8 Ways to Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth | Toddlers & Babies


How to get your child to brush their teeth

Is getting your kids to brush their teeth becoming a chore in your house?

Sometimes it is in ours, while my husband was just playing around in this picture we often have times when teeth brushing is a big battle.

It’s funny how kids go through stages of not minding it, then they do. Independence thing? Surely it is.

Here are a few fun ideas that we use with my two little monkeys to keep teeth brushing fun and less of a chore.

  1. My 1 year old doesn’t seem to mind having her teeth brushed, unless she is teething. At this age if the tooth brush is bothering her we take a cold wash cloth and wipe down her teeth and gums. Brushing at this age is really more for habit, a cold wash cloth will not only wipe down her gums it will also provide a little relief when biting down on it. 
  2. When they fight you to use the tooth brush all by themselves, purchase a second toothbrush that you can use to brush their teeth, taking turns while they use their tooth brush. 
  3. Another option for your teething toddler is the Baby Banana Brush. This is a teething toothbrush that is made of a strong silicone. Perfect for freezing, chewing and decreases the risk of toothbrush injury. Andrea has been using a Baby Banana Brush since she was 5 months old and still loves it. 
  4. Let your little one brush your teeth! Sometimes we will give them our toothbrush and let our kids brush our teeth, then taking turns to brush theirs. Gives them control and makes it fun! 
  5. As they get older, the toothbrush does matter. Find ones that are fun! Andrew loves his SpongeBob spin brush toothbrush. They even make a spin brushthat your child can decorate with stickers. 
  6. Sing with your kids. We use the tune of “London Bridges” But we sing “Now it’s time to brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, Now it’s time to brush our teeth, until we are doneee” LOL Okay so it’s a silly song but try a song of your own! Songs in our house always make those “teeth pulling tasks” much more fun to do. 
  7. Andrea, my 1 year old, also loves to watch herself in the mirror while we brush. It’s a game to watch baby brush her teeth! 
  8. Sometimes when it is time for bed we will find that our 4 year old is overly tired, teeth brushing is like pulling teeth! We make compromises with him and let him do things like brush his teeth out in the kitchen for something new. Or let him watch cartoons on TV while he brushes. 

You can see that we have a lot of suggestions and honestly we use all of these, all of the time. Every child is going to be different and every situation will be different, hopefully one of these suggestions will work for you as they have for us.

What tips do you have for happy teeth brushing in your home?



