Skip to content


4 Good Tips for How to Teach Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

by Vannessa Rhoades 26 Dec 2023

4 Good Tips for How to Teach Your Child to Brush Their TeethSince your kiddo started growing teeth, you've likely been helping them brush. They've seen you wet the toothbrush, watched you squeeze the right amount of toothpaste, and even mastered spitting into the sink. Now, you might be thinking of letting them brush on their own. However, your child might be less excited about it. 

Being a parent means choosing your battles wisely, especially with hygiene. While you can be flexible about your kid's hairstyle or torn pants, there's one thing you can't compromise on—brushing teeth. It's not just about avoiding future dental expenses; it's also crucial for overall health. According to the American Dental Association, bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream, possibly impacting heart health. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential.

Wondering how to teach your child to brush their teeth regularly? Here are some tips to motivate them.

1. Talk to Them

Most kids find brushing boring and think their teeth are fine, so why bother? But baby teeth matter! They make space for adult teeth, and losing them early due to tooth decay can cause issues, according to the American Dental Association. Explain to your child why it’s so important to brush twice a day instead of using an authoritarian “Because I said so” approach. Here are some tips:

  • Brush your teeth with your child in the morning and evening; kids like to copy adults.
  • Cater to their preferences, whether it's flavored toothpaste or an electric toothbrush.
  • Offer choices on when to brush, giving them a sense of control.
  • Play pretend dentist with dolls to reinforce the importance of brushing.
  • Connect teeth brushing to handwashing as a way to get rid of germs.
  • Take turns; let your child brush first, then you can follow up to ensure effective cleaning.

4 Good Tips for How to Teach Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

2. Let Your Child Choose Their Dental Tools

Take them to the store, and let them choose their own toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. While a colorful character on the toothbrush handle might not excite you, it could make a big difference in getting a toddler to brush their teeth willingly. Also, let them choose the toothpaste flavor they like. Just keep an eye on how much they use: for kids under 3, use a rice-sized amount, and for kids 3 to 6, a pea-sized amount is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry to prevent fluorosis (white lines caused by excessive fluoride).

ANB Baby recommends the FridaBaby Grow-With-Me Tooth Brush Set

Start those oral health habits young and keep them going with the FridaBaby Grow-With-Me Toothbrush Set, complete with two manual toothbrushes that promote brushing independence! You’ll find the Training Toothbrush for Babies, a food-grade silicone brush that's easy for little hands to hold and massages sensitive gums. Then, level up to the Training Toothbrush for Toddlers with triple-angle bristles that brush all three sides of teeth at once and a soft silicone handle that’s easy for small hands to grip. 


3. Simplify the Task

When trying to teach your child how to brush their teeth, explain the tooth-brushing task in simple steps. While it may seem easy to you, kids can feel overwhelmed by multi-step tasks. Break it down like this:

  1. Take out your toothbrush and toothpaste.
  2. Wet the brush under cold water while counting to three.
  3. Turn off the water and put a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your brush.
  4. Set a two-minute timer; you can use a kid-friendly timer or an app.
  5. Brush your teeth for two minutes, focusing on all four parts of your mouth.
  6. When the timer beeps, spit, rinse, and store your toothbrush properly.

Help your child understand their mouth has four parts, and make sure they brush each part. Some kids may need a visual reminder, so you can write down the steps or create a picture guide for them to follow. Keep it in the bathroom for reference as they learn to brush independently. Take a look at this video from the American Dental Association:



ANB Baby recommends the BeeZee Stop Light Go Light Timer

The BeeZee Stop Light Go Light Timer is a traffic light timer that helps teach kids to manage time. This kids' timer takes the fuss out of daily activities like tooth brushing homework and screen time. It can also help with toddler sleep training by keeping early risers in bed until a specific time. The traffic light concept is easy for kids of all ages to understand. The red light signals that it’s time to stop and focus on the task. Once time is up, the green light comes on, signaling that it’s time to go! The device is Bluetooth compatible with the free Stoplight Golight companion app, which allows for remote control and further customizations to how the timer works.


4. Encourage a Routine

When teaching your child to brush their teeth, encourage them to develop an independent oral hygiene routine by connecting it to daily habits they already do automatically. Link it to activities like getting dressed, bath time, breakfast, or after dessert. Initially, you may need to remind them, but after a few weeks, let them take the lead.

Even when your child seems to have mastered the routine, stay involved. Check in regularly to ensure they remember to brush twice a day and ask about any changes in their teeth or gums. Depending on your child, you might need to visually inspect their mouth to ensure thorough brushing. While they take on the responsibility, your child's oral health remains your concern, so it's essential to ensure it's done correctly.

4 Good Tips for How to Teach Your Child to Brush Their Teeth

The Takeaway

Instilling good oral hygiene habits in your child is a vital investment in their overall health. By adopting a patient and creative approach, breaking down the brushing process into manageable steps, and integrating it into their daily routine, you empower your child to take responsibility for their dental care. Remember that consistency is key, and staying involved (while encouraging independence) ensures that proper brushing techniques are maintained. As your child develops this crucial life skill, you contribute not only to their bright smiles but also to a foundation of health that will benefit them throughout their lives.


Shop Baby Health & Safety Supplies


Join Our Mailing List

Sign Up for exclusive updates,
new arrivals & insider-only discounts
Prev Post
Next Post

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Recently Viewed

Edit Option
is added to your shopping cart.
this is just a warning
Login Close