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What Can I Do When My Child Won’t Cooperate with Tooth Brushing?

Make tooth brushing a positive experience. Try to find ways to make it fun and enjoyable. Be patient and relaxed.

Avoid brushing your child’s teeth when they are tired or hungry. It will be harder for them to cooperate.

Be consistent. Routine is important. Some days will be easier than others, but your child needs to know they will have their teeth brushed every morning and night.

Take turns brushing each other’s teeth. Use your own toothbrush!

Make a game of it. Play “Guess what I see on your teeth”. Use a small hand mirror and a flashlight for fun.

Be sure you can see into your child’s mouth as you brush. Support their chin and neck.

Have your child sit or lie comfortably. Use your lap, the change table, or wherever it is convenient.

Brush teeth gently. It is not the bathtub. Use a small, soft toothbrush.

Try different flavours of fluoride toothpaste. Find one your child likes.

Allow your child to swallow or spit often during brushing. Children need frequent swallowing breaks so they don’t feel like they are choking.

Be a good role model. Let your child see you brush and floss your teeth daily.

Brush your child’s teeth until they are at least 6 years old. Some researchers suggest 12.