How to Get Your Toddler to Brush their Teeth

How to Get Your Toddler to Brush their Teeth– Peacefully!

How to Get Your Toddler to brush their teeth

So I know you’ve been there– the screaming, squirming child that’s locked his jaw so tight there’s no way you’re getting that toothbrush in!  The screaming and crying like you’re trying to kill them with the toxic toothpaste– that is until they get a taste and the mouth quickly opens just long enough to let the tip of the toothbrush in and immediately chomps back down to allow no movement– just the sweet satisfaction of sucking off every bit of toothpaste you applied– then almost just as quickly the toothbrush is expelled from their little mouth and the torture screams ensue. So, how to get your toddler to brush their teeth can be quite the daunting task!

Yes, teaching your toddler to brush his/her teeth is a dramatic and sometimes painful experience (their teeth are like little shark teeth– very sharp and deadly!).  Anyway, after many fights and giving up in frustration I have finally figured out how to get your toddler to brush their teeth– WITHOUT all the drama and commotion!

How to get your toddler to brush teeth

Step 1:

Go pick out a SUPER cool big boy/big girl children’s electric toothbrush.  These are usually for ages 3 and up– but I bought when Little Man was 18 months old and it works just fine!  Now, make a BIG deal about this toothbrush.  Hold out several and get your toddler to pick one.  Then- while walking through the store simulate brushing your and your child’s teeth– this will get them use to the idea that this is THEIR new toothbrush and what it’s meant for.

Step 2:

Buy some yummy infant/children’s toothpaste…(I’m a big fan of Babyganics baby toothpaste).  Just because I don’t like the idea of brushing my teeth with Very Berry Strawberry doesn’t mean that my Little Man feels the same way.  He will devour that stuff…and it’s okay because there’s no fluoride….they will suck it like a lolly pop but it’s a start and gives you an opening to show them how to brush instead of just sucking off the yummy goodness.

Step 3:

When you get home let your child play with and experience the toothbrush for a few minutes.  Gently put it in their mouth and let them chew on it, spit it out, whatever.

Step 4:

Turn the toothbrush on.  DO NOT put the toothbrush in your child’s mouth and then turn it on– this will scare them– trust me– I speak from first hand experience– it took 3 days for him to accept the toothbrush again!  So, with the toothbrush vibrating- hand it to your toddler and let him/her play with it for a minute or two.  Then encourage them to put the toothbrush in their mouth….try showing them by putting it in your mouth first.

Step 5:

Although this can get a bit messy by slinging toothpaste around…. add toothpaste to the toothbrush and turn it back on.  Now hand it to your toddler and encourage them to put it in their mouth.  Once in the mouth– your toddler will no doubt begin sucking off all the yummy candy tasting toothpaste– BUT the rotating head is cleaning their teeth and they can’t chomp down with the vibrating so you can move the toothbrush for them to make sure all areas are cleaned.

Step 6:  

Place the toothbrush and toothpaste in a spot that your toddler can reach them.  After a few days you’ll be surprised to have your toddler bring them to you so he/she can brush their teeth (or get their candy flavored toothpaste craving fix– but who cares, at least their teeth are getting clean!).

Step 7:

Enjoy one last thing you have to fight with your toddler about!  Next up– helping your toddler cope with the terror from the potty of doom!

What tips do you have with getting your toddler to brush their teeth?

Please note that I am not a dentist nor do I claim to be– I’m simply a mom trying to do what’s best for my child.  I did speak with our dentist for advice so I advise (legally covering my booty Laughing) that you contact your dentist for advice on how to get your toddler to brush their teeth.

Posts may include affiliate links. Serendipity and Spice earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend at no additional cost to you.
Where I Shop- (1)
Thrive Market - It's like the Costco of organics...this is where I get all of my sugar, flour, baking supplies, kids snacks, etc.
Zaycon Foods- This is where I buy most of my meat products in bulk.  The quality is amazing and the prices just can't be beat!  I mean, $1.89 a pound for boneless all-natural chicken breasts!!  It is bulk but you can always split with a friend or make up a bunch of freezer meals like I do-- subscribe to the newletter as I'll be sharing a bunch of delicious recipes, healthy ideas, family fun, and more!
Make sure you check out the Serendipity and Spice Pinterest board for more great posts! Follow Melissa @Serendipity and Spice's board Serendipity and Spice © on Pinterest.


  1. says

    We didn’t get the electric toothbrush right away, but what worked was a very silly song we made up…my daughter loved it and wouldn’t brush until I began to sing the song…LOL!

    You give great tips! Thanks for sharing!

    Coming over via SITSSharefest…

  2. says

    Okay, I really need this. Seriously. My girls are three, but just last week I had to pin down one of them and forcibly get that brush in there… Maybe it’s time to upgrade to an electric toothbrush. And some better tasting toothpaste.

    • says

      Yeah I used to do that with Little Man– now it’s much easier getting him to brush his teeth– it used to be such a HUGE fight! Hope the new toothbrushes and toothpaste help!! 🙂

  3. says

    I’m having trouble getting my elementary school students to brush their teeth! I’m seriously considering buying some of these toothbrushes, labeling them, and keeping them at school for them!

    • says

      That’s a great idea! I still get a “NO” every once in awhile when I’m trying to get him to brush before we go out but I think he’s just in the NO stage….it’s driving me nuts– EVERYTHING is NO. Fun Fun! 🙂

Leave a Reply

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