Does your child cry every time you approach them with a toothbrush?

Or maybe they don’t mind the process, but you’re looking to increase their self-sufficiency so they’ll brush their teeth without supervision.  Here are just 11 tips for encouraging good oral hygiene from your kids.

1: Make It Fun

No child is excited by the thought of grey fluoride-free toothpaste.

If you invest in a bright blue or fizzy pink toothpaste, on the other hand, they might look forward to brushing their teeth even if you aren’t there to direct them.

2: Think Themes

Children who hate their dental routine may find it a bit more comfortable if they have a friend like Iron Man or Hello Kitty there. You can buy floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes and even toothbrush holders decorated with popular characters.

3: Go Electric

If they aren’t overly thrilled by the presence of SpongeBob, take things even further by buying them a high-powered, battery-operated electric toothbrush. Stress that it’s a grownup toothbrush that isn’t for babies.

Wonder out loud if they can handle it.

4: Choose the Right Dentist

Tired of tantrums when it’s time for a clean? Look for a specialist in pediatric dentistry. They’ll have a bright, colorful office with friendly staff members who can set your child’s mind at ease.

They might even have a bowl with sugar-free candy!

5: Keep Your Visits Regular

Your child can be taken to the dentist as early as age two. If you make it a non-event, an annual trip rather than a special one when teeth break or cavities form, you can nip dentophobia in the bud before it even begins.

6: Encourage Spitting

Many parents have trouble getting their children to spit out mouthwash; their natural inclination is to swallow it. Try making it a game and see if that helps. Clean, healthy gums are worth a little clean-up around the sink.

7: Experiment With Textures

Tongue scrapers aren’t nearly as scary as they sound. In fact, if you sell them right, you can convince your child that they’re a fun treat.

This is because they come in different shapes, colours and textures that young children will love to play with after brushing.

8: Make It A Habit

Don’t ever plant the idea that brushing their teeth is something they need to make time for during a busy morning. Don’t ever let them skip it.

Establish it as a habit and a necessity, the same as taking baths or getting dressed for school.

9: Allow Silliness

Again, it’s better to deal with a little mess now than an expensive trip to the dentist later. Try not to make a fuss if your child gets through their dental routine by bouncing, dancing or hopping on one foot until the chore is complete.

10: Sing A Song

Most experts recommend at least 2-3 minutes of teeth brushing for optimal oral hygiene. Most experts don’t have children. If your wiggly, impatient first grader refuses to stand still that long, encourage them to sing a song while brushing. Tell them that they can only stop once they’ve made it through an entire rendition of “Let It Go.”

11: Incentivise

When all else fails, you can always resort to bribery.

Give them a reward for every piece of used floss they bring out of the bathroom. Offer 25 cents a piece for brushing, flossing, gargling and rinsing the sink afterward, so they’ll only get a dollar if they do it all.

These are just 11 tips for encouraging good dental hygiene from your children. Remember, the best habits are ones that are encouraged early, so don’t wait for a vague tomorrow to establish a better brushing routine. Start doing it tonight.

Do you have anything that works with your kids?

Main image courtesy of Shutterstock
  • I haven’t really had any problems with teeth cleaning. But great suggestions here for those that do


  • Thanks for sharing these helpful tips.


  • I worry about my boys teeth all the time. I end up brushing them for them.


  • Number 9 is something I’ve never thought of before


  • My toddler loves brushing his teeth but he does tend to swallow a lot of tooth paste..


  • Thanks for sharing. Really helpful for me with a 6 year old.


  • Heaps of tips I had never thought of, and info I didn’t know like optimal brushing time.


  • Im very diligent with this so i thought, having bad teeth myself from poor diet choices i have always made sure i have taught my children to select right foods drinks. and most importantly oral hygiene however my 5 year old recently started to complain his tooth was sore i checked his mouth it all looked perfect he still continued to complain so i took him to dentist just to be sure, in between his teeth had started to decay from food caught, so now we floss i never knew it was important to floss from a young age so now its alos a part of our routine


  • I still on occasion brush my kids teeth to check them.


  • Always go with a theme, it is so motivational.


  • We now use homemade toothpaste. Been using it for 2 months now.
    It is equal parts baking soda and coconut oil blended together (1tbls), with a drop of essential oils we use pepermint. But can use orange ( orange is a good calming oil too). Boys love it teeth are cleaner n0 m9re bad breaths colds dont last as long sinus are always clear. And tonsillitis is not as frequent ☺.we make enough for 1 wkstore in a container.


  • thanks for sharing.


  • all over this one thanks


  • My kids are pretty good at doing it, but teaching them to do it properly has taken some effort.


  • trying to introduce toothpaste is becoming a bit of a struggle but will try some of these tips


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