child toothbrushDoes this conversation sound familiar?

“Brush your teeth.”


(In a more serious tone) “Brush your teeth.”


(Tinged with frustration) “Brush your teeth.”


That one-word response can make you want to rip your hair out and give up. Unfortunately, giving up will put your child’s mouth at risk. In the absence of regular brushing, bacteria are free to attack teeth and cause problems like tooth decay. But when children become stubborn, how can you get them to brush their teeth without a struggle? Your Brighton dentist, Dr. Thomas Villani, shares a useful strategy below.

Incorporating a Brushing Chart

A tooth brushing chart is a useful little tool for keeping track of a child’s brushing progress. Featuring morning and evening boxes for each day of several weeks, brushing charts can provide some motivation for reluctant brushers. The trick is to use the chart to make a challenge. Offer your child a prize if he or she can successfully complete the chart. Make the prize something good so that motivation is high. With any luck, you will win a prize too when your child develops a tooth brushing habit.

Accessing a Free Tooth Brushing Chart

There are many free brushing charts online, but if you need a nudge in the right direction, your Brighton kids’ dentist, Dr. Villani, recommends trying this website: When you visit the site, you will be asked for your child’s name. This information is used only to customize the chart with your son or daughter’s name at the top. Once you enter your child’s name, a printable version of the chart will load, and you will be able to print it and make your challenge.

Schedule a Visit with Your Brighton Kids’ Dentist

In addition to proper homecare, regular dental visits can help maintain your child’s oral health. If more than six months have passed since your child’s last dental visit, schedule an appointment with your Brighton kids’ dentist, Dr. Villani, today by calling Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210. We proudly serve patients from Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Brighton, and the 02135 area.