Pediatric Smiles of Bloomington Blog

How to Encourage Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Posted by Pediatric Smiles of Bloomington on Dec 23, 2021 10:30:00 AM


Making children do anything that they don't want to can be a massive struggle for everyone involved. There’s a lot of crying, yelling, and temper tantrums. For some children, the causes of these could be eating their vegetables or going to be early. For other children, though, the causes of these crying sessions are brushing their teeth. 

You, as the parent, should be brushing your child’s teeth up until around age three to six. At this time, your child needs to start brushing their own teeth, but that can sometimes be a difficult task. Everyone knows the importance of brushing your teeth, but children don’t necessarily care about that. They care more if the activity is fun or not. Some children might simply hate brushing their teeth. They think it’s too hard or too boring. Whatever the case, though, there are many ways you can encourage your child to brush their teeth.

  • Rewards
    After your child has brushed their teeth, give them a gold star for a job well done, read them their favorite story or play their favorite game. Children love rewards, and that positive reinforcement will make sure that they will always brush their teeth in the future.
  • TV shows
    Kid shows like Sesame Street or Curious George, which teach kids about brushing their teeth, can help your child want to brush their teeth. The characters set a good example of what to do, and your child may want to mimic their favorite character. 
  • Stories
    Stories are a great way to motivate your child to brush their teeth. You can tell a story while they’re brushing, but leave it on a cliffhanger. They’ll want to hear more of the story, but to do so, they’ll have to brush their teeth. 
  • Music
    This is another great tool for encouragement because everyone loves music. Have some playing while your child brushes their teeth to make it fun. Have a mini dance party with them. 
  • Group activity
    Brush your teeth with your child while they brush theirs. Doing this activity together can be fun for the both of you and encourage your child to not be shy or scared about brushing their teeth. 
  • Shopping
    If your child loves the toothbrush or toothpaste they’re using, then they’ll want to use them more. Let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste when you go to the store, and be very excited about whatever they pick out. 
  • Game
    Kids love games, so make brushing teeth into any game you want. Tell your child about the evil plaque monsters terrorizing their teeth, and the only way to stop them is for them to brush their teeth. Let them play the hero, and have fun while doing it. 

The most important thing to remember about encouraging your child to brush their teeth is to make it fun. Whatever you choose to do, make sure your child knows the importance of brushing their teeth but also the enjoyment behind it. It doesn’t have to be some mundane task that gets boring after a while. It can maybe be the best part of the day!

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