• Pantomime or do each action Elmo and friends demonstrate: brushing side to side, up and down, front and back, and in gentle little circles, then spitting (taking care not to actually dance while the toothbrushes are in children’s mouths!). Remind children to brush way in back to get their molars. (It’s optional to brush your tongue!)
  • Notice how long the song is—almost two minutes. That’s the ideal amount of time to brush! When you’re not listening to the song, you can set a timer for at least a minute and a half.
  • Preschoolers are still developing the muscles and skills to brush on their own. After children finish, it’s your turn. Point out how Elmo’s daddy takes a turn to make extra sure the job’s done.

Consider these tips

  • Model good habits by letting children see you brush (and floss), too.
  • Keep track of children’s brushing routines, maybe with an incentive chart using stickers.
  • Rinse toothbrushes with water when done so they’re clean and ready for next time.