To not brush my baby's teeth

(153 Posts)
Stuckunderababy Tue 14-Jan-14 16:46:49

DC2 is 14 months and HATES having his teeth brushed. Always has. Whereas with DC1 it was quite easy and I didn't force on the days he didn't want to, if I took that approach with DC2 I'd never brush his teeth.

So at the moment we resort to practically pinning him down to do it. I've tried other brushes, 'helping' him when he's holding it, signing etc. nothing works. I know he likes the toothpaste and happily chews on the brush. He's just one of these babies that likes to do it all himself.

Someone recently said that as long as they get the fluoride it doesn't matter if they are actually brushed, but this really goes against the grain for me.

So AIBU to desist with the brushing and let him get on with it, or persevere in the hope he'll one day get it?

Stuckunderababy Tue 14-Jan-14 16:47:22

I meant singing btw.

KatAndKit Tue 14-Jan-14 16:50:57

Buy a brushbaby chewable brush. I got mine from jojomamanbebe but have seen them intesco recently. They get the back teeth a bit better. My DS also hates me brushing his teeth and this is the only way they get done.

JanetAndRoy Tue 14-Jan-14 16:52:23

Those chewable brushes are available in Boots. Also saw tooth wipes in there too.

KatAndKit Tue 14-Jan-14 16:52:23

Also available on Amazon.

kelda Tue 14-Jan-14 16:53:24

Teethbrushing is one of the few non-negiotiables in my house.

Most children go through a phase of refusing, but you still have a resposibility to care for their teeth.

TwatWeevil Tue 14-Jan-14 16:55:25

I would also recommend a baby banana brush, nice and chewable for those back teeth.

I'm not sure that's right about the fluoride, by the way. I'm sure our dentist (who is a child specialist) has told me that no or little paste is better than no brushing.

JimmyCorkhill Tue 14-Jan-14 16:56:07

My DD had a long phase like this but it DID pass. We had to resort to pinning her down/wrapping her arms in a towel which made me feel like the crappest parent ever. We basically did all the tricks and just moved from one to another as they only worked for a short while eg. letting her brush our teeth/choosing her own toothpaste/light up toothbrush/playing dentists/pretending to spot food in her mouth "did you eat peas today? I can see one" etc. It's a rotten phase but you will get through it. She's also one of those children who likes to do everything by herself so we let her then do a 'check' do it again!

MrsOakenshield Tue 14-Jan-14 16:56:09

for me it's always been a non-negotiable - it has to be done morning and evening. Fluoride is fine if they swallow it, they don't need to spit it out at this age as they need it for their teeth to grow, but they do also need brushing.

Reward chart? Pasta-in-jar with treat (not sweets hahahaha!) when it's full? Let him do it himself and you finish off? Um...

Joysmum Tue 14-Jan-14 16:57:36

I wouldn't compromise on tooth brushing

lilyaldrin Tue 14-Jan-14 16:59:11

I'd persevere. It will be easier to crack it now than let it slide and suddenly have to start forcing a 3 year old with cavities.

fluffyraggies Tue 14-Jan-14 17:09:47

SIL is a dentist - she was furious over xmas, when she discovered MIL had not brushed DNs teeth for two nights running, while staying at hers. DN is 18 months.

I am going to take my lead from her. She knows what she's talking about.

volestair Tue 14-Jan-14 17:12:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phantomnamechanger Tue 14-Jan-14 17:32:41

of course babies have teeth! some are even born with them!

volestair Tue 14-Jan-14 17:35:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeacupDrama Tue 14-Jan-14 19:06:18

as a dentist you must brush the teeth ideally twice but at least once a day and let him do the other time

this is really a case of making rod for own back if you do not persist, you do not want to be the mother of a 3-4 year old referred for the extraction of teeth under GA

my DD is 4 she still hates having her nails cut especially toes but I still cut them now I can reason and just say it is going to be done but when she was littler she was held tight till it was done, now she understands it is going to be done either the easy way or the hard way but it will still happen but then I am mean mummy what I say goes but I try not to make too many rules so it does not often come into play

FruitbatAuntie Tue 14-Jan-14 19:38:52

Well my DS has lots of razor sharp teeth (brushed twice daily, he likes it atm thankfully) and I manage to breastfeed him no problems at all. They don't attach themselves (usually!) by their teeth, you know!

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Tue 14-Jan-14 19:48:23

Brushing is non negotiable here too. I try and let him do as much as he can, then I give them a brush. Occasionally it means pinning him down but the message is that we brush every single day, no ifs or buts and we can do it the easy way, or the hard way. Just keep persevering.

volestair Tue 14-Jan-14 19:51:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

shoofly Tue 14-Jan-14 19:51:59

Ds1 born with 2 teeth bf until 9 months. DS2 no teeth (at first) - much more bitey and painfull - still bf.

Teeth brushing is like car seats - non negotiable. My friend is a dental nurse - its much more cruel to have decay leading to painful dental work. She said hold their nose - they'll open mouth to breathe, & get in and brush. It works - you'll feel awful doing it - but the awkwardness over brushing passes quickly - 4 nights with Ds2 who is EXTREMELY stubborn.

My 15 month old has almost a full set (18 so far I think) but I don't actively brush her teeth yet. She chews her brush with a dot of toothpaste on it when my older dcs brush theirs. When she is a bit bigger with a better understanding I will say 'let mummy have a go now' and make sure they get a thorough clean. I did this with the other dc (still have a go most nights) and they have perfect teeth (so far).

RedHelenB Tue 14-Jan-14 20:54:50

Just wondering if there is a shift in emphasis as my dentist said it was getting the flouride on the teeth that was most important.

cantthinkofagoodone Tue 14-Jan-14 20:59:25

The way I do it (DS also hates it!) is to stick my finger between his teeth and his cheek so that I can get in. I lay him down and then do it. He just won't let me do it another way.

I sometimes get them with a flannel.

He's got worse as he's got older but hoping it will get better. He's currently 18 months old.

