As a parent, it seems like your life is filled with fighting your kids to do something they don’t want to. Take out the trash, do their homework, brush their teeth. It’s a constant struggle, to teach your child to be an independent being who can take care of themselves. Brushing their teeth is an important part of this, but it’s one that for many parents, ends in tears and screaming on a daily basis. So how do you get your child to brush their teeth? Here are three fun ways to make brushing their teeth more fun.

Let them pick out a fun toothbrush
Involving your child in the process of picking out a toothbrush is a great way to get them excited about brushing their teeth. You can also let them pick out a yummy toothpaste flavor, to get them even more excited, as they may begin to view it as a treat they get before bed.

Make it a game
Kids love games. Depending on your child’s age, there are a few different things that you can try. If your child is competitive, a simple “I bet I can brush my teeth better than you!” could be all it takes to get them to brush more thoroughly. Another way is to play their favorite song, and both of your brush your teeth and dance during the duration of the song. You could also play “dentist” and help them brush their teeth, if they will let you.

Brush teeth together
Like we just mentioned, doing it together is a great way to show them that it is simply a daily task, rather than a punishment. Doing it together can be fun and a great way to bond, as well as keep you both accountable to brush your teeth more thoroughly.

We’re not suggesting you start paying your child to brush their teeth. You know your child best, so you know what would motivate them. Maybe have a sticker chart on the fridge, and they get to pick out a new sticker to put on the chart every time they brush their teeth. Maybe they get to stay up an extra 15 minutes if they brush their teeth really well. You could do something a little longer term, as well, and give them a slightly larger prize if they brush their teeth without being asked for an entire month. The point of this is to get them in the habit of brushing their teeth, and the incentives are just a way to kickstart that process.