problems, yet we have not come far enough.

For Artists
Create a public service announcement about the importance of caring for teeth. Your PSA can be in the form of an infographic or a short video.

For Creative Writers
Choose two to four people mentioned in “The History of Teeth” or “Where Are All the Dentists?” Write a scene in which they are interviewed for a documentary about dental care past and present. Your scene may be in the form of a written transcript or a 3- to 4-minute video.


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