8 Tips to Brush Children’s Teeth

Sometimes kids don’t like brushing their teeth at all, let alone doing it right. But teeth are important, and a good routine from the start will help your child have strong teeth for the future.

Here are 8 tips to brush your child’s teeth.

1. Supervision

Dentists recommend children are supervised when brushing their teeth until they’re eight years old. So, keep an eye on your child’s brushing in case they start losing commitment. It can take children a while to get the hang of brushing their teeth when they’re small, so why not make it something you do together? Give them a choice between brushing their teeth themselves or doing it for them – and if they don’t do it properly? It’s your turn.

2. Smart brushing

Tooth brushing apps for your smartphone and tablet can help get children excited about brushing their teeth. Macleans Nurdle Time is good, and there is also one from The Wiggles.

Apps mean that children can watch a cute song and video while brushing their teeth. Apps tell them what to do and make sure they brush for a full two minutes. Many even have other games and features to make brushing fun, so your children may want to play the apps outside of brushing time too!

3. New brushes

Try letting your children choose a new toothbrush for themselves. Surely an Elsa or Thomas the Tank Engine brush can make tooth time more attractive? You can also try different types such as electric brushes or ones that change colour.

4. Timer

If you’d prefer to limit your child’s screen time, why not try an old-fashioned timer like an hourglass! Your child can turn it over, watch the grains of sand fall while they brush, and it can help keep them focused.

5. Stop using toothpaste

Has your child complained their toothpaste is ‘too spicy’ or ‘too minty’? Some kids can’t stand toothpaste. Not to worry. It’s the act of brushing itself that matters most in removing plaque and food particles, so just get them to use water instead. Once they’re comfortable and competent, introduce very small amounts of toothpaste.

6. Brush together

Does your child like to copy? If you’re brushing your teeth with them, they might be keener to copy you. You could also take turns, or they could ‘brush’ your teeth while you do theirs.

7. Tooth talk

Educating your kids about what happens when you don’t brush your teeth properly is a great way to motivate them. Show them pictures of decayed or missing teeth. Maybe you can tell them the Tooth Fairy won’t accept rotten or yellow teeth. This might work for any kids looking forward to their future Tooth Fairy visit and coin reward.

8. Bribery…

When all else fails, reward them for brushing their teeth. It doesn’t have to be anything huge; stickers are great for when they reach the full two minutes. Or you can use incentives like letting them choose their own breakfast in the morning. Just be careful about offering sweets as rewards – after all, we’re trying to keep those teeth healthy!

Can you think of other ways to encourage kids to brush their teeth?

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Playgroup NSW leads play-based programs and services for NSW families with children birth to school age, offering development, shared experiences, and family support, that results in active citizens and inclusive communities.