Coldlightofday Tue 14-Jan-14 21:05:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SparklingMuppet Tue 14-Jan-14 21:08:58

Non negotiable here too. Pin them down get it over and done with as quickly as possible and with minimum emotion. No anger, no pandering, no 'oh my poor little angel' etc. It's vital to actually brush the plaque off the teeth, simply putting fluoride over the top (and how can you do that anyway if they won't open their mouths?) really won't help in the long run. I find holding htier nose so that they have to open the mouth is gentler than trying to squeeze the cheeks in to get the lower jaw to drop. Try extra incentives on top as well (extra pocket money, new toy, sticker chart etc), but fundamentally it's non negotiable. It is going to happen whether they like it or not, and no matter how much they protest.

24again Tue 14-Jan-14 21:13:01

I thought the same about flouride as you until my eldest had three teeth out, four fillings and a crown at three years old. My youngest was pinned down CIA style and has his teeth brushed twice a day until he let me brush them normally.


lanbro Tue 14-Jan-14 21:17:02

I always brush mine first with dd watching, 22mo, then she's keen to have hers done. I start it off with loud ahhhhs then she finishes off

TinyTear Tue 14-Jan-14 21:19:15

I brush mine at the same time as make exaggerated movements and she copies me. then i do a quick check myself with the brush... so far it's ok...

we also have a brushbaby brush and when she is teething she asks to chew on that one as well

Sharaluck Tue 14-Jan-14 21:23:27

I thought the brushing was the most important part not the toothpaste hmm I'm sure I was told that we needed to brush the very first baby teeth without toothpaste as the brushing was the most important.

Anyway back to your question. Yabvu. Brushing teeth is non negotiable. I find a countdown helps especially as they get older. Twice a day brushing is a necessity.

Sharaluck Tue 14-Jan-14 21:28:23

I honestly don't think young children are capable of brushing their own teeth, when they are of school age perhaps but with supervision to make sure try do it properly.

Younger children do not have the dexterity to effectively brush every part of their teeth, so do it for them.

SparkleToffee Tue 14-Jan-14 21:31:49

DS used to hate it so I bought him an electric toothbrush. He used to sort of jig up and down when brushing with it and totally loved it! Ended all problems in one swoop. DD was the same so she has an electric one you can decorate with stickers (!). Have you tried electric brushes?

I pers

SparkleToffee Tue 14-Jan-14 21:33:08

Ugh - too soon

I personally don't hold my down and do it as I think it all gets a bit traumatic..... But maybe could you take them to the dentist , ride in the chair, get given a nice toothbrush snd sticker to make the whole thing appealing ?

irishe Tue 14-Jan-14 21:36:57

Marking place

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 21:40:22

My 16mo hates it. he has 8 fronts and 2 molars. He is teething atm and i was told by a hygienist not to brush if his gums were sore. I am trying to get him to open his mouth but he just wont. To those of you who force them - how do you possibly do that. I am also struggling changing his bum (with 1 or both of us crying and covered in shite on a daily basis). He is very big and strong and bites, hits and kicks me. I just can't hold him AND wield a toothbrush.

SparklingMuppet Tue 14-Jan-14 21:47:09

I grapple ds2 to the floor so he's face up with me facing him. I then straddle his chest on my knees with my knees pinning his arms to his sides. I then cross my ankles behind me over the top of his legs so he can't kick, and that leaves my hands free to hold his nose and use the brush. It sounds barbaric and it is a little bit upsetting for me too, but it simply has to be done. It has to be.

SparklingMuppet Tue 14-Jan-14 21:48:45

For bottom changing, have you tried step in's/pull ups yet? That worked wonderfully for ds2 as well. He hated having to lie down to do changes so we switched permanently to pull up style nappies at about 14 months I think.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 21:52:20

I would not force, of course dentists are going to say its crucial to brush them every night and of course its important just like so many other things, I never ever forced my DD when she went through a hating phase, I left it and let her come back to it, roll on three years, she has perfect teeth.

A heart specialist would have a heart attack to see anything with nasty fats going into babies mouth, even a few times, I was told by a food expert at the council never ever give my child macdonalds even if its the only thing a poor eater would eat just once!!!! Just ONCE!

I do not belive in forcing or pushing and I think they get bad associations, children of that age change very very quickly, if you quieltyy let it drop, then come back to it in a while with a different brush he will probably get it,.

MrsGrasshead Tue 14-Jan-14 21:52:42

We had to pin dd down to do them. She does them herself quite well now she's 8 but it's taken years. A few of her friends are having to get fillings now so I'm glad we did.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 21:54:02

Sparkling.....I am almost speechless, there are more ways to skin a monkey...I am aghast I really am.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Tue 14-Jan-14 21:55:28

Teeth and what condition they will be in are largely down to genetics, diet and taking care of them.

I would never ever ever pin my DC down to force an object into their mouths, I think its barbaric.

There are so many other ways to get children to do things.

GranolaMam Tue 14-Jan-14 21:56:31

He shouldn't be using toothpaste with flouride at his age

GranolaMam Tue 14-Jan-14 21:57:59
SparkleToffee Tue 14-Jan-14 21:58:53

MrsKoala sorry To hijack thread- re bum changing when they are 16 m old....... Stickers. I would stick funny stickers onto their hands and they would be so fixated trying to take them off there would be no wriggling. IMO never let anything become a fight / nappy changing, eating of greens , teeth brushing or you are just engaged in a battle of wills with your own child.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:00:38

So sparklingmuppet, do you do this twice a day? shock I'm afraid that does sound barbaric, i don't think either of us would get over it. DS would be utterly distraught after - as would i. Is it really that essential?

It's the standing still and being 'manhandled' with the nappies - we already change him standing up, as laying down is a big no no. He still runs off smearing crap everywhere then sits his pooey bum on something.

poppycock6 Tue 14-Jan-14 22:01:49

Sorry but unless the plaque is removed there's a risk of decay. He won't be able to get that off just by chewing the brush. We had the same problem with DD2 around that age and did resort to quick pin down.

