How to Keep Kids Brushing Teeth When You Aren’t Watching

get big kids to brush teeth

When children reach a certain age, they want to do everything by themselves. This includes brushing their teeth. 42% of kids have cavities in their baby teeth with 21% of kids ages 6-11 have cavities in their permanent teeth. Driving home the importance of good oral care to older kids is important.

Give Kids Independence

That being said, we have to give kids independence for personal care, but responsibly. Generally speaking, kids don’t have motor skills to brush their teeth adequately until they are between the ages of 6-9. By then, they should be coordinated and responsible enough to brush and floss on their own. This is also the time they start assuming responsibility for other things like chores, homework, and personal care. When it comes to brushing teeth, kids are not as proficient as they need to be. In fact 5 year old only brush about 25% of the surfaces of their teeth, 11 year olds brush 50% and 18-22 year olds brush 67%.

Drive Home Importance of Brushing with Apps

By this age, kids understand what germs are. An easy way to explain plague is telling them how germs from plague attack their teeth – nobody wants that nastiness in their mouth! Drive this point home with apps on your smartphone or tablet, kids respond better with reminders through fun activities like this rather than a nagging mom. kids-teeth-brushing-games

Kids love playing games, so drive home the importance of brushing with free apps like Colgate’s Tooth Defenders games. Kids will have fun protecting their teeth from the evil Placulus and hopefully it will be a good reminder in real life.

Follow Up on Technique with Videos

When germs from plague attack your teeth, it can cause real damage. Follow up on brushing technique with quick videos – have them watch it while brushing even. Have your kids watch this quick video that goes over the basics AGAIN with your kids as a friendly reminder.

Reveal the Results

Kids like things that are gross. Use a mouth wash or tablets that reveal areas on teeth that still have plaque. They will see the germs and plaque on their teeth or in the sink and think it is cool.

When kids are younger than 6, they require monitoring. When they get to the ages of 6-9 and older, a product like the mouth wash or tablets show them the results of their brushing. Be sure to do a quick inspection every now and then to ensure they are reaching all surfaces of their teeth. When you show your kids that it is important to you, it will become important to them.

Get Back to the Basics

With tooth decay the #1 chronic childhood disease, it is always good to remind kids of the basics:

Choose Dr. Adam Pollock D. D.S. Pediatric Dentistry

My kids never complain about a trip to the dentist because they like the folks at Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They are friendly, helpful, and professional in every manner. Trips to our pediatric dentist twice a year are just as important as brushing for two minutes twice a day.

If you are looking for a caring pediatric dentistry in the greater Akron, Ohio area, contact Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry today.

Dr Pollock

Dr. Adam Pollock D. D.S. Pediatric Dentistry
1707 Portage Trail
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
(330) 929-3091

1707 Portage Trail
Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223

Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm
Saturdays 9am – 1pm

Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry is conveniently located in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, just minutes from Akron, Stow, Munroe Falls, Kent, Hudson, Peninsula, Tallmadge, Ellet, Copley, and Fairlawn, Ohio.

Visit Dr. Adam Pollock Akron Pediatric Dentistry online and Like Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry on Facebook.


Visit Dr. Adam Pollock Akron Pediatric Dentistry online and Like Dr. Adam Pollock Pediatric Dentistry on Facebook. Tell them you heard about them on

Header image photo credit Steven Depolo

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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