15 Easy Tips for How to Get Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth

how to get toddler to brush teeth

As parents, we know how important it is to ensure our children maintain good oral hygiene habits, including brushing their teeth. However, getting your little one to brush their teeth isn’t always easy. Are you wondering how to get toddler to brush teeth? 

You’re not alone! With these 15 easy tips, you can turn tooth brushing into a fun and enjoyable activity for your child.

Why is Brushing Important for Toddlers?

Before we dive into the tips, let’s first discuss why brushing is so important for your child’s teeth and gums. Brushing serves many purposes:

Proper Teeth Development

Brushing helps in the development and growth of your child’s teeth. By keeping teeth clean and healthy, brushing can help prevent issues with the alignment and spacing of teeth.

Preventing Cavities and Tooth Decay

Children who do not brush regularly are more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Brushing helps remove plaque and bacteria that can otherwise lead to decay and cavities.

Healthy Gums

Regular brushing also helps keep gums healthy. It helps prevent gum disease, which can lead to sore and bleeding gums, and even tooth loss.

When Should You Start Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth?

At What Age Should You Start?

You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as their first tooth appears. This is usually around six months of age.

How to Brush New Teeth?

Brushing new teeth can be challenging, especially if your child is resistant or uncomfortable. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head and apply a small pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Clean the teeth and gums with gentle, circular motions.

What Kind of Toothbrush and Toothpaste to Use?

Choose a toothbrush that is specifically designed for toddlers. It should have soft bristles and a small head to fit comfortably in your child’s mouth.

As for toothpaste, use only a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice for children under three years of age, and a pea-sized amount for those over three.

how to get toddler to brush teeth

What are Some Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth?

Tip 1: Use Positive Reinforcement

Praise your child for their efforts and make a big deal out of brushing. If they resist brushing, try not to scold or punish them. Instead, encourage them with positive reinforcement and rewards.

Tip 2: Offer Rewards

Provide incentives for your child to brush their teeth, like stickers or a small toy. This can motivate your child to want to brush. Just make sure the reward is given for effort, not just for finishing the task.

Tip 3: Be Patient and Persistent

Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits takes time and patience. Be consistent in your efforts, and remember that it may take several attempts before your child is comfortable with brushing.

Tip 4: Start early

Introduce toothbrushing as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. This helps establish a routine from an early age.

Tip 5: Make it fun

Use colorful and child-friendly toothbrushes, and let your toddler choose their own. You can even find brushes featuring their favorite cartoon characters.

Tip 6: Lead by example

Let your little one watch you brush your teeth to show ’em how it’s done!  You can even say “see how I…” as you go along (if you can talk while brushing!)

Tip 7: Make it a game

Turn toothbrushing into a fun activity. Sing a toothbrushing song or create a brushing chart with stickers to track their progress.

Tip 8: Make it a routine

Establish a consistent toothbrushing routine. Set specific times for brushing in the morning and before bedtime so it becomes a habit.

Tip 9: Use child-friendly toothpaste

Choose a toothpaste specially formulated for children with a mild flavor they enjoy. Use only a small pea-sized amount.

Tip 10: Let them be in control

Give your toddler some autonomy by allowing them to hold the toothbrush and brush their own teeth. You can guide and assist them as needed.

Tip 11: Make it interactive

Use educational resources such as books or videos that teach children about oral hygiene’s importance and toothbrushing’s fun.

toddler tooth brushing tips

How to Make Brushing Fun for Your Toddler?

Tip 12: Let Your Toddler Choose Their Own Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Take your child to the store and allow them to pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. Toddlers are more likely to want to brush with something that they find fun or exciting.

Tip 13: Brush Your Own Teeth Together

Make brushing a family activity by brushing your teeth at the same time as your toddler. Children often mimic what they see their parents do, so seeing you brush your teeth can encourage them to want to do the same.

Tip 14: Use a Timer or a Song to Make Toothbrushing Time More Fun

Set a two-minute timer or sing a song while your child brushes their teeth. This can make brushing more enjoyable and make the time go by faster.

