Eight playful ways to teach your kid to brush teeth well and regularly

Looking to negotiate with your child and make toothbrushing more enjoyable? Try these games.

1. Favourite songs

Play a song your children enjoy and get them to brush for the entire song. Brush with them at the same time.

2. Find the animal

Pretend you are searching for your child’s favourite animal on their teeth (with a toothbrush). First search on the front of their teeth, then on the back, top and bottom. Find brushing rhymes in your language for more fun.

3. Sugar bugs

Tell a tale of ‘sugarbugs’ that hide in the mouth and need to be cleaned out. Direct your child with the story to go through all teeth.

4. Stories

Tell stories of a toothbrush going through the valleys and mountains looking for adventures and meeting exciting characters along the way. Brush as you tell the story.

5. Favourite toy

Have your child’s favourite toy sit near the mirror where you brush and tell a story of why brushing is important (all while brushing), give brushing directions and congratulate the child on successful brushing. If your child is young enough to believe it’s their toy talking, this strategyworks. 

6. Let the child brush your teeth first

Invite the child to try to brush your teeth first, like you need help. Then offer to brush your child’s teeth or let them brush themselves.

7. Get it right

Have your child correct you before getting ready to brush. For example, start by brushing your child’s ears, nose or belly. Laugh and enjoy this time with the child, until theyoffer to brush properly.

8. Compete with a parent

Start brushing together and see who finishes last.