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Children Holding Toothbrushes

To help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month we offer these 5, parent-tested tips designed to make the twice daily ritual of toothbrushing a treat instead of a chore.

1. Show, don’t tell. Kids love to imitate adults. Sit down with yours and show him or her how you brush your teeth. Make it fun, let them look, “see how I’m sliding the brush up and down over my tooth.” Now you try. Let them help you brush your teeth (gently) so when you need to help them with their brushing it will seem like fun.

2. Use a timer. Make it a special timer that’s used only for toothbrush timing. These days, most smart phones offer a toothbrush timer app. In fact has a delightful, free Disney Magic Timer that can make brushing even more fun.

3. Keep a “Star” chart, or a bunny chart, or a teddy bear chart. Use whatever symbol makes you little brusher smile and post one each time the job is completed. offers a great choice of sticker charts you can download for free.

4. Do a taste test. Toothpaste comes in an amazing range of flavors, from seriously minty to bubblegum sweet. Gather a collection of travel-size toothpastes in a variety of flavors and try a new one each time. When a favorite emerges, buy the full-size version.

5. Go toothbrush shopping. There’s an amazing lineup of children’s toothbrushes on the market. Letting your child choose his or her favorite from an appropriate selection can add to the fun and excitement of brushing. Repeat the trip every three months.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits can help children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. What special rituals do you use to help your children brush their teeth regularly?

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