Eight Ways To End The Tooth Brushing Battle

Getting your young children to let you brush their teeth can be a challenge. Since children should not be in charge of brushing their own teeth until around the age of eight, this is a battle you will fight about 5,840 times! Well, fight no more. Here are eight things you can do to make this time more fun for everyone.

1. Add some music. Turn on your child's favorite tunes while you brush. You can brush to the beat, sing along, and even create playlists of songs that are two minutes long. The music will distract both of you and the time will go by much faster.

2. Buy a timer. Choose one that is fun to watch, like an hourglass with colorful sand. Put it where your child can watch it while you brush. There also apps that count down from two minutes.

3. Let them choose their toothbrush. Take them shopping and have them choose a few toothbrushes and some toothpaste. If you buy more than one toothbrush, they can choose which one they want you to use every time you brush. 

4. Talk about what they ate during the day. Go through each meal and discuss each item they ate. Joke about finding each item in their teeth and express relief that it is now gone. 

5. Make a sticker chart. Create two columns, one for morning and one for evening. Help your child choose some stickers at the store, then encourage them to put a sticker on their chart each time you brush. Give them small prizes for completing goals. 

6. Purchase an electric toothbrush. Many companies sell electric toothbrushes for children. Many have lights, music, varying speeds, and sticker decorations. The vibration often tickles and makes brushing more fun.

7. Count their teeth. This works best for toddlers. Pretend to count their teeth (counting very slowly, of course) and announce the number excitedly at the end. 

8. Let them "earn" time. This works best for children older than three or four since it involves adding up time. If your child lets you brush for two minutes, write two minutes on a calendar. Add up the time over the course of a week or month, then give them that amount of time to use as they wish. They could earn screen time, family movie time, reading time, a trip to the pool, etc. 

If your child hates getting their teeth brushed, try these eight tips and end the battle today! And don't forget to schedule regular visits for your children with your family dentist.