Brushing Toddler Teeth: 6 Tips to Teach Your Toddler to Brush His Teeth

2-year-old toddlers are usually ready to start brushing the teeth on their own, but that doesn’t mean the transition is easy.  Teaching toddlers to brush their teeth can be a challenging task.

We’ve created this guide to make your life easier. Here you’ll find useful and fun ideas on how to develop good oral hygiene habits in toddlers and prevent tooth decay and other problems with kids’ teeth and gums.

Brushing Toddler Teeth the Easy Way


  • How to Potty Train a Toddler Girl
  • Choosing the Perfect Pediatrician for Your Baby

How to Teach Your Toddler to Brush Their Teeth (Without the Battles)

Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth at an Early Age

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links I will make a small commission at no charge to you. Blunders in Babyland does not diagnose, treat, or give out any professional advice for any medical or financial situations.

You should start your baby’s oral hygiene routine as early as possible, even before the first tooth appears. This way you’ll prevent lots of bad issues with the baby’s teeth such as:

  • Build-up of plaque
  • Tooth decay
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of gums)
  • Bad breath
  • And last but not least, bad teeth can affect the proper development of speech in children.

Experts recommend wiping an infant’s gums with a wet cloth. Once the first tooth appears, it must be cleaned twice a day with the softest baby toothbrush. When a kid is 18-month-old, it’s time to use low-fluoride toothpaste. Start from a rice-grain-sized smear of toothpaste and teach your little one to spit. While you’re teaching your toddler to brush teeth and spit, it’s a good idea to use water from the alkaline water pitcher – even if he/she swallows a bit, you’ll know that the water is pure and safe.

By establishing oral hygiene at the youngest age possible, you’ll help your little one become comfortable with the concept of brushing teeth regularly. It will become a healthy habit that he’ll expect and he’ll be more willing to clean his teeth later.

6 Tips to Make Brushing Toddler Teeth Easy

Smiling girl with toothbrush and tube in bathroom

As we touched on above, when kids are 2-3-years-old, they should start to clean their teeth on their own. The best approach to teaching toddlers to brush their teeth is to make this process fun. Here are well-tried tips and tricks on how to do it in an enjoyable manner.

1 Explain the Importance of Brushing

Do explain brush teeth meaning to your little one. Tell him about tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath. Your kid doesn’t want harmful bacteria in his mouth!

Active, restless little creatures will accommodate this info better if you read them a book about good oral hygiene (The book Dragon’s Breath does a great job explaining why oral hygiene is so important in a captivating way!)

Watching a brush teeth cartoon is also a brilliant idea since most toddlers are visual learners. Do a quick search on YouTube and you’ll find tens of educational and entertaining videos for toddlers related to brushing teeth. Daniel Tiger is definitely a favorite among toddlers. Thanks to these videos, kids will see the right brushing technique and learn lots of useful info about oral hygiene in a fun manner.

2 Practice on Toys

If your little one has a stuffed animal or doll with teeth, teach her to brush the toy’s teeth. It’s a great way to walk children through how to properly brush the teeth and allow them to practice before getting their own teeth sparkling clean.

Kids will never refuse such exciting learning! 

3 Let Your Toddler Choose His Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Take your kid to the pharmacy and let him choose his own supplies. Toddlers love having options! It’s fun  to buy a couple of different toothbrushes and types of toothpaste so he can switch things up every once in a while.  Having a variety of toothbrushes and toothpaste flavors is super fun for kids and it’ll encourage them to scrub their little teeth more effectively. (Just make sure he spits out any toothpaste with fluoride in it!)

If you want your kid to brush teeth with an electric toothbrush, wait until he is at least 3 years old. Before that age, children should learn how to get their little white pearls cleaned with a manual toothbrush.

4 Brush Your Teeth Together

Brushing Teeth Together - Tips for Brushing Toddlers Teeth

Our kids always try to copy everything we say and do! 

Grab your toothbrush and enjoy the routine together. It’s a great opportunity to show your kid how to brush teeth and tongue correctly. You can even make a game out of it! Take a timer and set it for two minutes, during this time compete with your little one who can make more toothpaste bubbles. After cleaning your teeth, have a smiling contest in the mirror.

Although it’s not necessary, you can make it a habit to brush your teeth after meal times. Your toddler will  learn the technique more quickly (practice makes perfect) and you’ll have fun together.

5 Do Not Push

Keep realistic expectations for your toddler’s abilities. He won’t clean his gum lines or reach into little crevices just yet. Remember, these early lessons are all about instilling good habits. The more practice your child gets, the faster he/she will improve.

6 Compliment Your Toddler’s New Skills

Children thrive on positive reinforcement and praises can be very motivating. So, don’t forget to compliment your little one’s brushing skills. Consistent support and encouragement is a good way to ensure that your kid will carry the right dental hygiene routine with him for the rest of his life.

More Tips for Brushing Toddler Teeth

How to Teach Toddlers to Brush Their Teeth (1)

Should You Use Mouth Wash After Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth?

Short answer: no. Do not introduce your little one to mouthwash until he is about 6-years-old or has learned to swish & spit without swallowing. 

Having said that, in rare cases, a dentist can recommend children younger than 6 to use mouthwash. This is usually only required if a kid has oral health issues like gingivitis.

Choose a Good Dentist

If you haven’t selected a dentist for your little one yet, now is the right time to do some research. Make sure that your dental provider is not only highly professional but also can find ways to make the kid’s visits stress-free and fun.

(Note: although any dentist is qualified to look at your toddler’s teeth, pediatric dentists specialize in making kiddos comfortable and happy!)

RELATED POST: Choosing the Right Pediatrician for Your Baby

Conclusion: Brushing Your Toddler’s Teeth Should be Fun!

In conclusion, teaching kids to brush their teeth must be a priority. Work together with your little one to establish a convenient routine for both of you. He should understand that proper oral hygiene is a must, not an option. However, try to make the process fun and enjoyable so that your toddler will embrace it rather than fight you. 

Hopefully, our tips will help you teach your toddler to take good care of his little white pearls in no time!


  • How to Potty Train a Toddler Girl
  • Choosing the Perfect Pediatrician for Your Baby

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy