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Teaching children the importance of brushing their teeth

I understand how herd it can be to encourage children to brush their teeth.  We have recently found some signs of decay on Mini's teeth and been moved to quarterly visits to the dentists.

I am hoping by making some changes we can get a hold on this and stop it getting any worse.  So firstly we have bought the boys an electric toothbrush each.

Other steps we have taken include:

  • Getting an egg timer so they can time themselves brushing their teeth.
  • Using a mirror so they can see themselves brushing their teeth,
  • Once a week we use disclosing tablets, which help the boys see the plaque on their teeth and makes sure that they remove it all.
  • We have told the boys that the tooth fairy will pay less for decayed teeth!
Other things that I feel are important include:
  • Let your children watch you brush your teeth and even help.
  • Discuss how decay happens and way.
  • Make it part of the daily routine
  • Make sure you find a toothpaste that they do not mind the taste of
  • Use a mouthwash
  • Regularly visit the dentist
Other way to encourage tooth brushing

  • Let your children to pick their own toothbrush – they will get really excited when it comes to brushing their teeth with the toothbrush they have picked!  Surveys have found that up to 41% more decay is removed by using an electric or orthodontic toothbrush, so encourage them to chose an electric one.
  • Play their favourite song while they brush to the beat – as most songs last two – three minutes it’s the perfect length
  • Brush your teeth at the same time – kids love to copy mum and dad!
  • Get an older family member to surprise your kids with their false teeth and a story about how theirs fell out – always a good incentive to get kids brushing!
  • If you have more than one child, turn brush time into a competition – the one who brushes the best gets to pick the bedtime story!  Don’t forget to alternate the ‘winner’ though!
  • If you have an older child, get them to teach their younger sibling how to brush – this makes it fun and also reinforces good brushing tips for the elder one.
  • Let your child brush their favourite toy’s teeth – they will soon pick up how to do their own!
  • Give your kids a gentle scare by showing them pictures of people with bad teeth – or even your own – so that they know why they need to brush!
  • Make three animal faces for brushing: tiger teeth (together), hippo mouth (mouth open) and snake tongue (to brush tongue). It makes it more fun and gets their teeth in the right position.
  • With older children, establish the link between bad brushing and bad breath – they will soon cotton on to this!
  • Play ‘dentist’ with your kids – put them in a chair, inspect their teeth while they brush and provide a running commentary while they are doing so!
  • Reward charts with stickers work very well – once they have reached a certain number they can get a treat which is a great incentive!
  • Give your kids 1p in a piggy bank every time they brush properly – 1p per day adds up to £3.60 a year!



  1. This list of tips are really great for parents. Some are really hard to teach when it comes in brushing their teeth.


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