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Kids Teeth Brushing Tips

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Teeth brushing and cleaning tips for kidsOK so you know the script …

The morning rush … no bags packed, no clothes ready, breakfast barely eaten, eyeing up yesterday’s coffee ‘cos no time to make more …

AND you missed the message in the book bag advising pirate costume needed today …

AND you’ve got to get them into the bathroom

AND somehow you’ve got to get them to clean their teeth for 2 blinking minutes!


It’s enough to make a grown woman cry! It really is!

I have a high powered, globe trotting friend who is literally reduced to tears by her complete inability to get her kids to clean their teeth in the morning.

Our own attempts are not made easier by the requirement I clean baby bear’s teeth as well. Baby bear is imaginary! Mummy can’t see baby bear!

Mummy has to guess where baby bear is standing.  Mummy usually guesses wrong and is advised – after she has wafted a toothbrush in the air for several minutes – that he is “over there” ….!!!!

Although, I count myself lucky.

I heard of one woman whose toddler would only allow their teeth to be cleaned by the family cat. This woman did in desperation, every morning and evening, grab said moggy under one arm and the toddler under the other to get her little darling’s teeth clean!

As it is a truth universally acknowledged that getting your children to clean their teeth is a complete nightmare – I had to slip a tribute to Jane in somewhere today! – I thought we could all use some tips on how to win the battle and I’ve put together a list of my fave 20 …

Teeth Brushing Tips

  1. Clean your teeth at the same time as them
  2. Stick to absolute standard routine as to when they are done
  3. Use the timer on your phone to time 2 minutes exactly … curiously my daughter finds my phone far more authoratitive than me!!
  4. Have a morning & evening routine picture board that helps them transition from play
  5. Make up a funny tooth brushing song that marks the transition
  6. Dole out stickers and more stickers and more stickers!
  7. A sticker chart + when they fill it they get a new tooth brush
  8. Have a small special brush for dollies so their teeth can be cleaned at same time
  9. Get an electric toothbrush … this has made a massive difference to us, they really do improve quality of brushing and some like this one from Phillips (UK) actually come with a 2 minute timer, fun rewards for proper cleaning AND an alert that prompts kids to clean the next bit of their mouth so they’re not just cleaning their front teeth for 2 minutes!
  10. Let them look in a mirror whilst they are doing it – young kids find themselves hilarious
  11. Tell a story which stops if the brushing stops
  12. Let them clean them in the bath so not so boring
  13. Brush them yourself for the first minute to ensure get a really good clean and then let them clean for the second minute … this is a great way to help them learn to clean more effectively
  14. Let them brush your teeth 🙂
  15. Sing Simon Says brush your teeth like … making up funny ways to brush your teeth
  16. Find a fun song on your phone  that is 2 minutes long and make it the tooth brushing song
  17. Talk about germs … in detail! … most kids are totally fascinated by germs
  18. Tell them horror stories of what will happen if they don’t clean
  19. Try this fab experiment from First Grade Factory that helps children to understand how they get holes in their teeth by leaving an egg in a glass of vinegar over night which causes the egg shell to dissolve
  20. And if you loved that experiment try this one from Milk and Cuddles in which you leave a white egg in a glass of cola until it goes horribly brown and stained and then miraculously clean it with toothpaste!

What about you?

How on earth do you get your kids to clean their teeth properly …

I would love to hear your ideas … do share them below …

And if you enjoyed the post do check out our other practical parenting tips

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Wednesday 5th of June 2013

Brilliant tips - I've pinned x x x


Monday 3rd of June 2013

Followed you from the Monday Pinterest blog. I love lists. I will try the egg in vinegar experiment with my son and I will look into the tooth timer.

Cat Parrott

Monday 3rd of June 2013

Great tips! Thanks for linking up to the Monday Parenting Pin-it Party.

Shaffer Sisters

Saturday 6th of April 2013

I found your blog through Six Sisters and am loving your parenting links. We are doing a special link up all about parenting and I am going to add some of your links. free to add more. If you would like us to remove them please contact us at shaffer dot sisters at gmail dot com

Mums make lists

Sunday 7th of April 2013

Great link up - very happy to be involved, Alice

Ben Underwood

Monday 25th of March 2013

Great article :)You might be interested in the free app I have developed called Brush DJ.

The main feature of the app is a timer, which plays 2 minutes of music taken at random from the user’s device. This makes the mundane task of brushing for the correct length of time more fun and therefore more likely to happen. The app also contains the evidence-based oral health advice given in the Department of Health document ‘Delivering Better Oral Health’. Reminders can be set to prompt twice a day brushing, when to change toothbrushes, visit the dentist and hygienist.

This short video gives an overview of all the apps features

Brush DJ has recently become first oral health app to have been approved by the NHS in England .

The second in a series of videos showing how to carry out basic Lots more information can be found on the website and on the Brush DJ Facebook and Twitter pages.

Launched at the start of 2012, Brush DJ has already been downloaded in 154 countries on to over 40,000 devices and received mainly 5 star reviews in the app stores. Just before Christmas the app received the Dental Hygiene & Therapy award for 'Best Dental Innovation’.

If you would like any further information please contact me.

Kind regards