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Brushing Teeth

“Show Them Pearly-Whites”

  • Take your child to the store to choose a toothbrush.  Make sure it is developmentally appropriate, colorful and interesting.
  • Buy a second toothbrush so that your child can pretend to brush a doll’s teeth.
  • Give your child the toothbrush to play with.  Let your child place it in water and suck the water off of it.
  • Have your child brush teeth at set times through the day (e.g., in the morning, after meals, before bed). 
  • Make sure the toothpaste tastes good (toothpaste is not essential).
  • Allow your child to place the toothpaste on the toothbrush.  Assist if necessary.
  • Have your child take small sips of water and then spit it out into the sink.
  • Model placing toothpaste on the toothbrush and brushing teeth.
  • Have your child brush teeth in front of a mirror.
  • Stand behind your child and physically assist with the motions (up and down, back and forth) of brushing teeth.
  • Narrate the sequence of brushing teeth as you assist your child through the steps.
  • Remove the physical prompts as your child becomes more confident with brushing teeth.