Tips for getting your child to brush their teeth every single day

Child brushes teeth with pink toothbrush

It’s a ritual that most kids would happily spend a lifetime fleeing from, be it not for the clever (and often creative) tricks that parents all over the world have been known to employ.

Aquafresh asked Mumsnetters to share their top tips for forcing gently persuading kids to brush their teeth, and here are the 'miracle methods' they revealed.

Get the bonding done with the brushing
Three girls brush their teeth together

“We have the Aquafresh brush time app. The kids dance around the bathroom like loons whilst brushing. Makes it more fun and enjoyable. Then I check they’ve done it properly. Bonding and brushing all in one.”

Brush up on your Disney lyrics
Moana waves

“I sing a different song for each part of DD's mouth, usually 'Get Well Soon' by Dr Ranj or another CBeebies theme. Or a Moana classic!”

Let it shine! Let it shine!
Hands covered in glitter

“After trying a number of different flavoured toothpastes, brushes and bribes, I found a toothpaste with glitter in it. Now my daughter is happy to brush her teeth even with minty toothpaste!”

Appeal to their inner Indiana Jones
Indiana Jones

“When brushing my two-year-old son's teeth we look for hidden treasure, he has to keep still and open wide to make sure I can find it all in his teeth.”

Take it to a 'higher power'
Dental Kit

“I talk to them about the dentist a lot and if they’re not cooperating, I say: 'Whatever will Mr Dentist say when he sees your teeth? He will say, yuck, they are not clean and shiny like they used to be.' Then they usually relent and brush them well.”

Show them the ghost of their dental future
Baby stares in shock

“We show our son pictures of people with rotten teeth!”

Entice them with the gimmicks
Mum brushes childs teeth

“Letting them choose toothbrush and toothpaste always helps. Frankly any gimmick that keeps them interested. Favourite character, toothbrushes that play tunes etc.”

Laughter is the best medicine
Child smiles up at camera

“I pretend to find things in DD’s teeth. It starts off with things that she has eaten that day and then moves on to more ridiculous things. Like ‘Goodness me, is that a boat? What is that duck doing at the back? Quick let’s get it out. How did daddy get in there?’ She is usually too busy giggling to protest.”

Turn it into a fun game
Family brushes their teeth together

“We let him brush and play a (mad) game we call 'Rubby Scrubby' – the aim is to hear the 'scrubby' sound of the toothbrush bristles on teeth. When I hear a 'brush' sound, I make a huge song and dance about it, with high fives and clapping, which makes him brush more.”

Put your foot down
Mum is stern with daughter in shop

“We take a no-nonsense approach to this – tooth brushing is not optional. It is something we do, twice a day, every day. They always clean their teeth with me in a morning, as we get ready together – and they do it on their own before bed at night.”

Turn the gums into a battlefield
Boy hangs from monkey bars in park

“We tell our son that there are soldiers are attacking his teeth and we need to fight back with the toothbrush. He has to keep his mouth open wide whilst I sing The Grand Old Duke of York … slowly.”

How to clean your toddler's milk teeth

Natalie of Confessions of a Crummy Mummy walks us through how to clean your toddler's teeth (which can be tough) – and why their teeth need special attention.

Got any tips to add? Get involved in the conversation.