How To Get Toddler to Brush Teeth? A Parent’s Guide

How to get toddler to brush teeth? Getting your toddler to brush their teeth can be a challenging task, but it is essential for their oral health. In this article, we will provide you with some effective strategies to make toothbrushing a fun and enjoyable activity for your little one. By following these tips, you can establish a positive dental routine and ensure your toddler’s teeth stay healthy and strong.

Make brushing teeth a fun activity

Use a toothbrush with their favorite character

One way to make toothbrushing more exciting for your toddler is to let them choose a toothbrush featuring their favorite character. Whether it’s a superhero, princess, or cartoon character, having a toothbrush adorned with their beloved character can make brushing time more appealing.

Play their favorite song while brushing

Another way to make toothbrushing enjoyable is to play your toddler’s favorite song while they brush their teeth. Music can create a positive and engaging atmosphere, making the activity feel less like a chore and more like a fun experience.

Make up a brushing teeth game

Creating a brushing teeth game can turn the mundane task into an exciting adventure. For example, you can pretend to be tooth fairies searching for hidden sugar bugs in your toddler’s mouth. Encourage them to brush all areas of their teeth while you play along, making it a playful and interactive experience.

Lead by example

Show your toddler how you brush your teeth

Children often imitate their parents’ behavior, so showing your toddler how you brush your teeth can be a powerful motivator. Let them observe you brushing your teeth with enthusiasm and explain the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene. This visual demonstration can inspire them to follow suit.

Brush your teeth together

Brushing your teeth together with your toddler can create a bonding experience while reinforcing the importance of oral care. Stand side by side in front of the mirror and brush your teeth simultaneously. This shared activity can make toothbrushing more enjoyable and encourage your toddler to participate.

Establish a routine

Set a specific time for brushing teeth

Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a toothbrushing routine. Set a specific time each day dedicated to brushing your toddler’s teeth. Whether it’s after breakfast or before bedtime, having a regular schedule helps your child understand that toothbrushing is a non-negotiable part of their daily routine.

Stick to the routine consistently

Once you have established a toothbrushing routine, it is crucial to stick to it consistently. Children thrive on predictability, and knowing what to expect can make them feel more secure. By consistently following the established routine, toothbrushing will become a natural and expected part of their day.

Use positive reinforcement

How to get toddler to brush teeth

Praise your toddler for brushing their teeth

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in encouraging desired behavior. Praise your toddler for their efforts in brushing their teeth, emphasizing their achievements and the importance of their actions. A simple “Great job!” or “You’re taking such good care of your teeth!” can go a long way in motivating them to continue practicing good oral hygiene.

Offer rewards or incentives

In addition to verbal praise, consider offering small rewards or incentives to further motivate your toddler. This could be a sticker chart where they earn a sticker for each successful toothbrushing session, leading to a special treat or outing once they reach a certain number of stickers. These rewards can make toothbrushing more exciting and reinforce positive behavior.

Let your toddler have some control

Allow them to choose their toothbrush and toothpaste

Giving your toddler some control over their toothbrushing experience can increase their engagement and enthusiasm. Take them to the store and let them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste. By involving them in the decision-making process, they will feel a sense of ownership and pride in their oral care routine.

Give them a sense of independence during brushing

As your toddler grows, they will crave independence. Allow them to take charge of brushing their teeth while you supervise and offer guidance. This sense of autonomy can make toothbrushing more enjoyable for them and foster a sense of responsibility for their oral health.

Make it a family affair

Involve other family members in brushing teeth together

Make toothbrushing a family activity by involving other family members. Encourage siblings or other caregivers to brush their teeth alongside your toddler. This not only creates a sense of togetherness but also reinforces the importance of oral hygiene as a shared responsibility.

Make it a bonding activity

Use toothbrushing time as an opportunity to bond with your toddler. Engage in conversation, sing songs, or tell stories while you brush their teeth. This quality time together can make toothbrushing a positive and enjoyable experience for both of you.


Getting your toddler to brush their teeth doesn’t have to be a battle. By making toothbrushing a fun activity, leading by example, establishing a routine, using positive reinforcement, giving your toddler some control, and making it a family affair, you can encourage your little one to develop good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. Remember, patience and consistency are key, and with these strategies, you can make toothbrushing an enjoyable and beneficial part of your toddler’s daily routine.


  • What to do if toddler refuses to brush teeth?

    If your toddler refuses to brush their teeth, try making it a fun and interactive activity. Use a toothbrush with their favorite character, play their favorite song while brushing, or let them choose their toothpaste flavor. You can also try brushing your teeth together as a family to make it a positive experience. If these strategies don’t work, consult with your pediatrician or a pediatric dentist for further guidance.

  • How do you brush a stubborn toddler’s teeth?

    Brushing a stubborn toddler’s teeth can be challenging, but there are a few techniques you can try. First, make sure you choose a toothbrush and toothpaste that your toddler likes. Use gentle and circular motions to brush their teeth, focusing on all surfaces. Sing a song or tell a story to distract them and make it more enjoyable. If they resist, try using a toothbrushing app or video to engage them. It’s important to be patient and consistent, and remember that it’s normal for toddlers to resist brushing at times.

  • Why won’t my 2 year old brush her teeth?

    There can be several reasons why a 2-year-old may refuse to brush their teeth. It could be due to a fear or discomfort associated with the toothbrush or toothpaste. They may also be asserting their independence and testing boundaries. Some toddlers may have sensory sensitivities that make toothbrushing unpleasant for them. It’s important to create a positive and supportive environment, try different toothbrushing techniques, and consult with a pediatric dentist if the issue persists.

  • Is it normal for toddlers to hate brushing teeth?

    Yes, it is normal for toddlers to dislike or resist brushing their teeth at times. Toddlers are exploring their independence and may resist daily routines like toothbrushing. They may also have sensory sensitivities or fear associated with the toothbrush or toothpaste. It’s important to be patient, consistent, and make toothbrushing a positive experience. If the dislike persists or becomes a major issue, consult with a pediatric dentist for guidance.

Originally posted 2023-07-11 17:39:49.

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