10 doctors weighed in:

How do you get a child to want to brush his teeth?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brett Noorda
Dentistry
4 doctors agree

In brief: Depends on child

There is no universal answer as every child is an individual with particular fears, motivations, values, and understanding that effect his/her responses.
As the parent, you know your child better than anyone else (or at least you should) and can best determine how to motivate him/her. What motivates him/her to want to do other things? Why is (s)he resistant to brushing now?

In brief: Depends on child

There is no universal answer as every child is an individual with particular fears, motivations, values, and understanding that effect his/her responses.
As the parent, you know your child better than anyone else (or at least you should) and can best determine how to motivate him/her. What motivates him/her to want to do other things? Why is (s)he resistant to brushing now?
Dr. Brett Noorda
Dr. Brett Noorda
Thank
Dr. Joseph Kim
Dentistry
2 doctors agree

In brief: Develop interest

Habits are developed.
Both good ones and bad. Brushing and flossing are simply habits that need to be instilled in a child at a very early age. Positive reinforcement should always be used during teaching sessions. Let your child brush as long as he/she wants, then finish by showing the child the proper technique. Children are always ready to prove their independence, given the opportunity.

In brief: Develop interest

Habits are developed.
Both good ones and bad. Brushing and flossing are simply habits that need to be instilled in a child at a very early age. Positive reinforcement should always be used during teaching sessions. Let your child brush as long as he/she wants, then finish by showing the child the proper technique. Children are always ready to prove their independence, given the opportunity.
Dr. Joseph Kim
Dr. Joseph Kim
Thank
Dr. Charlene Sojico
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Kids love

Battery operated toothbrushes especially one with his favorite character. Surprise him or have him choose his own.
Make it fun. Offer to help him and brush his teeth initially with water as some kids dislikes toothpaste. Maybe he gets to choose the ones he like, then he may comply better.Say let me help you rather than commanding. Good luck !

In brief: Kids love

Battery operated toothbrushes especially one with his favorite character. Surprise him or have him choose his own.
Make it fun. Offer to help him and brush his teeth initially with water as some kids dislikes toothpaste. Maybe he gets to choose the ones he like, then he may comply better.Say let me help you rather than commanding. Good luck !
Dr. Charlene Sojico
Dr. Charlene Sojico
Thank
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Make if fun

My colleagues gave you some great answers.
Basically find a way to make it fun and not a chore. Also don't make brushing an issue. Finally, give positive reinforcement when your child does a good job. We all like compliments and dislike criticism.

In brief: Make if fun

My colleagues gave you some great answers.
Basically find a way to make it fun and not a chore. Also don't make brushing an issue. Finally, give positive reinforcement when your child does a good job. We all like compliments and dislike criticism.
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dr. Gary Sandler
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Charlene Sojico
Kids love battery operated toothbrushes!!! She might like it especially if there is one with her favorite character . Surprise her. Have fun
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Soft Brush

Get a child size soft toothbrush.
Have the child put it under cool water. Then place the brush inside the mouth betwee the back teeth and suck out the water. This is usually fun for them and it gets them use to having a brush in the mouth - takes away the fear factor.

In brief: Soft Brush

Get a child size soft toothbrush.
Have the child put it under cool water. Then place the brush inside the mouth betwee the back teeth and suck out the water. This is usually fun for them and it gets them use to having a brush in the mouth - takes away the fear factor.
Dr. Douglas Tavenner
Dr. Douglas Tavenner
Thank
Dr. Barry Bergman
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Want to brush?

Behavior modification with positive reinforcements work best.
It depends on the age but there is always something to use as a reinforcer. In young kids things as simple as a chart and stickers for each good brushing. Offering rewards appropriate for age. Start by making it easy to get the reward and make the rewards more random as you get more cooperation and success.

In brief: Want to brush?

Behavior modification with positive reinforcements work best.
It depends on the age but there is always something to use as a reinforcer. In young kids things as simple as a chart and stickers for each good brushing. Offering rewards appropriate for age. Start by making it easy to get the reward and make the rewards more random as you get more cooperation and success.
Dr. Barry Bergman
Dr. Barry Bergman
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Shontae Buffington
Board Certified, Pediatrics
13 years in practice
837K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors