You may know why it's important to brush your teeth, but the concept of cavities or gum disease is most likely lost on your child. This is often why he or she doesn't see the big deal when it comes to not brushing teeth. Kids can refuse to brush their teeth for a number of other reasons, though, from an attempt to assert themselves to a sensitivity to the toothbrush.
Having a child who won't brush his baby teeth might not seem like a cause for concern; he will lose them soon anyway. But tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions in kids, affecting about 20 percent of those between the ages of five and 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And not brushing now can cause your child discomfort, as well as problems with eating and speaking, well into the eruption of their adult teeth. It also sets up a pattern of not brushing in the future, which can lead to health issues in other parts of the body.
If your child won't brush, there are a few ways you can establish this healthy habit.