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How To Get Kids To Brush Their Teeth

How To Get Kids To Brush Their Teeth

Getting kids to brush their teeth can sometimes be challenging! Instilling good dental hygiene in your child’s routine is a process that takes time and dedication. Luckily, you can take a few simple steps to encourage healthy habits for your kiddo and help them enjoy a healthier smile. 

Learn how to get your kid to brush their teeth from the pediatric dental experts at Milestone Kids Dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

A girl in a tie-dye shirt, holding a large green toothbrush and hugging a plush dinosaur.

Make It a Routine

The earlier you start your child’s dental hygiene routine, the better! Establishing a brushing routine as early as possible will help your child adopt the habit. For toddlers, there are many training toothbrush sets available to get a sense of what brushing their teeth feels like. For teething babies, you can gently brush the gums with a clean washcloth to get them used to the sensation of cleaning their teeth.

Once your child is old enough for a toothbrush, brush their teeth for them until they are ready to do it themselves. Children are usually ready to brush on their own between the ages of 6-9. At this point, it’s important to supervise their brushing routine and make sure they are doing a thorough job! This helps them develop independence with their hygiene habits.

Set An Example

It’s important to remember that as a parent, your child will look up to you and emulate your behavior! Your child will follow suit if you demonstrate good brushing and flossing habits. An excellent way to do this is by brushing and flossing together twice a day and forming a family hygiene routine. This way, your kid is more likely to integrate these habits in their own life.

A man holding the hands of a young girl who is jumping on a trampoline.

Make It Fun!

Teaching your child about proper dental hygiene habits can be fun for you and them! When you approach the subject with a playful attitude, getting your kid to brush their teeth can be easy-peasy. 

Here are some fun ideas and activities you can use to educate your kid about dental hygiene:

  • Practice on a stuffed animal or doll! Demonstrate how to brush your teeth on their favorite toy, and then let them do it themselves.
  • Use a tiny flashlight to “look for plaque bugs”! Get your kid in on the fun and have them search for the little “buggies” in areas they may have missed.
  • Use a mini hourglass! Colorful two-minute sand timers are fun for your child to use. Challenge them to brush their teeth until the sand has reached the bottom.
  • Play their favorite song! A good brushing routine takes about two minutes, so playing music will help the time fly by.

Use Rewards and Incentives

Rewarding your kid for a brushing job well done can go a long way! This motivates them to keep incorporating hygiene habits into their routine. You could make a reward chart and give them a sticker each time they brush their teeth. Or, it could be as simple as giving them a high-five and letting them know you’re proud of them. You know your child better than anyone, so find out what motivates them and develop incentives to encourage good habits. We have resources like brushing charts that will help you keep track of your little one’s cleanings.

Let Them Choose a Toothbrush & Toothpaste

Giving your child the option of picking their own toothbrush and toothpaste can be a reward on its own! There are many types of fun toothbrushes that are made for kids. They come in many different colors and shapes, so your child can feel like they are having a fun and unique brushing experience.

Adults are used to the minty flavor that adult toothpastes provide. However, the zing from this toothpaste may be too powerful for your child’s tastes. Fortunately, children’s toothpaste comes in lots of amazing flavors – like watermelon, strawberry, and bubblegum – that will help your child enjoy their brushing routine!

A young girl in a red shirt choosing between 2 toothbrushes that a dentist is holding.

Learn More Ways to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth with Milestone Kids Dentistry!

While many kids want to avoid brushing their teeth, developing good dental hygiene routines is crucial for their health and well-being. At Milestone Kids Dentistry, we focus on providing you and your child with the tools you need to give them a healthier smile for life. With proper hygiene and nutritional education, we can teach your child to love taking care of their teeth!

We also have some instructional videos on our Youtube channel demonstrating how to take care of your little one’s teeth. If you have questions about creating healthy dental hygiene habits for your kiddo, you can call us, text us, or email us at

Schedule an appointment today!

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