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How do I motivate my child to brush their teeth?

What is a task that many kids don’t enjoy and need a little motivation to complete? Brushing and flossing! Our Bite Size pediatric dentists are frequently asked how to help kids enjoy taking care of their teeth. Here are some of our tips to help make daily brushing fun!

  1. let your child pick their tools – you walk down the dental aisle and there are too many choices! So what’s the best toothbrush to use? We recommend a soft bristled kids toothbrush (these are smaller in size to fit a child’s mouth and teeth) but let your kiddo choose what they enjoy – type (electric, manual toothbrush) and design (character, color). Toothpaste comes in all sorts of fun flavors too! Do you have a kiddo who is very picky when it comes to flavors? Check online if you can’t find a good flavor fit in the store. Online retailers have great choices for those who don’t love traditional mint, bubblegum and strawberry toothpastes that are commonly seen at your local stores. Same goes for floss – we recommend flossing daily to reach those sugar bugs that are in between our teeth. If your kids like traditional string floss, great! But hand held flossers are great tools as well! Flossers geared towards kids come in fun shapes and colors and some even have flavors. If your child loves the tools needed to take care of their teeth, this will help motivate them to want to brush and floss daily!
  1. “I brushed my teeth!” Chart – remembering to brush daily can be tough! Using a brushing chart can help us remember to complete the task as well as motivate kids to keep up with their routine as they see the chart fill up! We created one for you to print out 🙂 (see below)
  2. Look for fun books or videos to make brushing/flossing relatable
  3. Make brushing/flossing a family event – letting kids see that parents or siblings need to take care or their teeth too can help motivate and let them know they aren’t the only ones who need to complete the task!

Every child is different and creating a healthy and happy relationship with dental care can take some time. But finding fun and positive ways to encourage brushing and flossing can help motivate kids to reach for their toothbrush on their own every morning and night 🙂

Click here for our printable brushing chart!

I brushed my teeth! chart


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