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Date: February 25, 2005
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

THE ARTICLE

Who hates going to the dentist? Who hates the sound of the dentist’s drill? A fantastic new breakthrough has emerged from researchers in Japan that might finally end the trauma of going to the dentist. Dr. Kazue Yamagishi and her research team at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo have come up with what seems to be the perfect solution to preventing tooth decay and cavities. She has formulated a new kind of dental paste that resembles the enamel which naturally protects our teeth. The new synthetic enamel paste contains crystals which perfectly integrate with the natural enamel on our teeth and repairs tiny cavities that are too small to be seen by dentists. This means decay will never occur. This means no more drilling and no more fear of the dentist. Dr Yamagishi says on her website (http://homepage2.nifty.com/nmc/home.html) that, “Unlike skin or bones, the tooth enamel, which forms the hard surface of a tooth, does not regenerate itself once damaged. … regenerating the tooth enamel rather than drilling the decayed part is the ultimate approach to therapy which every dentist  in the world should seek.” She calls her synthetic enamel a “therapy of dreams” and believes it “will provide a tremendous decrease in the total incidence of tooth decay”. Pain-free dental visits will soon be a dream come true for many of us.

WARM UPS / COOL DOWNS

1. CHAT:  Talk in pairs or groups about the dentist / teeth / toothpaste / fillings / tooth decay / cavities / pain / …

To make things more dynamic, try telling your students they only have one minute (or 2) on each chat topic before changing topics / partners. Change topic / partner frequently to energize the class.

2. DENTIST BRAINSTORM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘dentist’. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. MY DENTAL HISTORY: Write down very brief notes of the history of your teeth and visits to the dentist. Talk about your dental history with your partner / group.

4. WONDER PASTE: Dr. Yamagishi’s new synthetic enamel is indeed a wonder paste. In pairs / groups, choose three more wonder pastes you would like to see invented (E.g. acne paste). Share these ideas with other groups. After sharing ideas with several students groups, return to your original partner/group and discuss what you heard. Choose the best wonder-paste.

5. FEAR: The fear of dentists is called dentophobia. Do you suffer from this fear? What other things are you afraid of? Discuss with your group. Some people are afraid of the following things. Can you understand these fears / phobias?

  1. Fear of the dark
  2. Fear of chickens
  3. Fear of children
  4. Fear of staying single
  5. Fear of heights
  6. Fear of spiders
  7. Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth (Arachibutyrophobia)
  8. Fear of fish
  9. Fear of foreigners (xenophobia)
  10. Fear of the color purple (Porphyrophobia)

A full list of phobias can be found at http://www.phobialist.com/


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Students look in their dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … of the words ‘tooth’ and ‘paste’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. A new breakthrough has emerged that might end the trauma of going to the dentist.  T / F
  2. Japanese researchers have invented a new kind of toothpaste.  T / F
  3. The new toothpaste will prevent tooth decay and cavities.  T / F
  4. The new toothpaste resembles a natural acid that fights decay.  T / F
  5. The new paste repairs tiny cavities that are too small for dentist’s tools.  T / F
  6. This means decay will be reduced by up to 50%.  T / F
  7. Tooth enamel regenerates itself very slowly if it becomes damaged.  T / F
  8. This wonder paste is the ultimate approach to therapy, which every dentist in the world should seek.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

(a)

dentist

discovered

(b)

fantastic

artificial

(c)

breakthrough

look for

(d)

trauma

best

(e)

come up with

discovery

(f)

synthetic

nightmare

(g)

integrate

rejuvenate

(h)

regenerate

orthodontist

(i)

ultimate

combine

(j)

seek

stupendous

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases based on the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

(a)

going to the

decrease in the total incidence of tooth decay

(b)

the sound of the dentist’s

decay

(c)

perfect

occur

(d)

tooth

of a tooth

(e)

crystals which perfectly

dentist

(f)

decay will never

solution

(g)

no more fear

drill

(h)

the hard surface

dental visits

(i)

provide a tremendous

of the dentist

(j)

Pain-free

integrate with the natural enamel

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL:  Put the missing words under each paragraph into the gaps.

New cavity-filling wonder toothpaste

Who hates going to the dentist? Who hates the __________ of the dentist’s drill? A fantastic new breakthrough has emerged from researchers in Japan that might finally end the __________ of going to the dentist. Dr. Kazue Yamagishi and her research team at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo have come up with what seems to be the perfect __________ to preventing tooth decay and cavities. She has formulated a new kind of dental paste that __________ the enamel which naturally protects our teeth. The new synthetic enamel paste contains crystals which perfectly __________ with the natural enamel on our teeth, and repairs tiny cavities that are too small to be seen by dentists. This means decay will never occur. This means no more __________ and no more fear of the dentist. Dr Yamagishi says on her website (http://homepage2.nifty.com/nmc/home.html) that, “Unlike skin or bones, the tooth enamel, which forms the hard surface of a tooth, does not regenerate itself once __________. … regenerating the tooth enamel rather than drilling the decayed part is the ultimate approach to therapy which every dentist in the world should seek.” She calls her synthetic enamel a “therapy of dreams” and believes it “will provide a tremendous decrease in the total __________ of tooth decay”. Pain-free dental visits will soon be a dream come true for many of us.

