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How to get your children to brush their teeth – is it as easy as ABC?

Posted 21st October, 2019

It is an endless battle up and down the country. First thing in the morning and just before bedtime parents struggle to make sure children are doing a decent job cleaning their teeth.

From our own experience we know exactly how hard it can be. Youngsters are tired and don’t want to brush, parents are tired and just want their little ones to settle for the night. Nobody wants to have an argument about teeth before bedtime.

There are a few things you can try to make it all go a lot smoother – but nothing is guaranteed apart from that if children are taught good dental hygiene early on in life there is a much better chance they will look after their teeth going into adulthood. 

  • It is important to make it part of the morning / bedtime routine. It needs to happen every day so it becomes second nature.
  • Children copy everything so if they see you brushing regularly they will want to join in too.
  • Reward charts work well so if a child brushes their teeth thoroughly they can collect points or stickers which add up to reward at the end of the week.
  • Teaching your child to brush for 60 seconds, or the length of a piece of music, will help make sure they don’t skimp on the time. 
  • If your little one refuses to have toothpaste anywhere near them, let them use their brush with water on as a starting point and build up to using paste.

Ideally parents should brush their children’s teeth until they reach the age of 7, and brushing should start as soon as a baby’s first tooth appears. Children should brush their teeth twice a day using an age appropriate toothpaste and toothbrush. 

Dentist care is free for under 16s so if you haven’t already done so register with a local dentist. For more advice and tips visit the NHS website.