ThisIsMeNow Tue 14-Jan-14 22:02:39

Towel wrapped around dc and held in cradle position and time. Lots and lots of time.
To change a nappy with a resister, sit sideways on to dc and one leg over their arms and chest (lightly!) which leaves both hands free and they can't get away as easily.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:04:00

Thanks Sparkle - i will try the stickers. smile

We've tried giving him keys etc but nothing has distracted him so far.

lilyaldrin Tue 14-Jan-14 22:05:59

MrsKoala - when DS went through a resisting tooth brushing phase I would do his after his bath by wrapping the towel quite tightly round him (like giving a cat a pill!) sitting him on my lap and leaning him back. So one arm to keep him still and one hand to brush his teeth.

It wasn't a battle of wills, it was just a non-negotiable - it had to happen every day and that was that.

Nappy changing - I would sit on the floor with him lying in front of me, between my legs, and put my feet on his shoulders so he couldn't get up and just do it quickly!

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:07:26

Cripes! sitting on them! how do they not get squashed? I know i'm a bit of a softy and have no experience with kids but, SITTING ON THEM!

I think i'm going to have to get tougher. DS just hits me in the face/bites me and runs off laughing.

lilyaldrin Tue 14-Jan-14 22:08:46

Who is sitting on them?

SparkleToffee Tue 14-Jan-14 22:08:47

I have even resorted to the sticky bit on the top of the wet wipe pack when the stickers ran out! Mine are monkeys but I couldn't bear to hold them down whilst they screamed. Tbh I have a phobia of the dentist even now aged almost 40. To me having things pushed in my mouth like dentists tools etc feels very odd and slightly violating ...... I know that sounds odd but that's how it makes me feel, I couldn't handle someone holding me down whilst shoving things I my mouth. It makes me feel quite panicky thinking about it..... Especially if it was done to me once or twice every day !

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:10:04

Okay, tomorrow i will try it after the bath. Does it matter that he bathes just before dinner?

chocolatecrispies Tue 14-Jan-14 22:12:02

We also don't force - teeth are important but so is a child's control over their body - I don't want my children to think it is okay for anyone to pin them down and force objects inside their body against their will, no matter what.

We didn't force our son when he resisted but keep offering. He now brushes his teeth willingly and has no cavities aged 5.5. Even if he did have cavities I would not force him, holes in teeth are reparable, the damage you do to a child by forcing them may not be.

SoftSheen Tue 14-Jan-14 22:12:08

YABU. For me, teeth brushing is one of very few things that is non-negotiable.

If DS doesn't like having his teeth brushed, think how much less he will like having the pain of rotting teeth, being held down to be examined by a dentist, and then having a general anaesthetic so that teeth can be removed/treated. And then he will still have to learn how to brush his teeth anyway.

The easiest way is to lie him down on a back on a bed or changing mat, and try to distract by singing or talking to him. He may well object for the first few times, but soon it will not bother him and you can make it a game.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:14:34

lilyaldrin, SparkingMuppet said to straddle them with knees pinning arms down and ankles crossed over their legs - that to me sounds a bit like sitting on them. I would worry i would sit too hard (i'm about 13st!). I don't think i could risk it.

I will be firmer tho.

notso Tue 14-Jan-14 22:16:42

I think the fluoride is very important, that is why you're not supposed to use any water.

I think tooth brushing is non negotiable too, though I will drop to once a day if things get too bad. DS1 hated having his done and DS3 is following suit. You just have to try and do you best.

bump6 Tue 14-Jan-14 22:16:46

Hi, have similar issues with dd 2.
I saw Hv, last week & she said as long as they get a good brush every couple of days, it's fine!
so confused with what is true.
I think she needs to be in good habits & learn that it's something that has to be done, twice a day and every day.
shall be trying the sticker reward chart:-)

lilyaldrin Tue 14-Jan-14 22:17:54

Wrapping them up and cradling them is probably easier/nicer than straddling imo. I only had to do it for a couple of weeks with DS by the way, and then he started allowing it with no fuss. He is quite happy to have his teeth brushed and brush his own now at 3 so I don't think it has done any psychological damage!

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:17:54

SoftSheen - my DS will not lay down ever, singing or distraction does bollocks all sadly. If i even try to lay him back we get screaming and thrashing. He doesn't even lay down to go to sleep - we can only lay him after he's gone off.

Salmotrutta Tue 14-Jan-14 22:19:45

I have a relative who is a dental nurse.

They see many children having extractions because their parents couldn't bear to "upset" their children by being firm about tooth brushing.

And these are not parents who let their children have fizzy drinks and sweets all the time - they are parents who think that because they are careful about diet it will all be fine hmm

Mrsmorton Tue 14-Jan-14 22:20:12

The plaque needs to be removed, at this stage fluoride is good too but the mechanical removal of the plaque is so important.

It's awful seeing a child in tears with dental pain and there's nothing that can be done until they reach the top of the GA waiting list. Brushing is so so so important.

Every couple of days isn't enough, the plaque needs to be got rid of properly at least once a day. The trouble is there is no immediate cause and effect, it's not like pricking your finger and it being painful, it's a year or two down the line that the pain will come.

TempusFuckit Tue 14-Jan-14 22:22:12

Not much useful to add, but my DS (2.10) responds to a choice of quick or gentle brushing. He always says gentle, and then I tell him he needs to open wide then. Still complains mind you, and is then a huge drama llama with spitting it out.

If that fails, I will pin him down though. If he's not secure, he'd thrash about and risk bashing head or limbs on the sanitaryware.

MrsKoala Tue 14-Jan-14 22:22:15

yes lily, i think the towel wrapping sounds best for us. Altho the little bugger usually wont be towel dried after a bath and just runs round naked and wet till he dries, i chase him under the table to get the cream on him confused . So a towel round him may be a novelty too.

