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Our Favourite Ways to Make Brushing Teeth Fun

How many of you have had a night or several nights where you're pushed to your wits end because your child flat out refuses to brush their teeth


Between squeals of "you're hurting me" and locked jaws, it can feel like a giant battle is taking place in your bathroom.

Before you lose all hope, we've rounded up our favourite ways to make brushing teeth fun, enjoyable and hygienic!

How to get kids to brush their teeth!

Right dental equipment for kids

First things first, what are they using to brush their teeth? You need to make sure the equipment and the environment are just right.

Make sure your child has the right equiptment to brush their teethChoosing a toothbrush - when they are really little you'll need to choose one for them, choose something bright and colourful! Once they are old enough to choose for themselves let them choose their own toothbrush, it's a lot harder to disagree when they've helped pick it out.

Once you start using toothpaste, make sure it's a flavour they like. This is an easy block to get around. If your child doesn't like mint, find another flavour, not liking the taste is a sure-fire reason to protest!

When we brush our teeth we can reach the sink and see ourselves in the mirror, make sure that you find a stepping stool for your child that allows them to comfortably spit into the sink. Not being comfortable is another reason to flat out refuse to brush.

Kids teeth brushing routine

Knowing that you are going to do something is easier to come to terms with than being surprised. Starting as early as you can, even if they are gently brushing gums, starting a routine of brushing is important. Whether you brush everyone's teeth when you get up and before you go to bed or after breakfast and as soon as dinner is finished, keep it the same every day, eventually it will become a habit.

Mimicking you...

Brushing your teeth with your child can make them feel more comfortableWhen you're growing up, there's something really cool about being just like the big kids, or even the adults. Brushing your teeth together is one way to help the little ones understand what needs to be done, and how to do it. And they don't feel alone.

If you have other children, this can be a bonding time for them, and a chance to give them some responsibility. Helping your sibling to do something you already know how to do, also gives them a chance to be the authority! We suggest you do spot checks to make sure the job is complete!

When they are still little enough that you need to do it for them, having someone they have to help can make them forget about the trauma! Maybe they have a special doll or a stuffed animal, get a special toothbrush for them too and let little Mathew brush his bears teeth once you've brushed his.


Secondary task loads are a great distraction. Everyone will need to find something different that works for their child, depending on what they are interested in. Finding a story you can read while they are brushing can give you a length of time to brush for as well as getting them to focus on something else you know they like. Some tooth brushes have built in music or just having a radio in the bathroom can be enough of a distraction. Letting your child choose the song makes them feel like brushing isn't being forced on them, and most songs are longer than you need them to be!

Some parents find that making up a song, or making up a "tooth brushing boogie" takes the pain out of the ritual and makes it fun for everyone! Choosing a song they know the tune to, and changing the lyrics around now and again keeps things fresh. Adding humour into your song or making funny faces during your dance makes the moment comedic rather than hysteric.

Rewards for brushing their teeth, not bribes

If all else fails, find a reward system until it becomes a routine. Be careful not to issue threats as this will make brushing their teeth seem even scarier.

Finds something they like, be it stickers or gold stars and reward them for doing a good job. But only reward them when it's done without a fuss! As they get better, the rewards become weekly, monthly, and eventually fizzle out, but it's a great way to reinforce when it's been done properly!

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The best thing since sliced bread. Great having a party where the children had more fun than the grownups! And I wanted to do the cheerleading lesson.
Davina McCall, Party Crèche, Hertfordshire