How can I make brushing my toddlers teeth easier?

I’ve been having a really hard time brushing my 16 month olds teeth. I’ve tried a variety of toothbrushes and toothpaste flavors, but he fights me tooth and nail when it’s time to brush before bed. Do you mamas have any tips on how to make this routine easier on us both?


We all brush together as a family. He sees his older sister do it and he wants to do what she’s doing to feel like a big boy.

I spent a lot of money on tooth brushes am in the end he just wanted mine so now he has mine with a fresh brush head of course

My son has loved to brush his teeth since he was about 1 years old. He’s also extremely independent so I think that makes a big difference.
He already wanted / wants to do everything that I do so he was already interested.

I have several recommendations:
Have him brush while you sing a song he enjoys. Then switch, sing again while you brush. Then do nice big smiles in the mirror & check together that the teeth are looking good & compliment him on how good he did, etc.

We also got a brushing teeth book that worked great for us. He enjoyed reading it & it helped him understand it a bit more. It went over the whole process from start to finish as well as the directions to move the brush. We started that book a few months before he turned 2 & it was super helpful. We got it from the library so it may be worth looking up a couple brushing books for littles & then checking in your local library database online. That way you can go in & already know the titles & authors of books that you’re looking for verses looking everywhere for a book about brushing.

Doing it together may be a good way to get him excited. I can’t even brush my own teeth without my son frantically asking & looking around for his which is normally a good thing but not when we’re in a rush :sweat_smile:

His first toothbrush quickly turned in to something that he played with so I ended up having to get multiple. I let him carry his around, take it in the bath, he brushed his baby dolls teeth, ect. He was attached to it for months. I’d put it up somewhere when I cleaned up after bedtime & when I’d get him up in the morning he’d be scanning all the counters & surface areas for it.

Bottom line. Get him interested / intrigued in. “Ooh, it’s time for mommy to go brush her teeth so they can stay nice & clean! Want to come & watch how I do it?” “Yay! All done & mommy’s teeth are nice & clean!” “Should we have a dance party since I did a good job?”

Now that my son is 2.5 I’ve been slowly mentioning the fact that “treats” like cookies & ice cream are not good for our teeth so if we’re going to have a treat during the day then we have to brush extra good at night.

Don’t stress it too much honestly. I genuinely don’t think it’ll cause much harm if you can’t brush often at that age. Depending on his diet, if you are having a hard time brushing, refrain from giving him juice & other snacks that will sit on his teeth verses a cup of water & a banana. May save you some stress of worrying about his teeth :yellow_heart::sparkles:

I would let your little brush his own teeth first to be in control then you finish up the brushing and get the spots they missed

Maybe let them do it first n then after say let me see if we got all those sugar bugs , make it fun perhaps brush ur teeth at the same time, light up toothbrush might help they have some with timers so that helps kiddos know when to be down , turn into a game.

I let my toddler brush first…we make it a game, she’s trying to get all of the “sugar bugs” off her teeth. After I usually say something playful like, uh oh I see one more…Mama’s gonna get it! That’s worked for us…most of the time, cuz ya know toddler’s gonna toddler lol


Our dentist recommended letting them try themselves. Gets them familiar with the feeling, the toothbrush etc. I gave mine a toothbrush just to have so when we started fully brushing she knew what the toothbrush was. We practices brushing dolls and stuffed animals teeth and eventually she was trying to do her own. Dentist said let her do it herself and just go behind her to make sure it’s done properly.

Try using just water. Some children don’t like the taste of any flavored toothpaste

Some kids have autism or adhd. Have oral aversion. Speak with your doctor.