6 Mum-tricks to Get Your Kid to Brush Their Teeth

6 Mum-tricks to Get Your Kid to Brush Their Teeth

One of the more common but less talked about parenting issues is children refusing to brush their teeth. In this article, we cover six reasons why children don’t brush their teeth, and offer clever tips to resolve them.

As parents, we know how important it is that our kids brush their teeth properly. The effects of early childhood caries can have negative effects on permanent teeth – and we certainly don’t want that. But of course, our little ones don’t know this. In fact, it’s possible that your kids hate brushing teeth. So they fuss, scream and run away when it’s time to brush their teeth, leaving us frazzled and frustrated.

Have you ever wondered why kids hate having their teeth brushed so much? Here are six reasons why, and some pretty clever solutions for each.

Do your fussy kids hate brushing teeth? It might be because…

Your kid is too lazy to brush

Perhaps your child’s day has consumed all her energy. School and playtime can be a lot to handle. At the end of the day, all she may want is a good bedtime story and some cuddles with mummy and daddy to calm down.   

Tip: Ask your child how long it takes her to brush. Is she having a hard time? Ask her if she can spend just two minutes a day brushing her teeth. Afterwards tell your kid to compare the consequences of not brushing (i.e. tooth decay, cavities, aching pain) to maintaining a two-minute brushing routine every day. Which is more worthwhile?

Your kid doesn’t understand the importance of brushing their teeth

Kids will be kids. To them, the world is just a place to explore and play in. Remember that they are still immature and may be unable to understand the importance of brushing their teeth regularly. That is why you have to explain the whys, mums. When kids don’t understand, they may even actively avoid following your instructions.

Tip: Mums, take your time to sit down with your children and explain why tooth brushing is important. But don’t make it too obvious what the answers are, or make it seem like you are nagging or scolding them (try to use a soft tone, where possible). You can always ask questions, ask your kids to fill in sentences, or explain what their perspective is—and amend them as necessary.

Remember: the key here is to make your children think independently on how to create a routine. Give them guidance on what to do—but let them make their own conclusions. Don’t forget to make it clear that you aren’t doing this to annoy them, but rather that it’s for their own good.

Your kid wasn’t introduced to tooth brushing properly

kids hate brushing teeth

For children, the experience of bright lights, a masked face and equipment in their mouth can be a scary experience

Kids are usually too scared to brush their teeth—especially if you threaten them with a trip to the dentist if they don’t! You may think that threats might help, but for kids, these can bring about the opposite reaction. Hearing “Brush your teeth!” might trigger the memory of negative dentist experience and, ultimately, may prompt them to avoid brushing altogether.

Tips: Tackling this mindset requires repeating this habit daily. After combining tips one and two, maintain a brushing routine every day. To reinforce this good habit, parents can even use a star chart to reward and track their children’s progress.

Armed with this knowledge, you should gradually see your child’s fear diminish. It also helps to brush together with them to model a proper tooth brushing habit.

Your kid is bored with brushing

Do your children normally listen to bedtime stories before being tucked in, or are they very active during the day? It is possible that the activity of brushing their teeth may pale in comparison to these. They just want to have fun and brushing their teeth is just too boring.


kids hate brushing teeth

For kids, the world is a place to explore, to run, and to have fun!

Tips: Brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be dull! Try singing a silly “brushing song” to encourage your child to brush. You can even make it a competition by setting a timer for at least two minutes. (Normally, two minutes is a healthy duration for brushing teeth.)

Another option is to use a cool app to liven things up a bit. Try the Darlie Brush-Up mobile app. It’s not just heaps of fun, but it can also help track your child’s brushing progress and duration each day, allowing you to check if your kid is brushing long enough in a routine manner.   

Your kid doesn’t like the toothpaste or toothbrush

Are the bristles of your child’s toothbrush too rough, or is the handle hard to grip? In fact, it’s possible that your child might not even like the colour of their toothbrush or flavour of their toothpaste.

Tip: A good brushing companion for kids is the Darlie Jolly Junior Kids Toothpaste and toothbrush. The toothpaste uses only food-grade ingredients, while the compact toothbrush head (with different sizes for each age group) makes it easier for your children to fit the brush into their mouths. The toothbrush handle’s length and width has also been adjusted to be suitable for children, depending on their age. Its 0.01mm tapered bristles help to clean tight spaces and maintain gentle gum care.  

You can rest assured that Darlie’s Jolly Junior Oral Kids Care products are specifically designed for different age groups, thereby meeting different needs.

Children two to six years of age have milk teeth that are prone to cavities. So besides containing fluoride and calcium to prevent cavities, Darlie’s Jolly Junior Kids toothpaste for children between two and six years old also contains xylitol, a special ingredient that restricts the growth of bacteria in children’s teeth.

Even though older children have stronger teeth that can resist cavities, we know you want the best protection for your children. That’s why Darlie’s Jolly Junior Kids toothpaste for six- to 10-year-olds is also formulated with vitamin E, which helps children at these ages develop strong, healthy teeth.  

Is your kid modelling your behaviour?

Have you ever noticed that your child actually copies your behaviour?

Take a good look at yourself. Are you brushing your teeth before you sleep? Does your child see you brushing your teeth? Practising what you preach will teach your children that you mean what you say, so they don’t take your word for granted. This establishes you as a credible authority figure whom your child can trust to learn the right things from.

kids hate brushing teeth

As a parent, doing things with your children is not only a golden opportunity to bond with them, but it is also a way to show them that you practise what you preach.

Tip: Mums, offer to brush with your children before they sleep. They will end up feeling happy brushing their teeth. They will know that you, as parents, endorse their good behaviour and mean what you say.

(No Longer Available) Darlie’s Jolly Junior Kids Oral Care Products: Your child’s perfect tooth brushing companion!

kids hate brushing teeth

Still frustrated at chasing your kids to brush their teeth? Darlie Jolly Junior Kids Oral Care range is a breath of relief for parents. It will help children to learn good oral habits, all the while protecting their teeth from baddies. With child-friendly flavours and cute Rilakkuma characters, kids will feel as though they were brushing their teeth with a Jolly good friend!

What’s more, there’s also an adorable new travel kit for kids six to 10 years old which could be yours! It’s perfect for bringing to school or as your child’s tooth care buddy when you go on holiday!

No idea where to get your child’s tooth care friend? Visit the following stores to pick up your next tooth care buddy:

  • Selected NTUC Fairprice outlets
  • Selected Sheng Siong outlets
  • Selected Giant Hypermarket outlets
  • Watsons online
  • Guardian online
  • Fairprice Online
  • Redmart

Interested to find out more about Darlie’s Jolly Junior Kids Oral Care products? Visit http://bit.ly/darliexTAP to learn more.

Also read: Children’s teeth: Keeping them healthy and happy

Dr Teo answers questions on your kid’s health problems

                  8 ways to trick your kids into brushing their teeth!

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Any views or opinions expressed in this article are personal and belong solely to the author; and do not represent those of theAsianparent or its clients.
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