How to encourage your children to brush their teeth

If you have kids, you may agree that getting them to brush their teeth can be a daily struggle. Dr Fiona Grainger at Ikon Dental Specialist has offered us some top tips on how best to encourage them to do so.

How to encourage your children to brush their teeth


Led by their Principal, Dr Manish Bose, IKON Dental Specialists pride themselves on providing the very best levels of patient care, and this is only possible thanks to their fantastic team. They are a team of world class specialists and experts in a wide variety of dental fields, so you won’t need to go anywhere else. They have been providing high grade clinical care to Ealing (and surrounding areas) for over 10 years.

Dr Fiona Grainger, who focuses her treatments to their younger patients at IKON, works with a phenomenal child-centric approach. Below, she gives her insight into the importance of oral health and brushing teeth in children.

"Healthy teeth are important at every age, but the secret to a lifetime of healthy smiles starts with developing the right habits from a young age.  Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be really tricky, and recent surveys(1) have found that almost two thirds of children across the UK regularly refuse to brush their teeth, with many parents admitting that getting their children to pick up a toothbrush is one of the most stressful elements of parenting today.

"With almost half of all children in the UK already having had a filling or a cavity as a result of tooth decay, it is even more important than ever for parents to be able to help their children to take good care of their teeth, and to avoid cavities and the larger issues that can result later in life.

"Educating children from a young age that good oral health is something to be valued, and taking good care of your own teeth can help to set a good example, but anything that makes taking care of their teeth fun will really help to encourage better brushing.

Dr Fiona Grainger, IKON Dental Specialists 

"Here are a few ideas to help make brushing fun…

Add some music!

Play your child’s favourite song while they brush, creating a little bathroom disco time twice every day, while making 2 minutes brushing time fly by.  Sing along and dance as you go!

Use an app

Many toothbrush and toothpaste companies now have apps that can encourage your child to brush, with support from their favourite characters, and virtual stickers and rewards.

Make a rewards chart

Whether your child is motivated by hugs, stickers, or screen time, letting them know that they have done a good job and being rewarded for this can really help to build good habits.  A DIY sticker chart with prizes to be won may be just the thing you need!

Get out their favourite toys

Bringing your child’s favourite toy along and letting them join in with brushing time can help show children how to brush and motivate them to do it too.

Pick your own toothpaste and toothbrush.

Smell, taste and texture can all deter a child from brushing, so ensuring your child likes the flavour of their toothpaste and letting them pick their toothbrush can both help.  Thankfully, there are many different flavours of toothpaste these days, and a huge range of different toothbrushes out there.

Turn brushing time into family fun time.

Turning brushing into something that the whole family does together can make it a daily event that everyone can look forward to taking part in, with the parents and guardians leading by example!

"A child friendly dentist can provide you and your family with more support and help to keep your child’s teeth in tip top shape.  Try to take your child for a check up every six months to help make this part of their normal routine."

  1. Aug 2019 Oral B Survey by Ginger Research

If you have any questions about any of the treatments IKON provide, contact them on 020 8997 2888 or email at