GlitzAndGiggles Tue 14-Jan-14 22:25:14

My dd went through a short phase of hating it but there was no way they weren't being brushed! An old friends 2yo had to get 10 teeth taken out!! I get my dd to go "eeeeeeeee" and "ahhhhh" so I can get all the teeth

TimeToPassGo Tue 14-Jan-14 22:26:19

But what about baby teeth? How can you properly remove plaque from them? Genuine question but toddler teeth are so tiny I can't even get at them properly.

SparkleToffee Tue 14-Jan-14 22:30:54

There is a huge difference in between pinning them down or being blasé though . The opposite of ramming a toothbrush into a screaming child's mouth, isn't not really caring about teeth so they rot and fall out!

Just because I don't think you should force them doesn't mean their teeth dont get brushed

Salmotrutta Tue 14-Jan-14 22:31:48

And I certainly don't think it's barbaric to firmly restrain your child to avoid tooth extraction.

My kids got used to having their teeth brushed from the time the first one made an appearance and neither had a filling until they were 20 or so.

And by then (what with them being adults and all) the fillings were down to them being careless about brushing.

They'd had years of dental check ups by then and knew what they should be doing to protect their teeth - because me, DH and their Dentist had drummed it into them.

At our children's centre a dentist from the hospital came in. She does ten operations on children A WEEK removing teeth so rotted the child cannot eat for pain. I'm in London. On half those it was five or more removals.

Teeth brushing has changed. When I was a child you brushed spat rinsed. Now, the advice is to brush and leave. This way the fluoride stays in the mouth. According to her negating the need for mouth wash.

My 12mth old now has her four front teeth cleaned. My 2yr old doesn't miss. I no longer view it as negotiable although previous to her talk I did.

Volestair, suck your thumb. Feel teeth? No. That's a decent enough approx of breast feeding a baby with teeth. Occasional nip if get it wrong. (But yes I have heard horror stories....!)

I'm sure google will give info backing this up.

Five or more removals in one op. Sorry. Wasn't clear.

volestair Tue 14-Jan-14 22:40:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mrsmorton Tue 14-Jan-14 22:50:55

Extractions are something like the third most common reason for children to need a GA.

SparklingMuppet Tue 14-Jan-14 23:42:47


SparklingMuppet Tue 14-Jan-14 23:49:57

Ds2 is now 6 and does his own teeth for the most part and is entirely unfazed by the few months where pinning down was occasionally necessary when he was around two or three years old. We never ever sat on him, the weight would be dangerous. And we were never blasé about it either, quite the opposite. So I think you can probably all unflabber your ghasts...

MakingEveryDayCount Wed 15-Jan-14 00:07:48

My eldest (now 10) used to always HATE having his teeth cleaned, and used to kick up the most almighty fuss some nights when it came to cleaning them.
It was always non negotiable though - teeth HAD to be cleaned.
I used to try and make teeth cleaning fun we used to sing songs as we brushed, lol.
I remember singing "here we go round the Mulberry bush" but with the words adapted to teeth cleaning friendly ones (can't remember the exact words, was agos ago! smile
It used to take his mind off it anyway and get him giggling enough to get his mouth open and teeth cleaned!
In other words, make teeth cleaning fun and less of a chore.
<touch wood> He's nearly 11 years old and never had so much of a filling yet or ANYTHING at the dentists where as quite a few of his peers have!
Get into a good teeth brushing habit from a very early age - as soon as the first tooth arrives with a very soft bristle brush.

KenAdams Wed 15-Jan-14 00:29:27

Never had a problem with 20 month old DD but I sit her on the toilet (seat closed obviously) and give her her toothbrush and tell her she's really big and clever for brushing her teeth then do my own and pretend I'm not watching her. Then I do a rhyme I made up about shiny sparkly teeth while I brush hers for her. It's all about rewarding and distractions.

MrsKoala Wed 15-Jan-14 09:00:32

I am laughing at the thought of DS just happily sitting on the toilet or being remotely distracted or entertained by me singing a song/doing a rhyme. Sadly some children are just not that docile or pliable. DS also does not understand rewards so no bribery can be undertaken.

ReticulatingSplines Wed 15-Jan-14 09:03:04

I sit on mine sometimes to brush his teeth.

ReticulatingSplines Wed 15-Jan-14 09:04:34

Brushing teeth, changing poopy nappies and car seat straps are the three things I will pin my toddler down for.

Crowler Wed 15-Jan-14 09:10:17

It's not negotiable, they have to brush their teeth. Begin as you mean to carry on, and all that.

MrsKoala Wed 15-Jan-14 09:15:27

I suppose i've not been that bothered because my parents never really bothered about me cleaning mine. Also we don't have a routine so i often forget about it. I also forget about doing mine sometimes till the afternoon if we don't go out in the morning.

WakeyTryingAgain Wed 15-Jan-14 09:47:03

My mum was brutal when it came to cleaning my teeth. Pinning me down etc. I hated it...however I have perfect teeth. Never had a tooth out, never a filling or anything. My two sisters did not brush their teeth (I am the youngest so change in parental attitude to brushing) and one of them has horribly stained teeth and the other has crumbling teeth. But they are both scared of the dentist because they always get bad news. I love going because I always get good.

They won't be scarred by being held down! I am so massively grateful to my parents for doing it!!

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 09:47:33

I suppose i've not been that bothered because my parents never really bothered about me cleaning mine. Also we don't have a routine so i often forget about it. I also forget about doing mine sometimes till the afternoon if we don't go out in the morning.


A dear friend of mine said his parents never bothered with toothbrushing and it was years before someone at school plucked up the courage to tell him his breath was so bad that people would avoid talking to him. He is absolutely paranoid about it to this day (and has plenty of fillings to show for his parents kind efforts hmm )

So even if you're not bothered about your DCs potentially getting toothache and being in pain and needing GA extractions, please do it because it's socially acceptable. They will be mocked and talked about if their breath smells. That's not nice.

