Having trouble getting the kids to brush?

4 simple tips for proper brushing

dentist teaching girl to brush teeth


How can you get your child to brush? It may not be the easiest task in your house, so make it fun. Your child will need help with brushing and flossing until around age four or five. The recommended time for brushing is two minutes. That can feel like an eternity, so here are some helpful ideas:


  • Talk to your dentist first about what’s best for your child, then let the child pick out her own toothbrush and toothpaste. There are lots of kid toothpaste flavors. And there are plenty of toothbrushes with favorite characters to choose from. You may want to wait until your child is older for a motorized toothbrush.

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  • On your mark, get set, brush! Get an egg timer, an hourglass timer and make a contest out of who can get all their teeth brushed in two minutes. Of course, you know who to let win.

  • Now is your child’s chance to do the forbidden – spit! But they can’t spit until the paste is real frothy in their mouth. That’s especially important since you don’t want them swallowing the fluoride toothpaste.

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  • Try to avoid making brushing a chore. Instead, remind your child it’s all part of them becoming a big kid with a big, healthy smile they’ll be able to show off.


Jean Campbell Galli is a freelance writer and mother or two.