8 Top Tips from Dentists to Make Brushing Teeth Fun for Kids


August 3, 2021

How to make brushing teeth fun for kids

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We all know that establishing a good oral hygiene routine from an early age is essential for healthy teeth and gums later in life. But as a parent, I also know that getting that routine going can be challenging.

We have teamed up with dentists, and sisters, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Vanessa Creaven from Spotlight Oral Care, to bring you some top tips to make brushing teeth fun for kids. And help establish a positive, lifelong relationship with their oral health and their smile.

Make Brushing Teeth Fun For Kids

It’s never too early to start. Forming good habits early means you are more likely to continue with those as you grow. Oral hygiene can start even before a baby gets their first tooth.

Cleaning gums after a feed with some sterile water and a soft cloth will get children used to the sensation of having their gums touched. But as soon as a tooth starts to break through, brushing needs to begin in earnest, morning and night at the very least.

#1. Start With The Toothbrush

spotlight oral care family bundle Spotlight Oral Care how to make brushing teeth fun for kids

Up to the age of 2 a soft bristle brush and water are all your child needs. But once they get a little older, involve them in helping to choose their own toothbrush.

If they have a brush in their favourite colour or with their favourite character, they are much more likely to want to use it, than one you have chosen for them independently.

Spotlight Oral Care has a range of sustainable bamboo toothbrushes that are suitable for kids of all ages, with soft bristles to gently and effectively clean teeth. They are naturally antibacterial, 100% recyclable and available in 5 colours helping to make brushing earth-kind and fun!

#2. Choosing The Right Toothpaste

Did you know that a child’s mouth is 50 times more absorbent than their skin? For this reason alone, you need to get it right.

Not all toothpastes are equal. And not all children like the same taste. Again, involve your child in finding the one that suits your family best, and that you know they will want to use.

Most important is that it contains fluoride, which helps prevent early tooth decay. And if possible it should be toxin-free and cruelty-free.

#3. Learn About Brushing Together

Spotlight Oral Care how to make brushing teeth fun for kids

Books and videos are a great way of teaching your child about brushing and picking up a few pointers for yourself along the way.

I am not talking about getting into the technicalities of brushing, but a favourite story book or video where a child is shown to be brushing their teeth makes it relatable for your child.

Next time you are in the library or bookshop or having a look online, see if there are age appropriate books or videos that incorporate brushing teeth into the storyline.

Or how about working on a story together, where the toothbrush is the hero against fighting tooth decay. Now that would make brushing teeth real fun!

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#4. Lead By Example

It is a well known fact that our children mimic our behaviour, good and bad! Make brushing a family affair as it is one of the best ways to make brushing teeth fun for kids and help that form good habits.

Let your children see you brushing and flossing your teeth in the morning and the evening before they go to bed. Encourage them to do theirs at the same time as you. And afterwards don’t forget to compliment them on their beautiful, clean teeth and lovely smile.

#5. Two Minute Tunes

Two minutes is the optimum time for tooth brushing. Music helps make tooth brushing more fun for kids and there are plenty of two minute tunes you can add to your playlist to enjoy while brushing.

So whether you sing or hum along while they brush or have a song playing that lasts two minutes, it is important to keep that brushing up for this time.

An alternative to music is an egg timer that ticks and dings or a phone stopwatch that they can see counting down as they brush. Use whichever method works best for you.

#6. Practice Makes Perfect

How to make brushing teeth fun for kids

Eventually your child will want to be in charge of their own brushing. Before you get to this stage, it is good to allow them to practice on you. Guide them to the correct way to brush. Show them how to be gentle and take care over each tooth. Be sure they use your toothbrush and don’t put it in their own mouths afterwards.

If you are not too keen on letting them loose in your mouth, encourage them to practice on a doll or teddy. You could shop for a toothbrush for their toy when you buy theirs. Again, give them some guidance but keep it fun.

And when they do start brushing themselves, stay with them and ask if you have a go too afterwards, so that you can hit any bits they may have missed!

#7. Involve The Tooth Fairy

I know that the tooth fairy only arrives after the 1st tooth is lost, but children are aware of these magical creatures from a much younger age.

Explaining that the tooth fairy is always on the lookout for the cleanest teeth and knows that a child is looking after theirs can help in the early years with making brushing fun.

#8. Visit The Dentist

How to make brushing teeth fun for kids visiting the dentist

Introduce the concept of the dentist at an early age. Many children dread going to the dentist because they have never been or think of it as a negative thing. A few things that have worked for me include:

  • When you are talking about visiting the dentist use positive language, even if you are dreading it!
  • If your dentist allows it, you could make a trip to the dentist less overwhelming by bringing your children along to your annual check up from when they are very young. They may even get to sit in the chair for a turn!
  • Once they are old enough, bring them for an annual check with the dentist.

If you have established a good oral hygiene from an early age, they may not need any treatment and so visiting the dentist becomes exciting, as they get to:

  • Move up and down in the chair
  • Wear a special apron
  • Wear sunglasses indoors
  • Spit out and see it being sucked away
  • Get praise because they have done a great job on brushing their teeth morning and night daily

We hope these tips help you with making brushing teeth more fun for your kids. You can find plenty more advice from Dr Lisa & Dr Vanessa here.

Tops tips to make brushing teeth fun for kids

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