Make Dental Hygiene Fun for Children


Children love being rewarded with goodies from a job well done or for good behavior. Kids are more likely to obey, listen and do when they know something good is waiting for them once the task is completed.

You can reward your child for brushing his or her teeth for the whole two minutes, or for flossing or making it through a dental visit.

The types of rewards are up to you. You know what objects will pique your child’s attention. The only suggestion is to steer clear of rewarding your child with candy, or other junk food and soda.

Play Their Favorite Song

Kids have short attention span and will likely get bored or distracted when standing in front of the bathroom sink brushing their teeth for a whole two minutes.

Instead of setting a timer, which can make teeth brushing even more unbearable, choose one of your child’s favorite song that is two minutes long and play it while your child is brushing his or her teeth.

Let Them Pick the Tools

Your child will be more interested in brushing his or her teeth when they are involved in picking out the tools they’ll use. There are a variety of kid-sized toothbrushes that are small enough to fit into tiny mouths and children’s toothpaste with flavors that kids love such as watermelon and bubble gum. Have your child pick out his or her toothbrush and toothpaste. Both will be something they like and will be more willing to use.

Do a Fun Activity

Many children are fearful of going to the dentist, especially if they have not been exposed to the dentist office at a young age.

Most pediatric dentists will reward their young patients with some goodies after their appointment.

You can add on to celebrating such an accomplishment by rewarding your child with a fun activity, preferably something they enjoy doing or going to a place they love visiting.

As your child is screaming in the backseat on the way to the dentist, remind them of the reward or surprise that will be awaiting them after their appointment.

Do it Together

Kids are like sponges and will absorb any and everything around them. This includes your own oral hygiene behavior. Kids are more likely to enjoy or tolerate daily oral hygiene when they see that it is important to their parents.

Your family can brush your teeth together which will help you be more accountable and make your child feel included and happy to be doing a “big person” activity. Family teeth brushing time is also a great time to bond with one another.