Affordable Ways to Get Kids to Brush

Posted on 02/12/2013

The average American spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over their lifetime. Since February is National Children's Dental Health Month it's a good time to ensure your kids are starting positive oral health habits. From an interesting decay demonstration to a dentist-designed app, these are affordable ways to get kids to brush.

Highlight Plaque
Tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children between the ages of 5 and 17, impacting nearly three in five youngsters. Let them know plaque is the enemy. Mix a few drops of food coloring with a few tablespoons of water. Have your little one swish the mixture in their mouths and spit it out. The food coloring will help them visibly see the areas in their mouths where plaque exists. Have them brush and complete the exercise again. It's a very clear lesson in the importance of brushing.

Download the Brush DJ App
Leave it to a dentist to create an app just for brushing. The free Brush DJ app is perfect for older kids and teens by reminding them to change their toothbrush every three months, brush at least twice a day and floss daily.

Buy Children's Toothpaste
It may seem like a gimmick to try to get you to spend more money, but in reality adult toothpaste may sting your child's mouth. Buy children's toothpaste in a flavor they enjoy like Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry and you'll have an easier time getting them to brush.

Demonstrate Decay
No child wants a cavity, but understanding what exactly that means is important. Demonstrate decay using an apple. Dig a hole in the apple and after about three days show your child the effects of decay. Compare that to a fresh apple with no holes, using this visual aid to explain why brushing and flossing regularly is important.

Get a Brushing Timer
Invented by a mom, the Twooth Timer helps kids (and adults) brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. It's available at for $10.99. Encouraging good dental hygiene will hopefully translate into lower dental bills.

By Alison Storm

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