47 thoughts on “8 Ways to Getting Kids to Brush Their Teeth | Toddlers & Babies

  • April 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm
    I really like the idea of having them first brush your teeth and then brush theirs. I think it makes it more of a fun game for them. After they have the desire to brush the next part is teaching them to do it well. Reply
  • June 4, 2012 at 11:11 am
    I will definitely try the song. My four year old has just started fighting teeth brushing. He use to love it! Reply
    • June 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm
      It used to be my 4 year old that fought it, now it's my 21 month old. So hard to brush teeth anymore! Let me know how the song works for you :) Reply
  • May 2, 2012 at 11:05 am
    Those were some ideas. I gave my children 15 minutes extra to be out of bed, the ones that had their teeth brushed before I reminded them got stars on a chart, the little ones got an extra story, under 3 was difficult but we did try brushing our teeth at the same time and I often told them mommy will lay down with you if you let me brush your teeth I know bad mommy lol They need that one on one relaxing time in my opinion anyway :) Gladys P Reply
  • April 11, 2012 at 9:40 pm
    Love the idea of having them brush YOUR teeth! That's a great idea! I also have DS open wide and tell him I can see London in his huge open mouth. That always makes him giggle and then he relaxes and gives me back control of brushing. Just make it fun. If you're too serious they seem to tense up! Reply
  • March 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm
    Thanks for the great tips ! Reply
  • March 20, 2012 at 10:25 am
    Thanks for the awesome tips! Reply
  • March 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    I love your suggestion of having the kids brush your teeth! I never thought of that! I'm going to try it out and see what my kids think! I'm sure they will get a kick out of it! Reply
  • March 14, 2012 at 9:57 am
    I love the song idea! My daughter loves to sing, but hates sitting still for tooth brush time. Maybe a song will help! Reply
  • March 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm
    Thank you for the informative article. I didnt have a problem when my toddler when I used the cold cloth or the finger brush. She is now 20 months old and we are using an Elmo toothbrush.. her favorite and Oh boy!! The fights.. I try to make it funny and we Sing to it's the time to brush our teeth or PBS's Brush brush. I think I will try the idea of us taking turns brushing each other maybe that will help! Reply
  • March 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm
    My toddler hates to have his teeth brushed, I let him brush on his own and then I would take my turn, it's a daily battle. I really want to try the spin brushes and see if maybe that will work. Thanks for the info! Reply
  • March 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm
    Oh great ideas! I am going to do the idea of buying an extra toothbrush! Carter always wants to take the toothbrush and do it himself...which is not really brushing. LOL So, next store trip...I will get a new one so we can use two! I might have to find that banana brush...that looks very interesting! Thanks for all the great tips to try to make toothbrushing a bit easier! Reply
  • March 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm
    This is has been a daily struggle with my 2.5 year old! Thank you for the tips! I am going to look into the banana brush for my little one! Reply
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  • March 1, 2012 at 9:10 am
    Great information to pass along to my daughter for my little granddaughter! Thanks so much! Reply
  • February 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm
    Thanks for the tips... will share them with others! Cute Pic! mayble73(at)yahoo(dot)com Reply
  • February 28, 2012 at 12:03 am
    We sing the ABC song here. Of course Spongebob and Dora toothpaste help as well, lol. Reply
  • February 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm
    Your tip about a 2nd toothbrush is right on! That just happened with us one day when my kid wouldn't give up the toothbrush so i grabbed the spare one and brushed around him. It works so much better! Reply
  • February 27, 2012 at 10:05 am
    LOL! Love the look on his face! Thanks for sharing! Reply
  • February 25, 2012 at 9:42 pm
    I could literally cover my son's toothbrush in donuts and he would still not want anything to do with it. And forget about toothpaste, he looks at it like it's a stick full of spinach, LOL. We'll figure it out eventually! Thanks for the tips!! Reply
  • February 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm
    Thanks for the tips I will try them out... :) Reply
  • February 22, 2012 at 9:12 am
    love these tips. It can truly be a challenge to get them to do it Reply
  • February 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm
    Awesome tips, esp #2! Reply
  • February 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm
    Those are great suggestions. I'm terrible and burshing my daughter's teeth regularly (16 months old). But it's definatley time for me to get my rear in gear and be consistant. Good reminder, thanks! Reply
  • February 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm
    My son's school just made "toothbrushes" out of construction paper (they are adorable!) with a poem written on it about brushing your teeth. We hung it in the bathroom on the mirror. Our boys love to sing the poem while they brush their teeth...and it's a fun way to show off our son's artwork! Reply
  • February 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm
    Thank you for the tips! We are struggling right now to get our little one to brush his teeth. I think we are going to try a few of these tips. I think he would definitely enjoy brushing our teeth Reply
  • February 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    I have to try the Baby Banana Brush, thanks for the great tips! Reply
  • February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    great tips and very creative!! my little one thinks his mouth is the "train tunnel" (he loves trains) so maybe I could get creative with that theme somehow Reply
  • February 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm
    Great article-- keep up the great works-- We have a timer for upper teeth then it goes on again for the lowers--at first it was fun now they just do it--lol always something to train on Reply
  • February 12, 2012 at 8:40 am
    I think if you can kind of make a game out of it, or even brush your teeth with them, they tend to actually ask you to brush their teeth. Reply
  • February 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm
    My kid is obsessed with toothbrushes. I wonder how long that will last! Reply
  • February 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm
    Loved reading this! With my 4 year old it used to be a battle but since i started letting her use my electric toothbrush she loves it.. it tickles she says lol. Hey, whatever works right? Reply
  • January 31, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    These are great tips. I have one child who absolutely loves brushing her teeth and one who does not. I also liked the rinses for kids that shows them where they need to concentrate on brushing nore. :) Reply
  • January 31, 2012 at 11:33 am
    Thank you for the ideas to make teeth brushing easier... Reply
  • January 30, 2012 at 10:15 am
    Thanks for sharing tips on brushing my little ones teeth. Very helpful! Reply
  • January 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm
    That picture cracks me up! I never though of letting my child brush my teeth. That's a good one. All very good advice. Reply
  • January 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm
    Perfect ideas! Thanks! I will have to try these next time we fight about teeth brushing! LOL! Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm
    Couldn't agree more on #3 Love that baby banana...its a teething lifesaver! Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm
    LOVE the photo. Thanks for the tips. My nephews aren't allowed to play electronics if they don't brush their teeth twice a day....and playing the Wii on weekends IS a BIG DEAL to them! xoxoxo Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 11:43 am
    We had a baby banana brush for our daughter. LOVED that thing...we bought 2. Great for teething too! Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 10:22 am
    Haha love the picture! My kids fortunately remind me to brush their teeth before bed and in the morning they love it character toothbrushes and fun flavors have them hooked Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 9:43 am
    These are all great ideas. My little one is only 3 months old, but soon we will start with her. Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 8:59 am
    These are great tips - and the picture is so funny! Reply
  • January 24, 2012 at 1:15 am
    We say, "Time to brush all of your animal teeth. Girraffe teeth up high, zebra teeth in the back & bear & lion teeth up front." This all started after a trip to the zoo. They never hesitate to flash their pearly whites now. LOL! Reply

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