How to Teach Your Kids to Brush More Effectively

Dental health affects the whole body. By teaching your kids to brush effectively, you help them prevent many physical problems in addition to preventing cavities and gum disease. Here is how.

Purchase the Right Brush


Child-sized brushes are easier from small hands to handle. Make sure you choose those with soft bristles because soft bristles are gentler on the gums and enamel. When teaching your child effective brushing techniques, do not use a battery-powered toothbrush in the beginning. After your child gets the basics down, then you can switch her to the powered toothbrushes, if you choose. It is better for a child to learn how to brush with a regular brush for any time a powered toothbrush is not available.

Tip: Help by Guiding Them

Place your hand gently over the child?s and guide the brushing the first few times. This is more effective for teaching most children than simply showing them or telling them how to brush more effectively.

Proper Brushing Techniques

Use a Timer


Two minutes is the minimum amount of time required to do a good brushing job. To kids, this can feel like an eternity. Find a timer your child can use to ensure she is brushing long enough. Alternatively, play the child?s favorite song and encourage her to keep brushing for the length of the song.

Motivate & Lead by Example

Most children understand more than the adults around them might think. It is helpful to explain to a child why brushing correctly is so important. Choose age-appropriate language and try to answer any questions your child has about brushing. You can keep it simple for young children by just explaining that the mouth gets germs, and that these germs need to be brushed away so that the teeth look nice, the breath is fresh, and that we remain healthy. You can teach your older child about plaque, tartar build up and cavities.

Your child will tend to follow your example, so one of the best ways of teaching effective brushing is to make sure that you brush your teeth in the way you want your child to brush. Two to three times a day is best, and do not forget to floss as well. Good habits can last a lifetime, and effective brushing is one of the most important daily habits your child can learn for better health.


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