How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

There are several reasons everyone needs to brush their teeth daily, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Most importantly, brushing with toothpaste removes plaque, the harmful bacteria that grows on teeth and causes cavities and gum disease. The fluoride in toothpaste also is crucial, as it helps prevent decay and repair early damage before it is noticeable.

Things You'll Need

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Timer


    • 1

      Let your kids pick out the supplies. There are lots of fun character toothbrushes and toothpastes on the market. Escort your kids to the store, and have them pick out their favorite. They'll be much more willing to brush their teeth if they're excited about their toothbrush and toothpaste.

    • 2

      Grab the egg timer out of the kitchen and set it for two minutes. Then have your kids brush until it dings. This makes it more of a game and also gives them a goal.

    • 3

      Switch to an electric toothbrush. A manual toothbrush isn't as effective or as fun as an electric toothbrush, especially when kids are involved.

    • 4

      Have them brush your teeth first. Laugh and make faces or act playfully as they brush your teeth so they see it as an enjoyable activity, then encourage them to brush their own teeth as you watch.

    • 5

      Make it a family affair. Brush your teeth alongside your kids and they're likely to mimic your tooth-brushing habits.

    • 6

      Stick to a schedule. Kids like routine, so set regular tooth brushing times and stick to them. Before long, it'll just become a part of their day.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can purchase timers just for tooth brushing in kid-friendly colors and designs.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

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