Our 3-year old daughter was interested in brushing her teeth when she saw mommy & daddy brushing, so we had her try and for a while she liked doing it all by herself.

However, our she doesn't seem to find it fun anymore and has stopped wanting to do it. How can we get her to start brushing again, even though it isn't "fun"? We'd like to try some gentle encouragement first before we get more strict. Or should we just be strict?

We're taking her to the dentist for the first time this week and I'm embarrassed at our failure to instill the habit! :-/

Update: (two days after I asked the question) Our daughter just saw an episode of Elmo's World today where the topic was teeth, and Mr. Noodles was brushing his teeth, and then they showed some kids brushing their teeth... and now she wants to brush her teeth again! Sesame Street rocks :-)

asked 14 Oct '09, 00:59

Chris%20W.%20Rea's gravatar image

Chris W. Rea
accept rate: 34%

edited 15 Oct '09, 23:49


Yeay for Elmo and Mr. Noodle...however annoying they may be for us! My daughter can wrap a very good present thanks to Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle. lol :) I wonder if they have the teeth episode on DVD. Maybe that would help encourage my daughter as well!

(16 Oct '09, 09:35) Sabrina

Number one: make it a routine. Wake up and brush your teeth. Routines are the stuff habits are made of.

Other thoughts:

  • Let her pick out the toothpaste and toothbrush she gets to use (it gets her a little more invested)

  • Tell her why we brush our teeth (link it to why we wash our bodies)

  • Let it drop for the moment and have the dentist explain it to her (doctors and such have some magical authority that kids just respond to).


answered 14 Oct '09, 02:08

bbrown's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Thoughts are all great, particularly the "doctor" one. Would just add that you could show pictures of some decayed teeth !! We did that, and were very blase about it, and it did have a good effect.

(14 Oct '09, 08:42) Emi

Thanks for the advice!

(15 Oct '09, 12:05) Chris W. Rea

If you have a Chuck E. Cheese in the area, you could try their "Teeth Brushing" reward calendar. If they brush their teeth every day for 2 weeks (get a sticker/checkmark for each day) to fill up the chart, they get 10 free tokens to use at Chuck E. Cheese. They also have reward charts for other chores/activities.



answered 14 Oct '09, 04:41

jeffl8n's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Wow that's pretty cool, kudos to Chuck E. Cheese! :)

(14 Oct '09, 06:27) Sabrina

Neat. We took her once, with my older niece, but she was afraid of the mechanical mascots. :-/ We'll try again now that she's a little older.

(15 Oct '09, 12:06) Chris W. Rea

I like the eBook Candy Trouble by Casey Crayne got my son to brush


answered 11 Mar '11, 23:12

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Asked: 14 Oct '09, 00:59

Seen: 5,690 times

Last updated: 11 Mar '11, 23:12