Most babies get their first tooth by the time they are six months old and have a complete set of baby teeth by age three. Once those little teeth start popping up, you have to protect them and keep them healthy. 

Although most parents know that brushing their child’s teeth is important, it can be easier said than done. There are a few tricks you can use to get your kids brushing teeth on their own. Your end goal is to help your child learn to love brushing their teeth to keep their mouth clean. 

This hand guide reveals the top tips to get your child excited about brushing their teeth.

When to Start Brushing

Don’t wait until your tiny one has a full mouth of teeth to start your brushing routine. Oral hygiene should start even before you see their first pearly whites. 

Newborn to First Tooth

Before your baby gets their first tooth, you can do a few things to keep their mouth clean. Dampen a baby washcloth and gently wipe your baby’s gums to eliminate any bacteria lurking there. 

This practice will keep their mouth healthy when teeth start to show up. It also helps your baby get used to having something in their mouth. 

The First Tooth 

Once those teeth make their appearance, it’s time to start a proper brushing routine. Like an adult, babies need to have their teeth brushed for two minutes twice a day. 

Make sure their teeth get brushed right before they go to bed. This will keep milk or food from sitting in their mouth through the night. 

You can now move to an infant toothbrush to get the brushing job done. The bristles will do a better job at reaching in-between the new little teeth. 

12 to 18 Months 

Once your baby hits a year old, their teeth will start growing in. If you haven’t scheduled an appointment to see a pediatric dentist yet, now is the time to do so. This appointment will show your baby that the dentist isn’t a scary place at all!

If your child has quite a few teeth by now, you can add floss into the routine. You can find child floss, which can help make this process a little smoother. 

Tooth Cavities

Cavities in children’s teeth are a common problem with kids who don’t brush quite as well. If baby teeth aren’t taken care of, there is a higher chance your child will end up with tooth loss or disease later on. 

Adding brushing and flossing to a child’s oral hygiene routine early on helps stop cavities when they are young. 

How to Brush Children’s Teeth 

For children age three and under, use a spot of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. After your child turns three, you can up the toothpaste to the size of a pea. 

Once you’ve finished the brushing, make sure to help them get the excess toothpaste out of their mouth. This is a great time to start practicing their spitting. 

Even the smallest of children can use fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to use a tiny amount, so they don’t have an upset belly. 

Make sure you are always in the room when your child is brushing their teeth. This will keep them from putting too much on their toothbrush. 

How to Get Kids Brushing Teeth on Their Own

Your first step is to help your child learn to love brushing their teeth. It is easiest to do this when your child is young. You can use a few tricks to help make the brushing process a little more exciting for your child. 

Body Brushing 

Try to encourage your child to brush their teeth using a silly game! Once you tell your child it’s time to brush their teeth, brush the wrong places of their body. 

Start by trying to brush their toes, nose, hands, and elbows. Keep brushing the wrong spots until your child corrects you. Then, let them show you how to brush their teeth the right way. 


Have your child play the role of a dentist. Get them excited about brushing their teeth by having them tell you how to get the brushing job done. 

Brushing Buddies 

Another fun brushing game gets their favorite stuffed animals involved. Grab a stuffy and pretend to brush their teeth. Don’t hold back on the funny sounds and responses the animals have as they get their teeth brushed. 

Your kiddo will love acting like a parent and telling their stuffed friend the steps to brushing. After, have them show the stuffed animal just what to do by brushing their own teeth. 

Sugar Bug Hunter 

Send your child on a tooth brushing mission. Encourage your child to brush by having them find all the sugar bugs living in their mouths. To up the ante, narrate the hunt like it’s a movie. 

Story Time 

Have your child’s toothbrush be the star of its own show. Name the brush and give it a funny voice. Make the toothpaste, floss, and water their trusty sidekicks. 

Use the topic that your kiddo is most interested in and use that as the basis of the story. They’ll be so into the tale that two minutes will fly by! 

Play a Song 

One of the best ways to get your child to brush their teeth for a full two minutes is to play them a fun song. You can find many songs online made specifically for kids to brush their teeth to. They last exactly two minutes to make timing the brushing easy. 

Get Your Kids Brushing Their Teeth Independently in No Time 

Although introducing a tooth brushing routine can be intimidating, it’s worth it to get your kids brushing teeth on their own. With a bit of patience and a few helpful tips, your child soon won’t be able brush their teeth enough!

Going to the dentist twice a year is vital for the health of your child’s mouth. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Frankfort, KY, Capitol Kids Dentistry is the place to go. Contact our compassionate team to schedule your appointment today!