How to Get Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth

Your children’s health is top priority.  You want them to have the best health possible, and good health starts with the teeth. Without healthy teeth, your children’s looks and speaking ability will suffer, possibly causing self-esteem and social problems. Bad teeth can also affect your child’s ability to eat healthy foods.

When should your child start brushing their teeth, and how can they learn quickly?

When to Start

Children begin to develop teeth between 6 months and 1 year of age. Their first birthday is a good time to take your child to Modern Dental for their first checkup. From there, Dr. Wagner can tell you how your child is developing and recommend an ideal time to start the brushing habit.

Here are some tips that will make the habit easier to set with your children.

Do YOU Brush Your Teeth?

Lead by example. If you brush your teeth, and your child sees it, he or she will more likely see it as the ‘adult’ thing to do. This can work in your favor in establishing the habit.


Fluoride toothpaste is ideal for protecting the teeth, but it can be harmful if swallowed. You can teach your child not to swallow toothpaste while he or she uses toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride. If you do decide to use fluoride, watch your child brush and only give a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to them.


Some children like motorized toothbrushes more than normal toothbrushes. The extra few dollars you spend can be well worth it if that’s the case for your child.

Look for Creative Solutions

Seek the advice of other parents and come up with innovative was to teach your child. You’re not alone in being a parent.

Remember, You Love Your Child.

Don’t force the habit if your child doesn’t seem ready. Your son or daughter must rely on your advice for many years and you don’t want to strain the relationship when they are only one to three years old.


Have questions about how to get your child to brush? Give us a call at our Boise dental practice and we’ll be more than happy to help!