10 Best Bedtime Brushing Tips for Children

Here are 10 bedtime brushing tips for children to help you solve the bedtime brushing struggle and avoid development of plaque. Photo: Google Images

LONDON, March 10, 2013 - Educating children on the importance of brushing their teeth is important from a very young age.  You should start brushing the teeth of a baby as soon as the first tooth appears.

Bedtime brushing for children is very important as teeth need to be cleaned completely to avoid plaque development while the child is sleeping. Remember that educating your child regarding oral health is essential.

Begin to brush your child’s teeth by using a finger toothbrush or a baby toothbrush.

Brushing is mainly a fun experience. Take a positive approach when brushing your child’s teeth to encourage them to see it as a fun experience.

Here are some bedtime brushing guidelines:

1.      Make sure that you brush with your child

When its time for the child to go to bed, remind him/her to brush his teeth. If possible, stand side by side with them in front of a mirror and brush your teeth at the same time. This helps children mimic the techniques you use when brushing teeth.  

2.      Buy cute tooth brushes

There are numerous varieties of tooth brushes to buy for your child. Make sure that you select small toothbrush, appropriate for a child. This allows the child to hold it comfortably and lets him maneuver it in his mouth. Make sure that you buy one with a round head and polished as well as soft bristles. Replace the brush every few months. Children have a tendency to chew the brush while brushing, which makes it necessary to replace the brush more frequently. 

3.      Buy tasty toothpaste

Buy tooth paste that has a good flavor, and buy safe and non abrasive tooth paste. A good tasting toothpaste helps make tooth and gum care simple as well as enjoyable.

4.      Start brushing with the back teeth

People have a tendency to focus on the front of the teeth when brushing. However, the majority of plaque, cavities and other problems tend to affect the back side of the teeth. Teach your child to begin brushing with the back side of the teeth and then come to the front side.

 5.      Brushing in circular motion

The correct way to brush teeth is in a circular motion. This helps clean gums where plaque and bacteria usually accumulate. It is essential to teach your children to brush in circular motion.

6.      Loudly count the time you brush

One of the best ways to encourage your child to brush is by counting the teeth loudly. For example, you can say, “Tooth number one is clean now its tooth number two clean and so on….” This becomes entertainment for the child, making it a fun experience while making sure all teeth are clean.

7.      Use different tones and rythms

While the child is brushing, he or she is unable to speak but can make sounds. Try using sounds that are fun to encourage the child. 

8.      Tell your child a story about tooth

Children enjoy hearing their favorite stories again and again. Tell your child a story about teeth during brushing.

 9.      Make a poster

Make a poster to put on the bathroom wall and add a sticker each time the child brushes. Let the child select the sticker she would like to place on the poster after she has completed brushing. This helps motivate children to brush.

10.  Sing a toothy song

Now it’s time for you to be lyricist and singer! Try making up a silly song which you can sing each time you brush with your child at bedtime. Keep in mind that it does not need to be an excellent masterpiece, just a fun song to keep her entertained.

These are the ten useful tips that can help you to deal with your child while bedtime brushing. You will not only be able to teach your child the right way of brushing, but also create an enjoyable and fun environment.


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Dr. Priya Patel

I’m Dr. Priya Patel with over 10 years of experience in the dental industry and dental principal of Village Dental Practice in Stevenage, UK.  I qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Dental Hospital in 2002 from London. I involve patients in their own treatment and enjoy seeing the improvement in a patient as their treatment progresses.

I also teach dentists at the Royal College of Surgeons in London who are completing postgraduate studies as well as overseas dentists who are studying for their equivalency exams.

You can follow Dr. Patel on Twitter at @dentistmum

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