 

integrate
trauma
damaged
resembles
sound
drilling
solution
incidence

2. TRUE/FALSE:  Students check their answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYMS:  Students check their answers to the synonyms exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH:  Students check their answers to the phrase match exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Students make notes for questions they would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY:  Students circle any words they do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find the meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP-FILL: Check the answers to the gap-fill exercise.

2. QUESTIONS:  Students ask the discussion questions they thought of above to their partner / group / class. Pool the questions for all students to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT-GENERATED SURVEY: Pairs/Groups write down 3 questions based on the article. Conduct their surveys alone. Report back to partners to compare answers. Report to other groups / the whole class.

5. ‘TOOTH’/ ‘PASTE’: Students make questions based on their findings from pre-reading activity #1.

6. DISCUSSION:  Students ask each other the following questions:

  1. What do you think of this article?
  2. Do you like the dentist?
  3. What thing do you most dislike about going to the dentist?
  4. What’s your favorite toothpaste?
  5. How many times a day do you clean your teeth?
  6. How often do you have a check-up?
  7. Do you practice good oral hygiene?
  8. What is the worst smell on someone’s breath?
  9. Do you know anyone with really bad breath?
  10. How important are straight, white teeth to you?
  11. How many times in your life have you had a toothache?
  12. What do you think of the idea of false teeth / dentures?
  13. What do you do when you sit in the dentist’s waiting room?
  14. Have you ever worn braces on your teeth?
  15. If you met Dr. Yamagishi, what would you say to her?
  16. Teacher / Student additional questions.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCAB EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on Dr. Yamagishi’s wonder toothpaste. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. ORAL HYGIENE: Create a poster on how to take care of your teeth.

4. LETTER TO YOUR DENTIST: Write a letter to your dentist explaining the new wonder toothpaste.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. A new breakthrough has emerged that might end the trauma of going to the dentist.  T
  2. Japanese researchers have invented a new kind of toothpaste.  T
  3. The new toothpaste will prevent tooth decay and cavities.  T
  4. The new toothpaste resembles a natural acid that fights decay.  F
  5. The new paste repairs tiny cavities that are too small for dentist’s tools.  F
  6. This means decay will be reduced by up to 50%.  F
  7. Tooth enamel regenerates itself very slowly if it becomes damaged.  F
  8. This wonder paste is the ultimate approach to therapy, which every dentist in the world should seek.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

(a)

dentist

orthodontist

(b)

fantastic

stupendous

(c)

breakthrough

discovery

(d)

trauma

nightmare

(e)

come up with

discovered

(f)

synthetic

artificial

(g)

integrate

combine

(h)

regenerate

rejuvenate

(i)

ultimate

best

(j)

seek

look for

PHRASE MATCH:

(a)

going to the

dentist

(b)

the sound of the dentist’s

drill

(c)

perfect

solution

(d)

tooth

decay

(e)

crystals which perfectly

integrate with the natural enamel occur

(f)

decay will never

occur

(g)

no more fear

of the dentist

(h)

the hard surface

of a tooth

(i)

provide a tremendous

decrease in the total incidence of tooth decay

(j)

Pain-free

dental visits

 

GAP FILL:

New cavity-filling wonder toothpaste

Who hates going to the dentist? Who hates the sound of the dentist’s drill? A fantastic new breakthrough has emerged from researchers in Japan that might finally end the trauma of going to the dentist. Dr. Kazue Yamagishi and her research team at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo have come up with what seems to be the perfect solution to preventing tooth decay and cavities. She has formulated a new kind of dental paste that resembles the enamel which naturally protects our teeth. The new synthetic enamel paste contains crystals which perfectly integrate with the natural enamel on our teeth, and repairs tiny cavities that are too small to be seen by dentists. This means decay will never occur. This means no more drilling and no more fear of the dentist. Dr Yamagishi says on her website (http://homepage2.nifty.com/nmc/home.html) that, “Unlike skin or bones, the tooth enamel, which forms the hard surface of a tooth, does not regenerate itself once damaged. … regenerating the tooth enamel rather than drilling the decayed part is the ultimate approach to therapy which every dentist in the world should seek.” She calls her synthetic enamel a “therapy of dreams” and believes it “will provide a tremendous decrease in the total incidence of tooth decay”. Pain-free dental visits will soon be a dream come true for many of us.

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