Brushing Teeth

Kids won’t brush their teeth? Here’s some tips to help!

Do you struggle to get the kids to brush their teeth? (Yes we hear!) While children will respond differently to different tactics, here are some ideas to help encourage your children to let you brush their teeth, or brush them themselves…

• Make it fun!

• Keep it quick, but enough time for a proper clean.

• Let your child pick out their toothbrush.

• Some toddlers love copying Mum and Dad, so brush your teeth at the same time! You could even get the same colour toothbrush and cup for rinsing. But remember not to share toothbrushes, as that can spread bacteria.

• Make sure your child can see what they are doing in the mirror.

• Try brushing them when your child is in the bath. And maybe brush the teeth of any bath toys (turning the bristles away) – no doubt there’s some rubber duckies that need their teeth brushed too.

• Have a special song that you only sing to them when brushing their teeth.

• Check the taste of the toothpaste. It might taste horrible and you don’t realise. (children under 18 months don’t need toothpaste, just water on the brush is fine – and then for children aged 18 months to 6 years ensure you are using a low-fluoride toothpaste)

• Try another room of the house, like the kitchen.

• Come up with some fun and creative games or explanations about brushing teeth. Imagine a dinosaur brushing its teeth! Or talk about the food they ate that day and brushing the food out of their teeth (I see the broccoli in there, let’s get the broccoli out!).

If your child brushes their teeth themselves, don’t forget to follow up with a clean yourself, as while your child is still developing their dexterity they may not have given their teeth a proper clean.

A nutritious diet is important for good dental health. Avoid sugary snacks and sweetened drinks (soft drink, juice, etc). Also avoid giving your little one a bottle of milk before bed.