Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

How to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth (And Enjoy It!)

how to get kids to brush their teeth

Make Brushing Something Kids Look Forward To

If you have kids, you are probably familiar with the challenge of getting them to brush their teeth. It’s no secret that brushing twice a day can improve oral health and prevent cavities, plaque, and tooth decay. While getting kids interested in good oral care habits can be tough, we’re going to help make things a little easier. Here are some of the best ways to get your kids to brush their teeth – and enjoy doing it!

Make it Part of Their Routine

Make brushing part of your child’s schedule by integrating it into their existing routine. Allowing your children to skip brushing after a long day or during times where your normal schedule is off can be tempting, but you can avoid it by setting regular brushing times. The best times to schedule brushing include right after breakfast and before going to bed.

Brush Your Teeth with Them

Help your children form better oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth when they brush their own. Children are impressionable at young ages, so setting a great example is an effective way to teach them the importance of oral care.

Join your child side-by-side at the sink after breakfast and before bed to foster healthy habits and create lasting memories. It’s also important to praise your kids when they do a good job brushing so that they receive positive reinforcement.

Offer Positive Reinforcement for Their Good Brushing Habits

Another way to inspire your children to brush their teeth is to motivate them with rewards for brushing twice a day. Rewards can be anything from stickers on a daily chart, an ice cream outing, or something as simple as an extra ten minutes of screen time before bed.

Weekly rewards are a fun and easy way to establish consistency. You can download our monthly toothbrushing chart now right from our website. Being consistent and guiding your children through the brushing process will lead to better oral health and will develop into habits that are carried into adulthood.

Set a Timer

Use a simple timer like a small hourglass or the one on your phone to ensure that your children brush for at least two minutes. A timer will let kids know when they are done brushing, which can help them learn and stick to an appropriate brushing time.

You could even turn brushing into a game by creating two-minute events such as brushing to a favorite song or having a two-minute dance party. Check out our Tooth Tunes playlist on Spotify for the perfect songs to brush to! The more fun they have brushing, the more likely they’ll want to brush regularly.

Let Them Pick Their Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Children’s toothpaste often comes in various flavors other than standard mint. For some younger palettes, a minty flavor might taste too intense. Motivate your children to establish good brushing habits by letting them pick out their favorite flavor toothpaste at the store when they go shopping with you.

If they like orange-flavored treats, they will probably like orange-flavored toothpaste! Likewise, many children’s toothpaste brands are made with sparkles or other fun accents that are appealing to the younger crowd. You can also allow them to pick a toothbrush in their favorite look and color to make the entire process personalized.

Show Them Videos About Brushing Teeth

Kids love watching videos, so why not use their favorite medium to learn about good brushing habits? Many popular children’s shows have segments about oral hygiene that you can find online on places like YouTube Kids.

When they are sitting down to watch something on TV, integrate some content that’s focused on the importance of brushing your teeth, as told by their favorite characters. When it comes time to brush their teeth, you can use their favorite character as a good example.

Choose the Right Pediatric Dentist

Most kids don’t enjoy having to brush their teeth, and most parents don’t enjoy the process of having to get them to do it either. If you need help getting your kids to brush their teeth, you might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who can provide education about brushing in a fun and friendly environment. If you live in the Albany area and are looking for the right pediatric dentist to help your children instill good oral hygiene habits, Where Smiles Grow has three convenient locations in Delmar, Latham and Schodack. Contact us today for an appointment.