5 tips to help kids brush their teeth longer

A young child stands at a bathroom sink preparing to brush his teeth with Glister Multi-action Fluoride Toothpaste

When babies get their first few teeth, parents celebrate each one like a milestone. Moms and dads make silly faces, just to get their little ones to laugh and flash those pearly whites.

When children are old enough to start brushing their own teeth, parents show them how to squeeze out a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste and carefully brush each tooth. They know it’s important to get them off to a good start when it comes to dental care.

But as many parents know, getting kids to brush their teeth properly – and long enough to do the job right – can become a battle of wills.

Short attention spans

Kids may think a few swipes back and forth with their toothbrush is all they need. Some just brush their front teeth and forget all about their back molars, which is where most cavities start.

That doesn’t quite match the American Dental Association recommendation to brush twice a day for two minutes, with at least half of that time brushing their back molars.

This is where strategy comes in. It’s now easier than ever to make tooth brushing fun and help them hit that two-minute mark. Here are five ways to make brushing fun!

1. Let them choose the brush

Kids love picking things out at the store. Make brushing their teeth special by letting them select their own toothbrush. Maybe they want an electric one because it makes them feel grown up. Or perhaps they want one in their favorite color.

A hand holding a tube of Glister Multi-action Fluoride Toothpaste squeezes some onto a toothbrush.

2. Brush with them

Sometimes children need a little help figuring out how long two minutes actually is or they get bored and stop after the first minute. So grab your own toothbrush and brush right alongside them to keep them focused on the goal.

3. Add some music

Who says tooth brushing time can’t be a dance party? Let them play their favorite songs while they’re brushing, and you might be surprised at how long they keep their toothbrush moving. This strategy is recommended by the American Dental Association, along with a handful of brushing tunes for young kids.

4. There’s an app for that

In this era of technology, parents should not be surprised that there are several smartphone apps designed to keep kids brushing for two minutes. There’s a good chance you’ll find your child’s favorite movie, television or comic book character among them, too!

A boy lies on his floor with a new coloring book he earned for doing a good job brushing his teeth.

5. Stickers and rewards

Some children love the idea of a sticker chart to mark their tooth brushing success. They can earn a sticker for each day they complete four minutes of brushing. At the end of each week, they can earn a small reward, like picking out an extra book for bedtime reading or a new coloring book.

Whatever strategy works for your child is the right one for your family. And don’t forget to compliment your kid on their tooth brushing skills. Everyone loves to hear that they’ve got a great smile.

Product recommendations

Need a few suggestions to help care for your family’s teeth? Try these:

Glister™ Multi-action Fluoride Toothpaste: Designed for the whole family, Glister whitens teeth, removes stains, fights cavities, freshens breath and removes plaque with regular brushing.

Glister™ Advanced Toothbrush: This brush features soft and medium bristles that massage your gums as you brush. It also has a flexible, ergonomic handle allowing you to reach those hard-to-brush sections of your mouth without damaging your teeth and gums. Check out more products for oral care at Amway.com.

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