Kids & Teens Dental Place logo

Call our office today to schedule your appointment!

How to Teach Toddlers to Brush Their Teeth

April 11, 2024
How to Teach Toddlers to Brush Their Teeth

Toddlers and teeth brushing may not seem like an easy combination. But teaching your toddler how to brush their teeth is not as hard as you would think. When children learn how to take care of their teeth from a young age, they are more likely to continue to take care of their teeth into adulthood. With the help of professional pediatric dental care and good oral hygiene habits at home, your child can have a healthy mouth and experience better overall wellness. 

Here are some tips and strategies to help your toddler be more willing and able to brush their own teeth. 

Make it Fun 

The best way to teach anything to toddlers is to make the experience as fun as possible. Practice using a fun timer, such as one that plays music for 2 minutes while they brush. Cheer them on and praise them when they brush their teeth. Have them look in the mirror and admire their clean, white teeth. Purchase toothbrushes with characters they like or ones that light up when they brush. All of these little details can be encouraging to toddlers and help them enjoy brushing their teeth. 

Watch a Video 

There are plenty of kid-friendly videos available on YouTube that teach proper brushing technique. These videos make it fun while teaching the fundamentals of brushing. Have your child watch on a tablet or phone while they brush so they can apply the skills they learn immediately. 

Model Proper Technique 

Teach your toddler how to brush their teeth by modeling proper brushing technique. Brush your teeth together with your child so that they can watch what you do and copy you. This also shows them that you are making the effort to keep your teeth clean as well, which emphasizes the importance of good oral hygiene and dental health. 

Practice on Toys 

Have your child practice brushing the teeth of a stuffed animal or other toy. Animal toys such as dinosaurs, sharks, tigers, and bears with visible teeth work well for practicing brushing. 

Brush Their Teeth Yourself After They Do 

After your toddler has brushed their teeth, take the toothbrush and brush over their teeth yourself as well. This helps them experience what proper brushing should feel like so that they understand how much pressure to apply and how to reach all of their teeth. It also ensures that you reach the spots that your child may have missed to avoid a buildup of plaque in certain areas that could cause cavities. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Brushing 

When can my child brush their teeth without help? 

Around the age of 8 or 9 your child may be able to brush their teeth effectively without assistance. However, it is still best to check up on them every now and then to ensure they are using proper technique and reaching all of their teeth. You know your child best and it is up to you when you feel confident enough to let them take on that responsibility. 

How often should my child brush their teeth? 

Children should brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. It is best for your child to avoid eating after brushing their teeth at night so that they go to bed with clean teeth. They should also avoid eating for a few hours after brushing in the morning. 

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Cleaning 

Has your child had a professional dental cleaning? The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental visit around the age of one. If your child is due for their first appointment or if it has been more than 6 months since your child’s last dental cleaning, it is time for a visit to Kids & Teens Dental Place. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

Recent Posts

Contact Us


11041 Shadow Creek Parkway Suite 125
Pearland, TX 77584
Fax: 713-413-8585


9540 S. Main St. Ste 100
Houston, TX 77025

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

11041 Shadow Creek Parkway Suite 125 Pearland, TX 77584
9540 S. Main St. Ste 100 Houston, TX 77025
Appointment Request
First Name
Last Name
Preferred Location