Tailtwister Wed 15-Jan-14 09:51:37

I would persevere OP. We always get them to lie down (head end by your knees, feet away from you) so you are brushing their teeth upside down iyswim. You get a much better view of their teeth that way and I've always found it much easier/quicker. We've always been very matter of fact about teeth brushing, it's non-negotiable and important.

That said, they have both gone through phases of not liking it.

Welshwabbit Wed 15-Jan-14 09:53:23

You've probably tried something like this already, OP, but we had similar problems with our son (now 20 months) and the only thing that has really worked has been to brush his teeth saying "let's brush Iggle Piggle" (or Makka Pakka, or Upsy Daisy), and then singing the relevant song (he loves In the Night Garden, obviously!). He still clamps down on the brush every so often, but we then stop singing and ask him to open up, and he usually does. It's not as thorough a brush as I might like, but it is a lot better than letting him do it himself, which is all he'd do before. I am a bit of a tooth-brushing fanatic and so I would (and did) persevere.

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 09:59:08

I took my 14 month old to the dentist for the first time yesterday and we had a chat about brushing and flouride. Im lucky in that my son likes the taste of his tooth paste, so kind of eats it.

Have you tried different brands of toothpaste to see if he prefers the taste of another brand? I also found the chewable toothbrushes very good. Just put a little bit of toothpaste of each side and let them chomp on it for a while.

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 10:01:01

Just remembered we talked about a flouride varnish that can be applied by the dentist from the age of two. I wonder if that might be a good idea.

Monkeyandanimal Wed 15-Jan-14 10:07:30

I hate it. My two are 2 and 4 years old and they are stronger than me. I have to sit on them and pin their arms under me to do it. I brush them once a day at bedtime; better than nothing i guess. They only drink water or milk though, so i hope this will prevent them getting cavities. They seem ok so far....
sebsmummy are you thinking of fissure seals? Where the crevices in the tops of the teeth are sealed off by painting on a hard substance?

MrsKoala Wed 15-Jan-14 10:07:44

i don't know why it's so shock mrsmorton. when i'm running around after a hyper toddler, injuring himself by leaping off furniture and ripping things from the walls etc, it's not always top of my list - just like sometimes i don't even have a drink of water till the afternoon nap is upon us. i tend to shower and clean my teeth when i can. Other days of course, when all is calm i manage to make it into the bathroom - thank god grin

When i say my parents weren't bothered, i mean they just told me to do it and i did, they never checked or anything. it wasn't a big deal. Some peoples parents supervised and timed them etc. That always seemed weird. and for the record i have lovely teeth and fragrant breath actually wink

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 10:12:33

Monkeyandanimal, no, i do know what you are talking about and those are done on permanent teeth to prevent cavities in molars.

Fluoride varnish is applied to milk teeth to strengthen them. The dentist said they tend to do it when the milk teeth are showing signs of decay but i asked if it could be done as a preventative thing from two if i asked and she said yes. It was an NHS dentist btw but not sure if that procedure would be chargeable.

Monkeyandanimal Wed 15-Jan-14 10:18:54

Oh ok, Sebsmummy. That does sound like a good idea. I'm definitely going to look into the fissure seals for the permanent teeth anyway.

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 10:23:35

sebsmummy the high fluoride varnish can reduce the risk of decay by about 40% so it's a good idea. I put it on almost all of my adult patients because it works on permanent teeth too and who wouldn't want to reduce their risk of decay!!??

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 10:23:38

Yep i agree. My partners step daughter had hers done when she was a teenager and her teeth were perfect, no fillings. Its a good idea.

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 10:28:44

Its funny Mrs Morton as i have never been told about it as an adult. I know there is some controversy about fluoride isn't there so maybe that's why i've never been offered anything like that myself. Or perhaps its just that my teeth are pretty good. If i was offered it though by my dentist i would probably take them up on it.

Can i ask you a quick professional question? I go to see my hygienist every four months to make sure all the staining and any tartar are removed from my teeth and my gums stay healthy. Because i have never had a filling on my natural teeth and no tooth ache etc i havent seen my dentist for near-on three years. Is that really awful or is just seeing the hygienist ok?

Quenelle Wed 15-Jan-14 10:31:07

I used to have to get DS in a bearhug with his arms pinned against me and tip him back to brush his teeth. He wasn't bothered, just wriggled a lot and ran off laughing when I'd finished.

DH was very squeamish about forcing him, until I asked him if he would rather pin him down screaming in the dentist's chair for an extraction, like my mum had to do with me.

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 10:31:20

Are you in England? It's abit odd as it's only been recently decided that hygienists don't need a prescription from a dentist to do their thing. The hygienist will spot any gross pathology (like big holes) but it is usual to have x rays taken of your teeth every so often (in someone like you I would probably take them every two or three years). Might be worth a trip before too long.

The guidance on Fluoride doesn't talk too much about adult's teeth to be honest so maybe that's why? The hygienist can put it on as well though.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 15-Jan-14 10:33:05

non negotiable in this house. always has been
sometimes I have done it whilst dh held them on his lap.
now aged 7 & 9 they willingly do it themselves each morning and night.

DinoSnores Wed 15-Jan-14 10:36:54

Toothbrushing is non-negotiable around here too. We used a fruity toothpaste for a while when DS was being difficult about it. We also would sing a verse of Baa Baa Black Sheep or something like that so he would know it would be over when the song was finished. His objections were fairly short lived and now he reminds us (he's 3yo) if we have forgotten to it! "We forgot to brush my teeth! I don't want rotten teeth!"

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Wed 15-Jan-14 10:37:32

I have perfect teeth too, I have just had my first filling at 37. My siblings have awful teeth, all same regimen.

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 10:38:09

Yep I'm in England. The hygienist works in the dental surgery (private) and I just book to see her every four months so I know my teeth and gums are in good nick.

I've just found out I'm expecting again so I shall have to wait till after this pregnancy and get some X-rays done.

