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5 Tips to Encourage Kids to Brush Their Teeth

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“You don’t have to brush your teeth. Just the ones you want to keep.” ~ Author Unknown

When it comes to kids – especially little ones – things rarely come easy. We often hear from parents that their child’s least favorite part of the day is tooth-brushing time.

Instead of chasing them around the bathroom, try these five tips to help your child learn to love brushing up:

  1. Role reversal. Try reversing roles by letting your child brush your teeth. It will make you both laugh and show how much fun it is to be pampered.
  2. Set the example. Make sure the kids see you brushing your own teeth and make a point of showing off your shiny, clean teeth. Ham it up and show that it is a privilege and a treat to have a healthy smile. Encourage your kids to show off their own smiles once their teeth are clean, too.
  3. Sing a song. Singing the ABCs slowly takes about two minutes, which just so happens to be the amount of time you should brush your teeth. If your child is older, check out the free Brush DJ phone app, which takes music from your collection and plays it in two-minute increments. Kids are sure to love dancing to their favorite song while brushing.
  4. Try disclosing tablets. These chewable tablets, recommended for children ages 4-7, contain vegetable dye that reveals plaque left on the teeth after brushing by turning it temporarily red. By using these special chewable tablets after your child brushes and flosses, you can see the areas that have been missed. Make it a game to get rid of the red! The tablets can be found at many retail stores.
  5. Negotiate. Negotiation can be a powerful tool with kids. Create a tooth-brushing chart and every time your child brushes his or her teeth, add a sticker. After 10 or so stickers, reward them with something they enjoy, like a trip to the park.