Tip 15: Use storytelling: 

Create a fun and imaginative story around toothbrushing. You can pretend the toothbrush is a superhero saving their teeth from “sugar monsters” or “cavity villains.”

Engage your toddler’s imagination and make the experience exciting and interactive.

Simple DIY Toddler Activities: Fun Things to Do with Your Little One

Discover a treasure trove of DIY toddler activities and parenting tips in this inspiring blog post.

From engaging sensory play and stimulating crafts to practical advice on fostering developmental milestones, this article offers a wealth of ideas to enhance your toddler’s growth and create lasting memories.

Embrace the joy of hands-on learning while also benefiting from expert tips on effective parenting techniques that support your little one’s overall well-being.

What if Your Toddler Refuses to Brush Their Teeth?

Talk to Your Pediatric Dentist

If your child is still resistant to brushing, talk to your pediatric dentist. They may have additional tips or methods to make brushing more enjoyable for your child.

Try Different Brushing Positions and Techniques

Experiment with different brushing positions or techniques to see what works best for your child. You can even let your child brush their own teeth under your supervision to encourage independence.

Make Toothbrushing Time More Exciting

Try playing a game or setting up a fun activity for your child to do while they brush. This can make brushing more exciting and less of a chore.

toddler tooth brushing tips

FAQ: 15 Easy Tips for How to Get Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth

Q: How do I get my toddler to brush their teeth?

A: There are many ways to get your toddler to brush their teeth, including making it fun, using a toothbrush and toothpaste they like, and modeling good tooth brushing habits yourself.

Q: How often should my toddler brush their teeth?

A: According to pediatric dentistry guidelines, toddlers should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.

Q: How much toothpaste should I use to brush my toddler’s teeth?

A: For children under age three, use a smear (about the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste. For children ages three to six, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Q: How do I get my toddler to let me brush their teeth?

A: You can try letting your toddler brush their own teeth first, then following up with a turn to brush for them. You can also try singing a tooth brushing song, or using a toothbrush with their favorite character on it.

Q: How do I get my toddler excited about brushing?

A: Try incorporating a fun tooth brushing activity, such as using a special toothbrush or toothpaste, or letting your toddler brush their toy’s teeth during the activity.

Q: What if my toddler won’t let me brush their teeth at all?

A: It’s important to establish a tooth brushing routine early on, so your toddler becomes accustomed to the act of brushing. If your toddler refuses to let you brush their teeth, try letting them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste, or making a game out of tooth brushing.

Q: Should I brush my baby’s teeth?

A: Yes, you should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come in. Use a soft-bristled brush and a smear of toothpaste, and gently brush their teeth and gums.

Q: What if my toddler swallows toothpaste?

A: It’s important to supervise your child while they brush their teeth to prevent them from swallowing toothpaste. If your child swallows toothpaste, they may experience stomach upset, so be sure to contact a doctor if you have concerns.

Q: How can I get my toddler to brush their teeth for the full two minutes?

A: Try using a timer or a fun tooth brushing app to help your toddler brush their teeth for the full two minutes. You can also make a game out of tooth brushing by singing a tooth brushing song or letting your toddler brush their toy’s teeth at the same time.

Q: How do I get my toddler to open their mouth while I brush their teeth?

A: It’s important to start establishing good tooth brushing habits early on, so your toddler becomes accustomed to the act of brushing. You can try singing a tooth brushing song or using a toothbrush with their favorite character on it to make tooth brushing more fun and engaging for your child.

Q: Why is tooth brushing important for toddlers?

A: Tooth brushing is important for toddlers because it helps prevent tooth decay and promotes good oral hygiene habits. It’s important to establish good tooth brushing habits early on to prevent dental problems in the future.

In conclusion, getting your toddler to brush their teeth isn’t always easy, but with these 15 easy tips, you can make toothbrushing time a more enjoyable experience for you and your child. Remember to start brushing early, use positive reinforcement, be patient, and have fun!