Thank you x

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Wed 15-Jan-14 10:38:19

I am staggered that people think teeth will rot and fall out if you lay off brushing for a few weeks.

What are you feeding these children?

DinoSnores Wed 15-Jan-14 10:40:14

I think chocolatecrispies's ideas are very odd. As a parent, there are lots of things I do that my children might not like. They are children with the lack of danger, future planning, risk etc that adults do. They have had their vaccinations. DS will get his preschool vaccinations likely 'against his will'. When he was unwell in hospital, I hugged him tightly with his hand restrained so they could take blood.

I can't see the damage of those things done by their parents in the context of a loving relationship to prevent harm, compared to permissive parenting without boundaries.

TicTacZebra Wed 15-Jan-14 10:40:35

My toddler does not have a choice when it comes to brushing teeth. If she doesn't let me do it, I hold her down and do it. That might seem cruel, but I had most of my teeth removed when I was her age, as my mum couldn't be bothered to brush my teeth and fed me junk all day. I don't want that happening to her.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Wed 15-Jan-14 10:42:41

Does anyone consider the possibility that some of your or your siblings teeth were just bad? And would have gone anyway?

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Wed 15-Jan-14 10:43:59

dino holding an arm down once in a blue moon for jabs and such like is very differnet to a huge battle looming and restraining and sitting and holding down your upset child whilst you force an object into its mouth twice a day.

And you wonder why they hate it and struggle?

MrsKoala Wed 15-Jan-14 10:45:33

Does anyone remember the thread where someones nanny accused them of abuse for pinning their child down to clean his teeth? That was bonkers - pretty much everyone said DinoSnores point.

kelda Wed 15-Jan-14 10:47:30

WillBeatJanuaryBlues - yes actually tooth decay can happen over just a few weeks, particularly if your child is unlucky enough to have bad teeth by nature. If you lay off brushing for a few weeks, the chances are you will just delay the battle.

'Does anyone consider the possibility that some of your or your siblings teeth were just bad? And would have gone anyway?'

All the more reason to brush them!

My parents both had very bad teeth and lost them all at an early age. My mother very very insistent that me and my brother always brushed our teeth with flouride toothpaste, and we both have excellent teeth.

sebsmummy1 Wed 15-Jan-14 10:48:40

I can remember a scene in Supernanny where the mother would lay the children down and force them to have their teeth cleaned by her. Cue screaming and crying and Supernanny was horrified.

I think she advocated the 'make it a fun thing' with their own special toothbrushes and songs etc.

I always felt a bit sorry for the Mum as she really did have the children's best interests at heart.

kelda Wed 15-Jan-14 10:48:56

I am very grateful for my parents for insisting, sometimes forcing me to brush my teeth.

kelda Wed 15-Jan-14 10:50:13

And making it fun works sometimes, but not all the time.

Sharaluck Wed 15-Jan-14 11:04:52

I find cradling a baby/ young toddler works well, this helps keep little arms out of the way also. Making a nest of pillows for older toddler/child, helps keep them more still. Counting down works very well when they start to understand it. Never did a song but I can see how this would work as well.

Lots and lots of praise when all done.

Also being very consistent and firm every time so they learn quickly it is a necessity.

Edendance Wed 15-Jan-14 11:11:37

I also agree that there are some things which just need doing. To leave it will give the message that fighting will mean it won't happen anymore, and that it works, you'll just delay the problems. Some things need to be non negotiable.

WhereIsMyHat Wed 15-Jan-14 11:19:12

I've had top on down all three of my children to brush their teeth during toddler hood. I used to make evening brushing thorough and left the morning for them to play with/ chew the brush.

The older two at 3y10m and 5.5y are now very happy to brush.

Ladyhawke127 Wed 15-Jan-14 13:21:11

We only do little hawks teeth once a day, as it can be a real rugby tackle job. it is not ideal, but it is better than nothing. He does not have many sweet things, and never juice, so I hope that we are not creating problems for later. I just cannot do his teeth on my own. I don't have enough limbs!!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Wed 15-Jan-14 13:23:01

It's non-negotiable, and will have to be endured until he grows out of objecting!
Can't believe anyone would suggest differently tbh!

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 16:41:54

For older children, there's an app called brush dj. It's free and plays music for two minutes and gives brushing tips etc.

Crowler Wed 15-Jan-14 18:26:34

Bad breath is really unpleasant. I would not want to send my kids onto a path of social suicide.

TimeToPassGo Wed 15-Jan-14 20:34:37

Inspired by this thread I was a bit more ruthless tonight. There was nose holding!

elastamum Wed 15-Jan-14 20:44:50

Before my DC were born I asked my dentist what was the best thing I could do for their teeth and he said DONT GIVE THEM JUICE. He reccomended just giving them water to drink outside of meals, when they could have milk as well. And lay off the sweets between meals.

He said millions of children round the world don't clean their teeth, but their teeth are fine because they dont get given juice or sweets

So I never bought baby or toddler juice and we only drank water. (I did clean their teeth) Neither child (now teens) has ever had a filling and DS2 at 13 still only drinks water.

purplebaubles Wed 15-Jan-14 20:46:26

The op is asking about a baby - just 14 months!

Why is everyone harping on about rewards etc etc. My 14 month old would not understand that in the slightest.

Also, genuine question, they're called milk teeth. Designed to fall out and be replaced with adult teeth. I can totally totally see why you have to be meticulous about your adult teeth, but surely how healthy they are when they arrive depends on diet, not on brushing of baby milk teeth which fall out anyway??

lilyaldrin Wed 15-Jan-14 20:50:03

You don't think it's painful for them to have rotten milk teeth, or to have to have them extracted?

purplebaubles Wed 15-Jan-14 20:51:31

But why would they get rotten in such a short space of time, with a good diet and only water to drink???

