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6 Best Tips For Motivating Your Child To Brush Their Teeth

If you want to get your kids to brush their teeth on their own, use these six tips.

Make it fun

  • Use fun toothbrushes, toothpaste and toothbrushing accessories. You can find tons of these at the store or online! I know my daughter loves a good sticker book, so we use that as a reward for brushing her teeth daily. It makes brushing time so much more exciting for her because she can see how much progress she’s making with her stickers every night before bedtime–and it helps me track how often we need to replace them when they run out (which happens pretty quickly).*
  • Use a timer to make brushing teeth a game: This will help keep your child interested in cleaning their mouth for longer periods if they know there will be an endorphin rush waiting on them once they finish.*
  • Let them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste: Giving children some control over what goes into their bodies helps build confidence while also teaching responsibility.*

Don’t use rewards

  • Don’t use rewards. Rewards can lead to tooth decay, bad habits, and kids not brushing their teeth. If you want your child’s teeth to be clean, let them know that it’s part of taking care of themselves and being healthy.

Be positive and encouraging.

The most important thing you can do is to be positive and encouraging. When your child brushes their teeth, say things like “You did a great job!” or “That’s better than last time!”. If they start to brush too hard, stop them and encourage them to use a lighter touch. This will make your child feel proud of their accomplishments and happy about cleaning their teeth.

Use the right tools.

  • Use a timer, not an alarm clock.
  • Use a fun toothbrush.
  • Consider using toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles (think: baby’s first toothbrush).

Let the kid lead

  • Let them choose the toothpaste they want to use and their own toothbrush and floss.
  • If you have a song or story that your child likes, let them pick it! This makes brushing more fun and can encourage your kid to brush longer than they normally would if left in silence with just a boring old brush in their mouth for two minutes (which I’m sure most adults would agree with).
  • If your child has a specific time of day when they want to do something, let them pick that time–as long as it works within your schedule, too! For example: “I get up at 6 am every day because I need enough time before school starts at 7:45 am.”

Take care of your teeth too!

You must do the same if you want your kids to take care of their teeth. If they see you brushing and flossing every day, they’re more likely to follow your example. It would help if you also used mouthwash after eating or drinking sugary foods or drinks. This will help prevent cavities from forming in their teeth and make them feel good about taking care of themselves!

If you want to get your kids to brush their teeth on their own, use these six tips.

  • Make it fun. If they see brushing as a chore or something they have to do because you said so, it won’t be enjoyable for them, and they’ll resist tooth brushing time as much as possible. Instead of making it into a battle of wills with your child by forcing them into a chair and holding their head down while they scream at the top of their lungs (which is what I did), try having fun with them instead! Brush each other’s teeth like pretend sharks, make silly faces in the mirror while brushing together, or sing along with songs that involve dental hygiene, like “Brush Your Teeth” by Barney & Friends (best song ever). The key here is getting creative–you don’t need fancy tools or technology; find ways that make brushing fun for both of you!
  • Don’t use rewards systems like stickers on charts because this teaches children that receiving rewards from others makes us feel good about ourselves, which isn’t always true and also gives us an incentive not only for doing things we wouldn’t normally want/need done but also encourages dishonesty when reporting those tasks completed successfully.”


We hope these tips have helped motivate your child to brush their teeth. It’s important to remember that each child is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Most importantly, you keep trying different strategies until something works!

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