How to Encourage Kids to Brush Their Teeth

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Every parent knows how challenging it can be to encourage children to brush their teeth. Though a necessary ritual for their oral health, kids will never want to brush their teeth. So how do you encourage them to brush twice daily? Here are a few tips.

Set a Good Example

Once your kids reach a certain age, they’ll start copying everything you do. They want to be just like mommy or daddy when they grow up, and you can take advantage of this when teaching them to brush their teeth. If they see you doing it morning and night, they’ll want to do it too. Ask them if they want to be a big boy or girl and brush their teeth with you. Phrasing it this way encourages them to view brushing their teeth as a shared activity rather than a boring chore.

Concentrated black child in yellow sweater cleaning teeth with toothbrush looking at long mirror in bathroom

Reward Them for Brushing Their Teeth

Kids respond very well to positive reinforcement, so rewarding them for brushing their teeth is an easy way to ensure they enjoy the twice-daily ritual. Things like stickers, toys, or an allowance are great options that encourage your child to brush their teeth morning and night. You can also promise a bigger reward weekly or monthly if they successfully brush their teeth every day. These rewards associate something positive with brushing their teeth so it is always a positive experience.

Make it a Game

Making brushing their teeth fun is a great way to make it a good experience for your child. You could have a dance competition to one song while they brush for two minutes, have a competition of who can brush their teeth the longest (either between siblings or with you), or make up another game that requires a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Try Fun Toothpaste and Toothbrushes

Most kids don’t like minty flavours, so their toothpaste may be the cause of any negative feelings towards brushing their teeth. Try a better flavoured toothpaste made specifically for kids, or choose their favourite character from a show, like Spiderman or Elmo. Many child-friendly toothbrushes are also shaped like superheroes and other characters from kids’ shows that may encourage your child to brush more positively.