Motivating Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Like going to bed on time, or eating vegetables, brushing teeth is something that many children will resist. Good dental health is too important to let this slide. Here are some methods to help motivate your child to brush:

Show Them the Plaque

There are tablets that dissolve in the mouth to reveal areas where plaque is present. Using the tablets periodically will clearly demonstrate that brushing makes a difference.

Make a Game of Brushing

Help your child look forward to brush time. You can search online for “tooth brushing games” to get ideas, such as pretending the toothbrush is a superhero who needs to rescue the teeth from cavity and plaque monsters. Several major tooth care companies have web pages devoted to brushing games, and some sites sell toothbrushes with games built in to motivate and teach proper brushing technique.

Let Your Child Pick the Brush and Toothpaste

There are many themed toothbrushes and different flavored toothpastes that could motivate your child to brush more often if they find one they like. It also allows your child to feel they have a role in their dental health routine.

Music as a Motivator

While it only takes two minutes to properly brush your teeth, it can seem like an eternity to a child. Allow them to pick a song they like to help pass the time while brushing – two minutes will pass before the typical song finishes.

Be a Role Model

The best motivator is for you to follow good dental hygiene yourself. Smaller kids love to emulate their parents, and brushing with them will help drive them to be like you. It’s important to set a good example for older children, as well. They will question the importance of brushing and ask why they should do it if you don’t.

Use the Expert

Learning about the importance of good oral health from someone else – especially an authority like a dentist – could help motivate your child when nothing else will. Developing good brushing habits will help your child maintain good oral health for their entire life.


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