• Explain the good things about brushing his/her teeth. You should also explain what can happen if your son/daughter does not brush his/her teeth
  • Understand that your son/daughter might not be open to the idea of brushing his/her teeth on his/her own. But, your son/daughter will most likely listen if you encourage him/her to do so.
  • This way, you can model good brushing habits. Your son/daughter can also follow your steps.
  • Break down each step into 1 simple sentence. This makes each step easier to remember.
  • Watch your son/daughter brush his/her teeth 2 times a day for at least 1 month. This can help you make sure he/she is brushing properly an regularly.
  • Use a timer or sing a song for 2 minutes. This helps your son/daughter learn how long he/she should brush his/her teeth. If your son/daughter likes electric toothbrushes, find one with a timer.
  • Find a toothbrush and toothpaste that your son/daughter likes. Let him/her pick the color of the toothbrush and flavor of the toothpaste. Start with regular toothbrushes. Then, you can try electric toothbrushes if you can.
  • If your son/daughter doesn’t like how the toothbrush feels in his/her mouth, start off slowly. Have your son/daughter practice touching the toothbrush to his/her lips or front teeth. Over time, he/she will get used to the toothbrush.
  • When your son/daughter has learned how to brush, then you can talk about flossing. If he/she doesn’t like regular floss, try a floss pick or a water flosser.


  • Don’t use negative language. You can say something like “All done, please turn off the water.” Don’t say something like, “Stop wasting water. Turn off the faucet.”

 Rev: 12/2016

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