Open Wide! 12 Smart Ways to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

End those twice-a-day teeth brushing battles! Teach kids to brush -- and make it fun -- with these expert and mom-tested tips. (13 Photos)

Holly Pevzner on Feb 5, 2013 at 9:54AM

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Open Wide! 12 Smart Ways to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

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How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Kids need to brush their teeth. We know that. Heck, they know that. But actually getting them to do it? Yeah, that can be a real challenge. There's good reason for you to fight (and win!) that before-bed battle, though: By age 5, nearly 50% of children have cavities. To help keep your kid filling-free, check out these 12 tips  -- they'll get them brushing and flossing without a fight.

Create a Copycat

You know how your kid has that annoying, er, cute habit of mimicking certain things you say or do? Take advantage of those natural copycat tendencies! "Let your child see you and his or her older siblings brushing every day," says Edward H. Moody Jr., DDS, vice president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. While your little guy is watching you scrub your pearlies, use exaggerated brush strokes and show lots of enthusiasm. After all, our kids want to be like us, and when they see that we're taking care of our teeth "it encourages them to do the same," says Moody. You can even have your kiddo brush your teeth after you brush hers.

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