Toothbrush Time: How to Encourage Your Child to Brush for Two Minutes

Posted on: 13 December 2016

While it is easy to teach your child basic brushing techniques, they may still not spend enough time cleaning their teeth. After all, who wants to stand around brushing their teeth when there are toys to play with and adventures to be had? If you notice that your child is skimping on the amount of time they spend brushing, you may have to introduce a timer. Below is a guide which will help you to increase the amount of time they dedicate to their dental health.

Two Minutes, Twice a Day

Dentists recommend that everyone brushes their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. This four minutes of daily brushing improves the chance that the teeth and gums are properly cleaned. Two minutes does not sound like a lot of time, but when your child is stood in front of the bathroom mirror with their toothbrush, it can seem like an eternity. If your child rushes when brushing, they will miss areas of their teeth and gums, leading to the development of tooth decay and gum disease.

Timing Devices

You should introduce a timing device which will educate your child as to how long two minutes is, and to encourage them to brush for that amount of time. Some possible options are:

  • Traditional Timer: You could use a watch, egg timer or the stopwatch on your mobile phone to measure two minutes. However, you child might find this dull.
  • Electric Toothbrush: You could invest in a child's electric toothbrush which features an inbuilt timer. When the toothbrush has been operating for 2 minutes, it signals by flashing a LED light, vibrating the handle or playing a tune.
  • Music: If you child has a favourite pop song or nursery rhyme which is around 2 minutes long, you could start using this as the 'brushing your teeth' song, playing it whenever they pick up their toothbrush.

It may take many sessions to build up the amount of time your child spends on brushing their teeth. Do not worry if they don't immediately start brushing for two minutes. What is important is that they are spending longer on their dental health routine and learning the importance of proper brushing.

If you have any concerns about your child's teeth or gums or their dental health routine, you should contact your family dentist today. The dentist will assess your child's oral health and recommend ways you can improve their brushing technique.