Easy Tricks to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Girl brushing her teeth for good health
Tricks to encourage kids to brush their teeth. Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain.

Similar to bathing and eating their vegetables, brushing their teeth is something that kids aren’t always happy to do. In fact, many kids see this necessary routine as a chore, and do their best to actively resist it! As tough as it may be, establishing a regular tooth-brushing regimen is just one of those parts of raising kids that we have to deal with. Here are a few easy tricks that might help in getting your kids to brush.

Show Them How Dirty Their Teeth Are

When we tell our kids about nasty sugar bugs that eat holes in their teeth, this is usually met with skepticism. If your kids aren’t convinced about the importance of brushing, then show them just how dirty their teeth are after a day of eating.

Here, we’re talking about getting some disclosing tablets, available at most pharmacists and family dental care practices, and using them with your children one night. They simply chew them up, and the color will show clearly where all the plaque is. This should convince them that brushing really does make a difference!

Get Them to Make Bubbles

Another fun little way to get your children to brush is encouraging them to make bubbles when they brush. This means they’re doing a good job. As an extra bit of motivation, you might want to have a bubble-making contest between your children, seeing who can get their mouth the bubbliest every night. As long as this doesn’t spark a session of brotherly roughhousing, it will make your job as a parent so much easier!

Making the dental routine easier with a stuffed toy for your child
Bring along a toy to the washroom when it’s time to brush your little one’s teeth. Photo via Pixabay

Bring a Toy Along

Like most kids, yours might have a favorite stuffed animal or doll that’s never too far from them. By suggesting that they make their little buddy a part of the brushing ritual, you might just be able to help with some of the resistance you usually have to put up with. Many kids will love being able to repeat everything you’ve told them about brushing to their stuffed animal, and brushing their “teeth” for them just like mommy.

Let Them Choose their Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Sometimes getting your kids on board with brushing their teeth can be as simple as changing the tools they use. A plain old toothbrush and icky, minty toothpaste will make brush time seem like another chore you put them through. On the other hand, if it’s a kid’s toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character and a sweeter kid’s toothpaste, they might even start to look forward to it!

Sing a Song

To make sure your kids are getting through the recommended two minutes of brushing, try singing a couple of verses of a song they like. Using the alphabet song to keep a rhythm is usually a good trick.

To make it a little more fun for them, get them their own 2-minute hourglass that they can be in charge of turning over and keeping an eye on. These kinds of little distractions can make a massive difference to the way your kids feel about brushing.


  1. This is such a helpful post! I don’t have kids but as a kid I would hate brushing my teeth (and sometimes I didn’t brush them…) so this is probably very helpful for parents!

  2. Oh, gosh this reminds me of how my toddler (now 25) resisted brushing until I pretended one of his little plastic dinosaur tubby toys would do the brushing. It had moveable arms that would ‘hold’ the brush, while I did the brushing. LOL, the things we moms do get the job done!

  3. My 3 year old nephew recently posted a tooth brushing tutorial on youtube. Durings its 3 minute run time he brushes his teeth for about 10 seconds but it is the most adorable thing I”ve ever seen and I watch the video a disturbing amount.

  4. This post is so needed! My two toddlers fight me every morning and night!! Like you said, it’s just one of those things that we must deal with! Very nice tips….cant wait to try them out on my kids!

  5. What a brilliant post! I love the idea of disclosing tablets. I will have to try this with munchkin 🙂 She used to have a toothbrush that played music for two minutes that was great.. then the batteries ran out and they are not changeable so the battle starts again! Thanks so much for the tips x

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