911 N. ELM, SUITE 230, HINSDALE, IL 60521


Child Refusing to Brush Their Teeth? These 10 Tricks Will Help!
January 27, 2019

girl brushing teeth in bathroom

Most toddlers hate having their teeth brushed for them. They don’t understand why they need to brush their teeth, and cavities mean nothing to them. So how do you get your tiny tot on board with brushing their teeth twice a day?

We’ve rounded up the top 10 best tricks for keeping your toddler’s teeth clean.


Involve Them In Picking Out a Toothbrush

Take your little one down the toothbrush aisle and let them choose which toothbrush they want to use. You could also try an electric toothbrush that can do a better job than a manual toothbrush, especially for short little bursts of brushing.


Get Out of the Bathroom

Don’t limit brushing to just the bathroom, and don’t restrict their experiences of brushing at an early age. Many kids have a hard time walking away from their fun toys to brush their teeth. Let them brush in their bedroom, in the bathtub, or anywhere else that holds their focus.


Make Toothpaste Optional

Many kids don’t like the taste of toothpaste, and this can make brushing a struggle. Try incorporating a kids’ toothpaste and let them choose the flavor. This tactic may give your little one an incentive to brush.


Keep Things Positive

The last thing your child wants is to be forced to do something. Avoid threatening statements such as “if you don’t brush your teeth, you will have cavities when we go to the dentist” because this makes the dentist into a punishment for not brushing. Keep brushing fun and positive, and no matter what, keep trying!


Play Pretend

Kids love to play games, so why not make brushing teeth a game too? Line up all of the stuffed animals and dolls in the house and brush each of their teeth. Not only will this help to make brushing more fun, but it will also help to teach them the proper brushing motion.


Use the Mirror

Have your child look directly in a mirror while you stand behind them and brush their teeth. This allows them to see what you’re doing, and also have a bit of a distraction while you clean.


Lead By Example

Most kids enjoy learning by copying motions and actions they see. Brush together in the mirror so they can watch how you brush your teeth and mimic you. Brushing as a family is also a great time to monitor any older kids brushing techniques too.


Help Finish the Job

Most toddlers aren’t able to do a thorough job of brushing, so you may want to help in finishing the job. This is often the tricky part because most kids dislike having someone take over anything for them. Limit this time by using a song, counting, or making a game of it.


Sing a Little Song

Singing increases the fun level and reinforces the routine. Even more important, a song can assure the child that the brushing is time-limited because they know that they can stop brushing when the song ends. Tap into your creative side and make up a song of your own.


Make Brushing a Priority

Send the message to your kids that their oral health is a priority. Rather than waiting until the end of the day to brush, or realizing that brushing was forgotten on your way to preschool, prioritize brushing into your busy schedule.

Has your toddler had their first dental checkup and cleaning yet? Call Hinsdale Dentistry today to schedule their first cleaning and exam to see how your home care is measuring up.