A Parent’s Survival Guide for Brushing Toddlers’ Teeth

mother and daughter brushing teeth

You know how important it is for your toddler to brush his or her teeth, but your toddler may remain unconvinced. If you’re tired to fighting the tooth brushing battle with your toddler every day, your dentist may be able to help. This advice will also help parents of toddlers get their little ones to embrace the need for twice daily brushing.



Stick to a Routine

Your toddler likely already has a routine for things like getting up in the morning, eating meals, getting a bath, and going to bed. Make brushing just another part of the day. If your toddler is resistant, try a few different times of the day to see what works the best. For example, if bedtime is chaotic because you’re fighting the brushing battle right before sleep, try moving teeth brushing to before bath time, when your toddler may be less tired and stressed. When you find a time that works, stick with it.

Make Brushing Part of Play

Whenever you have an opportunity, incorporate brushing into playtime. When you’re playing with stuffed animals, encourage your toddler to brush their teeth. When you’re playing house, put brushing on the schedule. You can even let your child brush your teeth for fun, so he or she gets used to the process.

Take Turns

Toddlers typically can’t brush their teeth effectively, so parents naturally want to lend a hand. However, kids often dislike having their parents brush, because it can feel too aggressive. Get your turn in while making things fun by having you and your toddler take turns brushing. This will give you multiple, short windows of time in which you can get more thorough with brushing while still allowing your toddler to get some practice.


Good dental habits start during childhood, and Manela Dental is here to help you set your kids up for a lifetime of good oral health. Call our dental office in Tucson today by dialing (520) 744-2039 and make an appointment.