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I brush my toddler's teeth 2x per day with a tiny amount of toothpaste as recommended. We use a standard kids toothbrush, not an electric one.

We sing the ABC song while I'm doing it, to keep her entertained and to develop a ritual so she gets a sense of how long it takes. That makes it on average a 25 second brushing session...and sometimes she shuts her mouth and says "no" at about the time we get to the letter "Q" after which I don't push her to keep letting me brush. I know that for adults it's recommended to brush for 2 minutes. It seems like toddler torture to brush her teeth for that long.

Knowing that problems with toddlers' teeth is on the rise, and that I have a family history of bad teeth and cavities, I want to be sure to be doing the right thing for her teeth now as well as helping her form good habits as she grows older. I also want to keep brushing time fun, without making it into a torture session.

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WebMD recommends brushing children's teeth for 2 minutes (with different amounts of toothpaste for different age groups).

Dental Health Foundation of Ireland doesn't give recommendations on the length of brushing for children 0-2 years of age, and recommends brushing without toothpaste at that age. For children 2-7 years of age they recommend brushing with toothpaste, for 2-3 minutes. They also say that this is a length of a song, so they basically recommend a distraction technique you are already using. (There is a lack of consensus on-line what is the exact age limit for a child to be considered a toddler).

An aside (more fit for parenting SE): I've browsed through You Tube for teeth-brushing songs and I found many, but honestly none of those would have motivated me to endure teeth brushing. So, perhaps another type of song and different song every night? Maybe one for every day of the week - Monday song (Twinkle twinkle?), Tuesday song... Or telling a story while brushing, such as this one - if you find it age-appropriate.

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