Encouraging kids to brush their teeth...

Xero

PF Deity
Mar 20, 2008
15,219
1
0
34
PA
We all know it can sometimes be a challenge to get our kids to brush their teeth. It can be something of a chore, it takes time out of their day, and it is just plain boring. Due to this, we have kids that complain about doing it, or just outright refuse to do it. Of course, it is so important that they brush their teeth. Not brushing can obviously cause cavities or tartar, even gingivitis. We do not want that!

One thing that worked great for my son, and I have seen work great for others, are the special tooth brushes. My son's favorite is the firefly toothbrush, which lights up and flashes brightly the whole time you brush. This was especially useful when he was very little and he didn't want me to brush his teeth. He thought the light up toothbrush was so cool, he demanded to try it himself after each time I brushed! So that was a big win on my part. They also have the ones that play music for the length of time you should be brushing, and they come in a variety of good tunes. Some kids might even be more preferable to the electric toothbrushes that spin while you brush. Nothing wrong with that, considering they clean even better than a regular brush!



You can use a timer to make sure they are brushing long enough, and to make it more interesting for them. There are plenty of different kinds of timers, so you could find the one your child likes and use that. Maybe you can switch to a new one every now and again to keep things fresh. These days they make so many different kinds of kid's toothpaste too, with tasty flavors and favorite characters. A lot of kids also like that fun mouthwash that turns the dirty spots on your teeth silly colors. They make a lot of great flavors these days. For even better hygiene, you can buy the colorful individual flossing sticks to get in between those teeth. They make crayon shaped ones too, my son loves those. I have heard that flossing is even more important as brushing!

I would say most importantly, make sure you remind your kids how good it feels to have clean teeth, and how important it is to keep them that way. Have them run their tongue across their teeth after a brush and feel how smooth and nice they are compared to before they brushed. Talk about what a good feeling that is. Remind them that if they don't brush, or brush properly, that they can get cavities which hurt and will need filled by the dentist. That wouldn't be fun at all!
 
Last edited:

Antoinette

PF Addict
Mar 2, 2010
2,838
0
0
29
Australia
Felix loves brushing his teeth. He has a cars toothbrush. It doesn't do anything it just has a picture of lightning McQueen on it. Every time he is in the bathroom even when just washing his hands it retrieving a toy he left in there he demands to brush his teeth.

Alegra however moved her head around the while time an makes the tooth brushing experience very hard both for herself and for me.
 

MomoJA

PF Fiend
Feb 18, 2011
1,106
0
0
My daughter has a sonic toothbrush that also lights up in alternate colors, red, green, red, green, each for 30 seconds. She gets excited to use it, but I have also given up trying to use toothpaste. I'll admit she is a bit of a wuss, but every toothpaste I tried "burned" her mouth or otherwise bothered her. I tried them all. She didn't even tolerate the training toothpastes. Now she dips her brush in kid's mouthwash and then rinses with what's left. It's not ideal, but it's what works for us.
 

Antoinette

PF Addict
Mar 2, 2010
2,838
0
0
29
Australia
Maybe apply a tiny bot of the kids toothpaste before she comes in so she doesn't see you put it there. Just invade the burning is psycosymatic ?
 

Xero

PF Deity
Mar 20, 2008
15,219
1
0
34
PA
Antoinette - ODS goes back and forth between his Cars tooth brush and his firefly lol. I know, why does a four year old need two tooth brushes? Spoiled, I guess.

MomoJA - I'm sure she'll grow out of it! At least she'll use the mouthwash, that's better than nothing. :)
 

Buttaflly227

PF Regular
Jan 31, 2012
68
0
0
I really think the best way to get kids to brush their teeth is by them seeing you do it every morning and night and INCLUDE FLOSSING !! Make it a habit now while they're young. Families that floss together, stay together ;) lol.
Another great tip to make sure they're doing it long enough is to have them sing happy birthday or twinkle twinkle little star to you while you brush, then you sing it to them while they brush and then it's fun and interactive.
Also just explaining them why we need to brush is important and I'd even show pictures of nice teeth and yuckie teeth to motivate them as well.
 

Mitchell

Junior Member
Feb 27, 2012
4
0
0
My wife had this great idea a few years ago: Come up with a song that helps kids brush their teeth. I'm a writer in advertising and have written many jingles. So I wrote the song in consultation with a dental hygienist and got it produced. The Brush-Along Song has since been distributed to thousands of elementary schools as part of an oral hygiene outreach program sponsored by a big dental insurance company. Anyway, for the first time, The Brush-Along Song is now available as a digital download at www.ilearnalong.com. If you buy it, you'll be one of our first customers! We just launched the site. The song is a lot of fun and best of all it makes kids better brushers. Please let me know what you think.
 

RaisingAPrince

Junior Member
Feb 27, 2012
12
0
0
Ohio
We had a horrible time with our son brushing his teeth. We did the fun toothbrushes, incentives, etc. The thing that finally got him to WANT to brush? His preschool celebrated Dental Health Month and had a local dentist come and do a presentation. They handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to all the kids. He now asks to brush his teeth with his DENTIST toothbrush. I really should thank his school more often :)
 

dankap

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2013
2
0
0
Show this video to your child and they will brush their teeth for the rest of their lives. While the video is funny, it also show you what happens if you dont brush.:D
<YOUTUBE id="TCES1phoJ1c" url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCES1phoJ1c">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCES1phoJ1c</YOUTUBE>
 

Spardue13

Junior Member
Jun 17, 2013
2
0
0
The CDC provides some helpful tips to get your kid's brushing properly and developing good oral hygiene habits. http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/publications/factsheets/brushup.htm[/URL]

The ADA and the Ad council also teamed up to help teach kids to brush 2 min, 2 times per day with the following website and commercials. You may have seen these on TV already.
http://www.2min2x.org/

Also, if you want more technical reading on care for your children's teeth, here are the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Recommendations.
http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/G_fluoridetherapy.pdf[/URL]