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 20:52:29

purple you keep some "milk teeth" for 12 years or so, they need to be looked after and despite them being "disposable" the pain they can cause is pretty upsetting for parents and dentists, let alone the child who has been let down by this. (I know not all children are created the same and sensory issues, special needs etc may mean compromises have to be made, I'm generalising for the majority of children)
They maintain the space needed for adult teeth to take up their correct position so treating them like they are unimportant because they arent forever is just storing up problems.

LedareAnsley Wed 15-Jan-14 20:57:26

Pretty drastic measures for deciduous teeth which drop out and don't affect the permanent.

purplebaubles Wed 15-Jan-14 20:58:55

Well, I get that. I'm just coming at it, from the point of view, that really, forcing a baby to clean their teeth just seems a little over the top.

As you say, could possibly have them until you're 10/11. So, what's wrong with really starting the full on brush routine at 3+ when they can understand what's going on, and cooperate? (and also would be open to bribery etc!!)

I have a 14 month old. Our dentist (who's opinion I value) said that given she gets so distressed, and clamps her mouth shut, to not worry too much about it until she's older. She has a fantastic diet, good genes and only drinks water. His opinion was that it was highly unlikely she'd end up with decay.

I might just add, I think genetics/diet play a much bigger part than brushing. I hated brushing as a child and didn't use toothpaste at all until I was 14. (only water). I have fantastic white, straight, beautiful, healthy teeth.

LedareAnsley Wed 15-Jan-14 20:59:58

The World Health Organisation seems to think that sugary BM is okay until two and beyond also.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 15-Jan-14 21:06:52

Not as drastic as having to have a general anesthetic to have them removed because they are black and infected and causing you pain.

80% of the time my toddler does not mind having them brushed or I can talk him into it. 20% of the time I need to do it by force. Better than manky teeth, pain and bad breath. Same as strapping him into the car seat or not letting him run in front of the road. I'm his parent. It's my job to safeguard his health and his dental health is part of that.

ChrisTheSheep Wed 15-Jan-14 21:08:31

DS (2) was very resistant to having his teeth brushed: we compromised that he "brushes" them himself in the morning (sometimes he does better than others), and I brush at night, where I can do a more thorough sweep. Ideally, I'd brush both times, but pinning him down was starting to get traumatic for both of us, and I figured this was the best way.

When he was younger and teething badly, we did skip the odd brushing on occasion, or I'd wipe a smear of toothpaste around his teeth and gums on a clean bit of muslin. Now, if he has tonsillitis (which makes the whole area very sore) we skip a brushing if it's too painful.

LedareAnsley Wed 15-Jan-14 21:13:08

HopALongOn, what caused the blackened painful teeth if you brush every day through whatever means?

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 15-Jan-14 21:19:58

I never said you would get it if you brushed every day? I'm saying that not brushing can have serious consequences.

I have rubbish teeth. I take care of them but they are just soft and prone to cavities. If I didn't take care of the I would have a mouth full of holes and broken teeth.

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 21:21:14

I think hopalong was talking about the consequences of not brushing. Which are black, infected teeth with abscesses and multiple courses of antibiotics before reaching the top of a GA list and then the trauma of having GA (worse for parents than children in some cases).

BelleEtLaBaby Wed 15-Jan-14 21:21:39

Ds1 very stubborn toothbrush refuser. I couldn't bear the holding him down and felt it was counter productive so I hatched a plan.

We gave up brushing his teeth altogether (temporarily, best with me). Instead, dh and I sat him on the floor in the bathroom and ignored him while, for two nights, dh and I had lots of lovely giggly fun brushing each other's teeth, had a big cuddle then scooped ds up without even offering him a toothbrush. you should have seen the look on his face

Night three, same plan. Totally ignoring ds1, brush teeth, laugh giggle cuddle etc. then dh and I had a brief but slightly loud conversation about how much I love dh so I made certain I got all the 'teefy monsters' off his teeth every night so all his lovely teeth didnt fall out of his mouth forever. Dh repeats same story back at me. Ds pipes up: I love you too, mummy. I love you, ds, says I. I love YOU daddy, says ds. I love you too, says dh. Ignore and continue Mummy And Daddy's Fun Brushing Time. Can I have my teeth brush says ds. Ok, says I. Hands over. Ignores. Will you do it mummy? Of course, says I.

Haven't had an issue since. Chalked that up to a win. DS is me through and through and I can't BEAR to be left out of something fun.

Now if anyone knows how to get him to eat anything except raw carrots and onion rings, hands up smile

LedareAnsley Wed 15-Jan-14 21:24:26

Oh I see, hopalong. I do know of a wealthy family who were referred to SS because of Ribena in bottles from birth and the DC having to have such treatment. Awful.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Wed 15-Jan-14 21:26:05

I'm still bf my DS, who has just turned 2, but only bf to sleep. The rest of the time he gets water. He's never had sweets and very little fruit juice, although he does have smoothies. These are however usually followed up with water. He won't drink cows milk.

I've brushed his teeth religiously twice a day since they came in. He was a late tether. He didn't get his first teeth until two weeks before his first birthday. Despite this, my son has four teeth at the front (all at the top) that are decaying and will need to be removed under GA.

The dentist doesn't think it was the bf that was responsible. My teeth aren't that great. He thinks I must have passed the bacteria too him by sharing a spoon with him at some point.


lilyaldrin Wed 15-Jan-14 21:36:57

purple - how many children don't have any fruit, dried fruit, breakfast cereals etc before their milk teeth fall out?

slightlyglitterstained Wed 15-Jan-14 21:40:29

BelleEtLaBaby Genius!

LedareAnsley Wed 15-Jan-14 21:41:54

My DS had antibiotics every day for a year since birth because because there was a concern about one of his kidneys and that a urinary infection might compound the problem.

Pity nobody realised that he was to be BF for two years and PROTECTED from this risk naturally, and that the antibiotics removed it as well as causing damage to his teeth hmm

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 21:43:25

moose that's an odd thing for a dentist to say because you will have shared your oral bacteria with him through kissing at the very least, a spoon is quite specific.

