How to Get a Child to Brush Their Teeth

Want to know how to get a child to brush their teeth?

Make brushing fun!

The key is to tap into what children love or love to do. Children love:

  • Spending time with you
  • Games
  • Music
  • Stories
  • Animals
  • Anything fun

Young child brushing her own teeth

Spending Time with You – Brushing Together

It’s best to start early and teach your child how to brush their teeth when they are quite young.

Children learn by example. They will watch you closely. But this is also a great social time for them.

Kids love to spend time with you so, make a point to brush with them.

Brushing together not only reinforces for the child that brushing their teeth can be a fun part of their daily routine and something to look forward to, but also strengthens their social-emotional development.

Make Brushing Teeth a Game!

Children love games so use games to help get a child to brush their teeth. For instance, pretend that you don’t know how to brush your teeth and ask your child to teach you how to brush correctly.

You could even make this a role-playing game and have your child pretend they are the parent. Maybe have them play the part of a dentist who is showing you how to brush your teeth properly.

Brushing Teeth to Music

Music is another great way to get a child to brush their teeth.

Kids love music and music is essential to child development. Playing music while you brush can add a lot of fun to teeth brushing.

This is also ideal for getting your child to brush for 2 minutes or more by telling them they can’t stop brushing until the music stops. There are plenty of great kid’s songs with unique rhythms that your child can follow as they brush.

As an example, play the Chicken Dance song and have them brush in time with the music. You could also do a call and response with them where you brush first to the rhythm and they brush in response.

Tell a Story With Each Brushing

Kids also love stories. As a parent, we love reading to our children at bedtime or making up stories for them.

Why not do the same when it’s time to brush their teeth?

Try telling the story or using storytelling activities just before they start brushing and incorporate brushing their teeth into the storyline. If you find it hard to make up stories, try this.

Take any Disney or Pixar story that your child is familiar with and pretend that the characters must brush their teeth before they set out on their adventure. What if Mrs. Potato Head told Mr. Potato Head, he had something stuck in his teeth and had to brush before Andy came to put them in the car?

Do Animals Brush Their Teeth?

Show me a child who doesn’t love animals.

We take our pets to the vet to have their teeth cleaned. What if an elephant, a rhinoceros, or even a shark had to get their teeth cleaned? This can be a very creative way to get a child to brush their teeth.

Try this. Go to Google images and type in “dinosaur teeth brushing” or “shark teeth brushing” (or type in any kind of animal you choose). Google images will display plenty of photos and images about your subject matter. Simply print the image of your choice and show that to your child before they brush.

Have your child pretend they are a different animal each time they brush their teeth. It can make brushing super fun, especially for very young children that rely on you to brush their teeth for them.

Tap Into What Your Child Loves

Children love to explore. As parents, we are often amazed at what children gravitate to and we want to support them no matter what may interest them.

Utilizing what they are passionate about can be a great catalyst for how to get a child to brush their teeth. Do they love dinosaurs, Marvel movies, Blues Clues, Sesame Street or anything to do with science or space?

You can incorporate whatever they love and are passionate about into their daily routine of teeth brushing.

About Keswick Kids Dental

As Keswick’s only children’s dentist, Keswick Kids Dental can take care of your child’s dental needs all throughout their growing years, including emergency dental services.

The Canadian Dental Association recommends that your child should have their first dental visit by the time they are one year old and an annual dental checkup throughout their lifetime.

What makes pediatric dentistry so unique is that we have specialized dental equipment and specialized training for working with children throughout every stage of growing up.

Want to know more about how to get a child to brush their teeth?

You can contact our Keswick children’s dental clinic online or call us at 905-476-2800, or click here to book an appointment.

Ask us about financing dental work through the PayBright payment plan.