Learn the lyrics to brush, brush, brush your teeth, plus a few other tried-and-true tips to get kids excited to grab that toothbrush.

By Beth Janes
Shutterstock

So you've brushed up (pun intended) on how to brush toddler teeth. But getting your toddler to actually cooperate come brush time is like pulling, well, you know. To help, we rounded up three parent-tested strategies for making dental duty easier on everyone.

Try a podcast, video, or app.

Elizabeth Flahive, of Los Angeles, says her two kids love Chompers, a two- minute podcast by Gimlet Media that releases new episodes twice a day. It gives directions and reminders on brushing in between entertaining stories, jokes, riddles, fun facts, and silly songs. Other moms liked the Disney Magic Timer app by Oral-B and Sesame Street: Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me: Brushy Brush, a video starring Elmo, which has more than 250 million views on YouTube.

Sing a song.

Make up your own or adapt a favorite tune, turning the lyrics into goofy ones all about brushing or flossing. For example, instead of “Row, row, row your boat,” Nicole Simonds, of Chicago, sings, “Brush, brush, brush your teeth ... ” Here's one version of the toothy tune to get you inspired:

Brush, Brush, Brush Your Teeth”

Brush, brush, brush your teeth

At least two times a day.

Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning,

Fighting tooth decay.

Floss, floss, floss your teeth

Every single day.

Gently, gently, gently, gently,

Whisking plaque away.

Rinse, rinse, rinse your teeth

Every single day.

Swishing, swishing, swishing, swishing,

Fighting tooth decay.

Make it a game.

Have your kids use their imagination while you get to work. Alexis Rodriguez Alvich, of New York City, helps her superhero-obsessed son battle villains named Plaque and Gingivitis. Or make it even sillier: “My husband tries to guess everything my daughter ate that day based on what he ‘finds’ in her teeth,” says Amanda Carmichael, of Chattanooga. Giggles ensue when he starts “finding” things like crayons and Barbie shoes along with blueberries and carrots.

Get real—sort of.

Ajanta Chakraborty, of Chicago, showed her son clip art of cartoon germs digging cavities, which helped him understand the importance of brushing and gave him a “mission” to brush away the germs.

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