You say he has little juice but even if he only has 100ml a day, if he drinks it over a protracted period (same iwth the smoothies which are rammed with sugar) then that's what will cause decay. It's not the quantity, it's the frequency Even with scrupulous brushing. ALl of teh ducks have to be in a row I'm afraid,

I'm sure you're all over it now though and hope GA goes ok

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Jan-14 21:45:12

I absolutely love belles method. High five lady!!

MissBetseyTrotwood Wed 15-Jan-14 21:48:36

I think Belle 's ideas are ace.

DS1 had a tooth out and a filling age 3. It was awful.

Your DS has to have them brushed. There could be multiple reasons why he could be prone to decay, not just 'genes' etc. I would force it if nothing else works, but that's probably just me being a nasty mother. grin

MrsOakenshield Wed 15-Jan-14 21:53:03

the other thing with juice is how it's drunk - from a bottle (a baby's bottle) is an absolute no-no, as the juice can 'pool' at the front of the mouth - same with milk, in fact, which is why people shouldn't leave their baby to drop of with a bottle in their mouth.

If you are going to give juice (though ideally you shouldn't), it should be diluted in the same way as squash - so a splash of juice to a cupful of water. And drunk with a straw is ideal and it shoots to the back of the mouth and they swallow it quickly - doesn't hang about in the mouth.

Juice is frightening sugary and acidic.

Stuckunderababy Wed 15-Jan-14 21:56:50

Wow I thought this thread had gone dead until I just saw it again! Thank you for all your responses. As a pp has said, while many suggestions would be great if he was older, at 14 months there's not much I can do to tempt him. However I will persevere - I am in my mid 30s and only had one filling and I want it to be that way for the kids!

Am currently going with getting him to watch me brush DC1s teeth (who sits beautifully) and tipping DC2 back to get into his mouth, with lots of praise when he doesn't scream (usually for the first 5 seconds!)

I never get much more than a quick brush around each of the teeth though. Is that enough? It's hard to pin him for any longer and I don't want it to become a real battle (well even more of one). Should I consider brushing after lunch as well to get him more used to it?

24again Thu 16-Jan-14 06:51:57

Try at different times of day so that you aren't trying to do it when he is tired. I find a child's electric toothbrush is very good as if you can only brush for a short ammount of time you can get more effective brushing done. I used to lie my son on his back and hold his hands down if necessary but this phase didn't last long and then he just lay down for teeth brushing.
Also make sure that you are using a toothpaste with suitable fluroide levels. As soon as they get to three you need 1455 parts of fluroide and try to get them to spit it out but don't rinse.
Plaque needs 12 - 24 hours to develop so if you don't brush their teeth for a day you are risking tooth damage.

Charley50 Thu 16-Jan-14 07:12:34

I have had nightmares over the years with my son's tooth brushing but it is non-negotiable. He still has two inclusions; dentist word for fillings. I think we have weak soft teeth in my family. Someone said not to wet the toothpaste. Is that right? I always slightly wet it. Is there I have been going wrong all these years?

sebsmummy1 Thu 16-Jan-14 07:30:07

My 14 month old is happy for me to use an electric brush for a short spurt. So I start off with a baby brush and Milk Teeth toothbrush then finish with a quick blast with the electric.

sebsmummy1 Thu 16-Jan-14 07:30:25

Tooth paste

TeacupDrama Thu 16-Jan-14 22:57:11

toothpaste on dry brush there is enough saliva in anyone's mouth to moisten anything

brush teeth ( if lots of foam may spit excess out but definitely no rinsing)

then use water to rinse toothpaste foam off the brush as if left on will make bristles hard no need to rinse mouth the foam should stay on teeth

mightyducks Fri 17-Jan-14 11:53:56

Interested in this thread as I work in oral health - in answer to a few questions the brushing and the fluoride are equalling important, it's only recently we've started to understand just how important the fluoride is for our teeth. This is why the advice has changed to spit don't rinse - the fluoride is providing a protective layer which you are then effectively washing off.
Most areas will have an oral health improvement team which you can contact for help and advice with brushing - they will be experts in this area. Contact your local Council's public health department for more info.
Speak to your dentist about fluoride varnishing, it is protective against decay and suitable for young children, particularly if you are having trouble with brushing. Fissure sealing is something different and tends not to be used that much anymore as it can be problematic as it can lock the decay in. Fluoride varnishing is now preferred.
This website is great with lots of hints and tips on oral health

2tiredtocare Fri 17-Jan-14 11:57:58

Better you hold him down now and do it than a dentist when he is older

cantthinkofagoodone Fri 17-Jan-14 12:55:13

mighty that is very helpful. It is very much a battle in our house!

Mrsmorton Fri 17-Jan-14 14:15:42

But putting fluoride on top of plaque does no good. The biofilm must be removed.

TeacupDrama Fri 17-Jan-14 19:24:01

the dentist will not be holding him down if anyone holding down needs to be done with a small child in dental practice the patients parent/guardian needs to do that as dentist needs both hands free to try and fix the problem

traininthedistance Fri 17-Jan-14 21:02:01

Reading with interest as DD is a year old and will chew on the brush but it is almost impossible to brush the surfaces of the teeth really well and I'm getting a bit worried about it (DD is a BLW spoon refuser too so not amenable to other people putting things in her mouth generally). Is it really absolutely crucial to be getting all the plaque off twice a day for a 1-year old exactly as you would for adult teeth? Eeek if so confused

A quick question for the dentists/hygienists on the thread - I remember being given small fruit flavoured fluoride tablets every day when I was young (up until about 5-ish). I have always had very good teeth - no fillings or problems, which could be either genetic or diet related (was not allowed any sweet things as a child and didn't like juice, fizzy drinks or milk so only ever drank water). But what were these little fluoride tablets and have they fallen out of use these days?

2tiredtocare Fri 17-Jan-14 21:08:25

Splitting hairs Teacup

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