How to Use Music to Help Children Care for Their Teeth

Tooth brushing times can be rough. Whether the child doesn’t like that it signals bedtime or the feeling of the brush bothers them on a textural level, many children fight so hard against the two minutes it takes to keep their pearly whites shiny and healthy. Perhaps this is why tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness according to the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation. Whether you’re fending off fits about brushing from your toddler or hoping to help older kiddos get better at doing so, music is a great tactic to do so. Here are some tips and tricks to use tunes to teach or aid in proper brushing habits.

As a Timer
Most but not all modern songs are between 2 and 3 minutes long. Let your older child pick out there favorite and rock out with their tooth brush. For younger children, this can also work, but make sure they understand that they need to let the toothbrush do the dancing.

Educational Songs
There are dozens of fun songs you can find online that encourage proper oral hygiene. Singing the song before or between brushings can keep it in the child’s mind so they’ll be excited to do so when its time. There are a bunch on PreschoolEducation.com that you can easily implement.
Here’s one of our favorites set to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”:
“Here’s my toothpaste, here’s my brush. I won’t hurry, I won’t rush. Working hard to keep teeth clean. Front and back and in between. While I brush for quite a while, I will have a happy smile!”

Musical Toothbrushes
Just as the oral care industries have come up with light up and automatic toothbrushes, musical timers can also be found on them. The bonus here is that the music in some of these vibrates through the brush head, offering additional agitation and streaming the music through the bristles, your child’s teeth, and into their head! These unique brushes can be found at bigger department stores or on major online retailers. Check out this one by Arm & Hammer. They make a dozen or so with more popular songs by modern artists such as Selena Gomez, Queen, and One Direction. Some other fun examples for younger children include this Thomas the Tank Engine one and this Brush and Learn version by Plackers that plays A,B,Cs and 1,2,3s as well as farmyard ditties.

Distract with Musical Videos or Apps
We mentioned a lot of youtube videos and device apps that have to do with tooth care in our post Best Online Dental Resources for Kids. These are great ways to use music to deter frustration and get through brushing time without issues. Prop up a phone or other video device and play one as they brush so they are not only learning about caring for their teeth, but doing it at the same time.

Other Benefits
In addition to distracting and helping children brush for longer periods of time, music also acts as an element that relaxes them (and you!) from the stress that can come from bedtime or getting ready for school. Complete Wellbeing states that studies show upbeat choices while brushing in the morning will kick up their energy and brainwaves to start the day right, while calmer tunes during the evening brushing can settled not only the brushing tension but also their breathing rhythm, heart rate, and muscle tightness and ease them into sleep.

 

Meme depicting cliff and musical notes, and quoting Music Only Makes Me Stronger. In this case, music can make teeth stronger too!

Brushing and Music: A Great Match
As you can see, music and tooth brushing pair well to make tooth care a joyful experience. If you haven’t tried it yet, we’d highly recommend it. You may be surprised at how well it works for your family. Even if it’s not for children, brushing with music can also be a wonderful tactic for adults to get in their two minutes of brushing and maintain a healthy, white smile. Someone once said music makes them stronger but we think it should really be said “Music only makes my teeth stronger.”

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on If it's been more than 6 months since your last teeth cleaning, give us a call today to schedule your check-up.

Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.
2624 Matlock Road Suite 100 Arlington, Texas 76015
Phone: (817) 261-2747 URL of Map