8 Tips and Tricks to Make Brushing Teeth Fun

Brushing teeth is one of the most important habits we can develop to maintain good oral health, but helping kids understand why it’s important can be a chore.

By brushing for two minutes, two times every day, we can prevent cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and even heart disease. Make teeth brushing a part of your child’s daily routine and take the time to do it properly to enjoy a healthy, happy smile for years to come.

Incorporate some simple and creative ideas into your oral hygiene routine to make brushing teeth a positive experience for kids and even adults! Here are a few ways to make brushing fun for kids:

1. Brush together

Brushing your teeth with your child can make the experience more enjoyable, sets a good example, and creates a sense of bonding. You can even have a "brushing party" and dance to toothbrushing songs together! 

Here are a few of our favorites that will make sure your child brushes for a full two minutes:

The Toothbrushing Song (Queensland Health)
The Tooth Brushing Song (Danny Go!)
The Two Minute Brushing Song (Trueocity)
Brush Your Teeth (Finny the Shark)
The Tooth Brushing Song (Hey Duggee)
Tooth Bugs Go Away (The Singing Walrus)
Brush to the Beat (Mickey Mornings, Disney Junior)
Time to Brush Our Teeth (Codey and the Cloud)

Parents should begin brushing their child's teeth as soon as the first tooth emerges. Kids should only brush their teeth independently when they can brush without swallowing the toothpaste.

2. Make it a game

Turn brushing teeth into a game by setting a timer for 2 minutes and challenging your child to brush every side of each tooth, and their tongue by the time the timer goes off (but NOT before!)

3. Choose a special toothbrush

Let your child pick out their own toothbrush with their favorite character. Then when it’s time to brush they can also dress like the character on their toothbrush. For example, if your child chooses a princess or superhero character toothbrush they can put on a princess crown or a superhero cape when it’s time to brush their teeth.

(Toothbrush Toys has fun character toothbrushes with soft, replaceable brush heads and fun storybooks to read before bed or brushing. Plus, each purchase supports the mission of America’s ToothFairy!)

4. Use kid-friendly toothpaste

For some kids, the strong flavors of adults toothpastes are just too much. Look for toothpaste that comes in flavors and textures that kids love. You can also try using a "squirt" toothpaste that comes in a tube with a fun dispenser.

How much toothpaste should you use?

Children younger that age 3 should use a smear of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice.) Children 3 years and older should use the amount of toothpaste equal to the size of a green pea.

5. Make up your own song or rhyme about tooth brushing

Make brushing teeth a fun experience by singing a song or telling a story while you brush your teeth. You can even create your own two-minute "brushing rhyme" or make up a fun story about your child’s toothbrush character.

6. Make your child the “brushing police”

Kids love to be in charge! Set an alarm for any time between dinner and bed time. When the alarm goes off it is the job of the “brushing police” to make sure everyone (that means you, Mom and Dad) brushes their teeth for two minutes. Then the “brushing police” must inspect everyone’s mouths to be sure they’ve done a good job.

7. Offer incentives to form healthy habits

Download our free brushing charts (or brushing and flossing charts for kids whose teeth touch each other) and hang them in your child’s bedroom. Have them track their progress as they brush each day. Give them a special reward each week they don’t miss brushing.

The incentives don’t have to cost a lot. They can include choosing small toys from a treat box, choosing a movie to watch or game to play as a family, or extra time to play video games.

It takes 60 days to form a new habit so find the incentives that motivate your child to help them stick with it!

8. Be positive and patient

Above all, be positive and patient with your child while they brush their teeth. Encourage them and praise them for doing a good job. This can help build confidence and make the experience more enjoyable.

By incorporating these simple and creative ideas into your daily oral hygiene routine, you can make brushing teeth a fun and enjoyable experience for kids (and even adults!) Remember, brushing teeth is an important part of taking care of our overall health, so let's make it something to look forward to!

Find this article in a printable format for parents and caregivers on our Resources Page.

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