How to Make Tooth Brushing Fun For Toddlers

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All parents know that brushing a toddler’s teeth can be difficult.  They may not like the feel or taste of it. However, it is important for them to develop good oral hygiene habits while they are young.  

One method that helps with this is to make the process more fun for them. That way they’ll think of it in a more positive light.  Read on to learn how to make tooth brushing fun for toddlers.  

Why Toddlers Don’t Like Brushing Their Teeth

It’s Boring

My toddler is one of those kids that think everything is boring, and tooth brushing is not excluded from that.  There’s just so much more fun things they’d rather do than stand in a bathroom and brush their teeth.  

If that is the case, being more playful, or making it more like a game may encourage them to brush more. Singing songs, or playing hide and seek for things in their mouth would be fun for toddlers.  That would take their mind off the “boring” task of brushing their teeth. 

Sensory Issues

Some children are just more sensitive to certain sounds, smells, and physical feelings. The feeling of the toothbrush on their gums, or the taste of the toothpaste may really bother them.  If that is the case, you should try to find out exactly what is bothering them. 

If they dislike the toothpaste, you can try other flavors.  If they do not like the feeling of the toothbrush, you can try using your finger wrapped in gauze for the time being.  


Some toddlers want to do everything on their own, even brushing their teeth.  The problem is that they do not do a good job of brushing all of their teeth.  It is recommended that children do not brush their teeth on their own until they are 7 years old.  

If your child insists on brushing their own teeth, you can definitely let them do that.  I suggest taking turns.  They can brush first, and you can do it after.  Or, they can brush the top teeth, and you can brush the bottom.  That way they still feel independent, but you are still helping them to get their teeth really clean.  

How to Make Tooth Brushing Fun For Toddlers


Rewards can be a big motivator for toddlers.  Set up a reward or sticker chart somewhere they can see it.  Every time they brush their teeth you can give them a sticker.  Once they collect enough, they can have a bigger reward.  

The reward can be as big or small as you want.  It can be a small toy, favorite snack, or just to spend some extra time with you.  

Use an App

This is something that I recently tried with my kids, and it really worked.  I used the Disney Magic Timer by Oral-B. The child picks their name and a countdown begins.  As they are brushing their teeth, an image starts to appear.  Once the 2 minutes are up, the entire picture is revealed.  Each time they brush their teeth, they get a star.  

It’s a very simple app, but it works.  It has helped a lot with them brushing for the full 2 minutes. There are other apps out there with more features. 

The Philips Sonicare Kids Toothbrush comes with access to an interactive app that teaches them how to brush and tracks everything.  It’s a lot of fun for kids and many parents have said it’s a big motivator for them to brush their teeth.  

Make it a Game

As I mentioned earlier, toddlers tend to think that tooth brushing is boring.  A way to remedy that is to make it a game. The game doesn’t have to be complicated, and it only has to last about 2 minutes.  

You can also use games or fun activities to teach them about brushing their teeth.  If they understand why they need to brush their teeth, they will be more inclined to do it.  


Many parents want to learn how to make tooth brushing fun for toddlers.  Things that can help are a rewards chart, using an app, and making it a game.